Posts tagged ‘kale’

Vegetable and bean soup


Happy Meatless Monday! Here is a very simple soup recipe – basically a half-finished minestrone soup. It was so (unexpectedly) popular with everyone here that I think I will be making it again and again.

If I had a TV show, it would be called “Cooking with Casey,” and it would feature recipes that can be completed with one hand while holding a baby/toddler. We have a budding chef on our hands, I’m sure, because he absolutely needs to be “up!” to see all chopping, stirring and especially mixing with the KitchenAid.

I intended to add pasta, lentils and various seasonings to this soup, but I learned that hungry babies are not interested in culinary musings when the basics are already ready. Our stove top taste test at what I thought was the halfway point resulted in a lot of vigorous “more!” signs, so we sat down to eat, and rightly so. This soup was substantial enough for dinner, but not too heavy – the broth is really nice and light.

If you save parmesan cheese rinds in the freezer to flavour soups and sauces like I do, this is a perfect place to use them. Or omit them and you will have a completely plant-based meal. The soup is delicious either way.

Vegetable and bean soup
Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 large bay leaves
1 large (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes
4 cups of water
Rind from parmesan, asiago or other hard cheese (optional)
2 cups cooked mixed beans (I used a combination of chickpeas, kidney beans and white beans)
1 cup finely minced kale
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in oil on medium heat until translucent; about 10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, tomatoes, water and cheese rind (if using). Cook until carrots soften; about 20-30 minutes. Stir in the beans and kale, season with salt and pepper, cook for a few minutes until heated through and tasting great, and then eat.


February 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm 1 comment

Winter gardening

arugula seedlingsNew year, new plants! A batch of seedlings sprouted on my windowsill last week and with that I am on my way to my 2013 goal of growing more of my own food.

Arugula and Asian greens like pac choi and mizuna  stand up to slugs better than most of the leafy greens I’ve tried growing in the past. I am trying kale again as I’d love to be able to grow my own since I eat it almost every day. I’ve never had much luck with kale as the garden critters like it as much as I do, but here’s hoping the new year will bring fresh success.

winter seedlings

January 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm 2 comments

End of summer garden

This weekend feels like the end of summer. The weather is still warm, but it is changing, as is the light, which is thinner now and less intense. Shadows are more pronounced and I see them invading sunny places earlier in the day. I don’t mind – there is something beautiful about the dance of tree leaves in the shade.

The plants of summer are still growing – yellow impatiens, a pot of blue forget-me-nots grown from seed that are just catching their stride, green tomatoes, mint, oregano and chives – but they’re slowing down. Two strawberry plants joined the garden this year and I’m pleased about that: from what I’ve seen in other people’s yards, they don’t wither away in the cold. I’m hoping the Asian greens will stay with me, too, if I don’t eat through them before winter arrives. Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is the one below with the beautiful white flowers.

I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon outside on the patio in my wicker lounger chair saying farewell to summer and enjoying the beginning of fall. Next weekend I’ll find a garden store so I can plant kale, chrysanthemums, and winter pansies.

September 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm 1 comment

Saturday at the market

This is the kind of Saturday I live for all year long. The sun is shining and it was 20C by 9am this morning when we pulled up to the West End Farmer’s Market. Cherries, raspberries, blueberries, spinach, kale, carrots and soft ripe apricots all followed us home, along with a wedge of cheese flecked with carraway seeds and the salmon and halibut we picked up from our share in Skipper Otto’s community supported fishery.

It’s all a bit predictable, finding bliss in the Saturday market and all of its bounty, but it never seems to get old.

July 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm 1 comment

Beets, squash, kale and chickpeas…together at last

There’s nothing like a week off work to spur on more blogging. I’ve been looking through a few photos I took in recent weeks and found this one of a veggie dish I made for a holiday dinner with friends. I started with an ingredient that everyone seems to love: roasted beets. I also had butternut squash, a fresh bunch of kale, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and shallots, all things that have come to be staples in my kitchen one by one over the past few years, so that’s how this dish came to be.

Uplifting day-glo colours, healthy veggies, a bit of protein, and aside from the messiness of beets it’s a snap to make.


January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm 1 comment

Bean, lentil & kale bake

This is a recipe that my mother in law made for dinner when I was over at her place for antipasto weekend last month. I believe that all food made with kale (like this recipe and this one) holds a place of unrivaled virtue. It makes me feel like a health-nut superstar when I eat it, and I am always happy to add to my kale repertoire. (more…)

November 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

Potato chickpea and kale curry

I wrote recently about the fact that I am now cooking with real cream. In the days of old, I was a substituter – always finding inventive ways to step around full-fat ingredients like cream, butter, cheese and oil. No more. Cream is now part of the weekly shopping list. That aside,  I am usually pretty health-conscious in my eating and cooking and I realize that it’s important to strike a balance. Gluten-free and vegetarian is the main fare coming out of my kitchen, and this curry dish with chickpeas, kale, and potatoes falls squarely in the virtuous category. Kale is also one of the few vegetables that is truly local this time of year. Walking around neighbourhood and community garden plots this winter, I’ve discovered that kale grows year-round in Vancouver. It will definitely be part of my cool-weather gardening mix this year.

Potato, chickpea and kale curry

4 cups cooked potatoes, diced about 1-inch square
1-1/2 cups chickpeas, drained (about 1 can)
2 cups chopped fresh kale
1-1/2 cups coconut milk (1 can)
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Combine potatoes, chickpeas and kale in a casserole dish. Mix together coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, soy sauce and ginger juice in a small bowl and pour over top potato mixture. Stir gently to mix. Bake in a 375F oven for 25-30 minutes and top with fresh cilantro.

March 1, 2011 at 12:31 am 2 comments

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