Things are moving quickly around here! I mean, not around here here (I’m long overdue for a post, sorry), but the regular, on-my-feet, day-to-day? I mean, WHOOSH. Moving. Flying, really.
It always feels this way when summer slides into fall, doesn’t it? Everything on the move, and days getting shorter. There are lunches to pack, traffic to navigate and, in my case, a wedding to finish planning. (I’m trying to sound casual about this, but !!!!!!!!!!!!@%$#^@&%*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is what’s actually happening in my brain). We’re at T minus six weeks until matrimony, people! Yeesh.
YEESH. Let’s look at a tranquil photo of Ross Lake that I took this summer:
And then let’s eat some kale. It’ll calm our brains and help our bodies feel good… about our brains and our bodies.
We’ll sauté it in a hot, hot pan. It’ll get wilty and crisp at the edges, and it’ll soak in all the flavor we throw at it. Coconut oil for health and sweetness! Garlic and red pepper flakes for bite! Baked tofu for heft, scallions and sesame seeds for depth and crunch, and soy sauce and rice vinegar for salt and tang.
It’s a quick and flavorful option for a busy weeknight. I’ve made it four times in two weeks, and I love it for its imprecise (in an I-don’t-feel-like-measuring-things way) deliciousness (you don’t really need to measure — just trust yourself and, if you need to, taste as you go. You can’t mess this one up). Plus it’s just so quick. You can do it while packing lunches. Or creating seating charts. For your wedding. In less than six weeks.
…Deep breaths. And more kale.
Spicy Sautéed Kale with Tofu
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (can substitute olive oil)
- 1 large bunch kale (I like lacinato, or dinosaur kale), tough stems removed & roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 (6 ounce) package baked tofu (I like Wildwood brand’s teriyaki flavor), cut into bite-sized cubes
- 3 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is decently hot, add the coconut oil, and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.
Add the kale to the hot pan, and stir it around to coat it lightly with oil. Let the kale cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of kosher salt and ground black pepper, and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes more, until the garlic is fragrant and golden. (If the kale or garlic seems like it’s about to burn at any point, just carefully pour a few tablespoons of water into the pan and stir — this will help loosen everything up and deglaze the tasty bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.)
Add the tofu and scallions and continue to sauté until the tofu has warmed and picked up some color.
Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar, stirring to incorporate (and deglaze the pan), and cook for an additional half minute.
Serve the kale warm from the skillet, doled out into shallow bowls or wrapped up in tortillas, with a side of hot sauce, if needed.