Birth Health Life


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Marinated Kale with Bean stew

Two of my favourite things together!  The bean stew is a variation on one of my staple 'red stews' based on an Italian pomodoro sauce, using either fresh tomatoes (which I chuck into a pan whole, fry for a second or two before adding boiling water and then once the tomatoes have broken down into the water, I grate some raw garlic and add seasoning)  or tomato puree, water, garlic and seasoning.  This time I've sweated chopped onions and yellow peppers in olive oil first, and added black eye beans and some cooked spelt grains, barley, Thaibonnet rice, and oats.  I've also added whole fennel seeds, and dried mixed herbs.

 The marinated kale is a new addition to my repertoire and I'm absolutely loving it for snacking or with meals. You can enjoy the benefits of raw kale without having to juice it, or crunch through the tough cell walls, (I find eating raw kale most unappetising and frankly, jolly hard work) because the marinate breaks it down and makes the taste and texture different, and really delicious.  I learned this tip from visiting a birth client in the post natal period.  I had arrived bearing some vegetarian samosas, and these lovely people and their beautiful little boy were just about to sit down to a vegan meal whilst their new baby daughter slept.  Various friends had contributed vegan dishes to this meal that I was so honoured to share with them.  Baby's dad had prepared the kale, using lemon juice and olive oil as a marinate, and smooshing the resulting mixture with his hands periodically to help break down the tough leaf.  The result was divine!  I like to leave it for around 6 hours, smooshing it with my hands a few times to help tenderise the leaves.

For the kale:

  • 300g of Fresh Kale
  • Juice of one lemon
  • tablespoon of olive oil
For the bean stew:

  • small tin tomato puree
  • one onion, chopped
  • one yellow pepper, sliced
  • one clove of garlic, grated
  • teaspoon fennel seeds
  • teaspoon mixed herbs
  • tin black eye beans
  • 125g cooked mixed grains
  • 200ml boiling water
These positively benefit from being prepared in advance.  The kale breaks down and softens over time and the bean stew flavours intensify in the fridge.  When you need food fast but don't want to reach for unhealthy fast food, having these waiting in the fridge for you is a real treat.


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