Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Peanutty Kale Stew

My main food focus at the moment is grains. I tend to rely on brown rice and quinoa quite a bit, so I feel I need to step out and try to utilize some others. In the past, I have used barley and bulghur, so I will re-visit them. But, I also want to try some off the beaten path grains, like millet and amaranth. Since I am also trying to find more ways to use kale, this recipe was perfect because the recipe suggested serving the stew over millet.

When I told a co-worker today about the combination of pineapple, peanut butter and kale, she thought it sounded horrible. But when I let her check out the leftovers I brought for lunch, she took it all back and said it actually looked good. It was certainly an interesting combination of flavors, and surprisingly quite filling.

Peanutty Kale Stew over Millet
1 tblspn olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
1 large bunch of kale - cut each side from the stem, then chop cross-wise into 1 inch pieces and discard the stems
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro (since it is winter, I used the kind that comes frozen)
1 tspn or more of hot sauce (e.g. tabasco)
scallions - chopped (optional)
peanuts- chopped (optional)

3/4 cup millet
2 cups of water
pinch of salt

1. Boil the water with the salt for the millet. When it comes to a boil, add the millet. Check at 20 minutes to see if water is absorbed. This amount of water should create fluffy millet. If you like it creamier, add more water.
2. In a large saute or saucepan, saute the onion and garlic on medium heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned.
3. Add pineapple and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the kale and let it cook down for about 5-10 minutes. It will reduce dramatically, but you need to start with a big pan so you can fit it all.
5. Add the peanut butter, hot sauce and cilantro. Cook for another five minutes.
6. Serve over millet, or mix the millet right in. Top with scallions and fresh peanuts.

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