Meatless Monday: It’s Baaaack!

After a hiatus, I’ve built up a little ‘store’ of some recipes that I’ve come up with on my own, and some that I’ve found online and tried out.006

So, today I’m excited to share with you a side dish that I came up with myself and that my meat-eating, slightly particular husband also really enjoys.

I truly have grown to like kale a lot. It’s kind of the magical leafy green in my life that fulfills multiple needs as a vegetarian: The need for plant-based proteins that are not soy-based, iron, and fiber. Kale is this great leaf that has all of that wrapped into one, delicious, package. Granted, kale alone won’t do it, but when you’re subsisting on plants, it’s important to get these things where you can.

Looking on nutritiondata.self.com, you can see that this plant has (apparently) 134% of your daily requirement of vitamin C (wow), 206% of vitamin A, 9% of calcium, 6% of iron and 2g of protein.

So, I paired this green with mushrooms and caramelized onions for a nutrient-packed, tasty side dish to accompany just about any meal.

Kale with caramelized onions and mushrooms accompany some white rice and marinated, fried tofu. Delicious dinner!

Kale with caramelized onions and mushrooms accompany some white rice and marinated, fried tofu. Delicious dinner!

If you’re not a fan of greens, give this recipe a spin. It’s got a nice combination of savory from the mushrooms and sweet from the caramelized onions that I really think you’ll enjoy.

Kale with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
Serves around 6 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1 bunch kale, washed and thick stems removed
1 large cooking onion, halved and then sliced thinly
1 package mushrooms (I used a mix of oyster, baby portabella and chanterelles sold at my grocer’s), sliced
1 large portabella (I just threw this in there because I had it left over from another meal), sliced
1/2 cup good vegetable broth
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup olive oil (you might not end up using all of this)
salt and pepper to taste 002

1. To help cut down on cooking time, I heated up two medium frying pans over medium heat with about 1 Tbsp olive oil in each pan. Once the pans are hot, in one pan, place the onions to caramelize. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add the agave nectar. Stir to coat all the onions with the syrup. Continue cooking the onions for about 8 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. You want all the liquid in the pan to evaporate, and the onions to be translucent and golden brown. Start cooking the mushrooms (following instructions in step 2) at the same time. If you need the space, cook them separately of course. Just helps cut back on time if you can do it this way.

2. In the second pan, place a handful of mushrooms. Be careful not to crowd the pan – this is a trick I learned while watching Julie & Julia. We want the mushrooms to have enough room to let the water in it evaporate well so they caramelize nicely. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of they thyme. Turn the mushrooms after about 2-3 minutes so they can brown on the other side. Once the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms look nice and brown and have shrunk a little, remove them to a bowl. Then, add some more oil to the pan, and repeat until all the mushrooms have been cooked. 004

3. Once both the mushrooms and onions have cooked, heat a large, deep-sided frying pan (preferably one with a lid) over medium-high heat with about 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once the pan has heated up, add the kale and vegetable stock. Cover and let the steam cook the kale for about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir the kale so all of it begins to wilt. Cover and cook again for another 3 minutes. When the kale has cooked for about 10 minutes total, add the caramelized onion and mushrooms. Stir it all together so the onions, mushroom and kale are evenly distributed. Serve warm.

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