Oh, kale, you dark dusky-leafed green, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee blended into a cool, verdant smoothie as a refreshing post-run pick-me-up. I love thee sprinkled with kosher salt and toasted to a light crispiness. I love thee wilted into a rich red wine-saturated spaghetti sauce, or stirred into a hearty potato-sausage soup when the winter winds wail at my windows.
But most of all, oh dear kale, I adore thee to the utmost heights when prepared the following way (super giant pink puffy-heart thanks to my friends, H&N, for this inspiration, and for continuing to acknowledge me in public):
1. Precook some quinoa and chickpeas (or use a can of garbanzos, rinsed well).
2. Sauté a bunch of washed, torn kale in a giant skillet. Set aside in a large bowl.
3. In the skillet, sauté two minced cloves of garlic in a swirl of olive oil, along with some paprika and cumin.
4. Stir chickpeas into garlic & spice mixture and mix well. (This gets 'em really nutty tasting...yum.)
5. Add 1-2 cups of the quinoa to skillet and toss it all together. Add the juice from two lemons.
6. Stir in kale until well combined; add more quinoa if you want.
7. Sprinkle with a decent amount of salt to taste and serve in the large bowl the kale was in.
It's actually far simpler than I've made it sound: stir together kale, quinoa, and chickpeas with seasonings; add salt and lemon juice, enjoy.
The second time I made this within a week, I also bought a 2lb bag of dried garbanzos so I can do it again. You'd better believe I stopped halfway through writing this to reheat a little--and take a typical subpar picture. :)
You can serve this hot, warm, or cold... or while you stand over the stove before dinner... as you're boxing it up for lunches the next day... if you are scavenging for a midnight snack... at a picnic with your friends (genius, it doesn't require intense refrigeration)... pretty much anytime you want a hearty, flavorful, delicious, tangy, filling, vegetarian (vegan? I think so) meal. I'm already wondering how many times I can incorporate it into family picnics and parties this summer.
Check out this link to read a little more about the goodness of kale.