Between our nieces visit, having Emily home and an impromptu night out with friends, I’m afraid my waistline is showing the effects of overindulgence. Time to make some adjustments. My plan is to heavy up on the vegetables and lean proteins and scale down on most carbohydrates — especially processed sugars and white flour. And I may give up (wince) wine.
Actually, Scott and I have discussed doing a cleanse for a while now. It hasn’t come to fruition because of different events, activities and obligations, but now we have a break between those diet-busting bursts of excess and it’s time to get serious.
That said, I never want to feel deprived or hungry. So, I’ll be looking for dishes that offer that umami flavor and satiety that I would get from a cheeseburger at Burger Fi – (see exhibit A).
Ok, in my dreams. But this hearty braise of kale, grape tomatoes and cannellini beans has a deep flavor and belly warming satisfaction that made me (temporarily) forget about the cheeseburger and hunger pangs I had. This is great on its own or served with grilled chicken (as we’ve done here), pork tenderloin or chops.
Braised kale and tender white beans make a hearty, healthy side dish. The tomato balances the flavors.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic mince one clove and set aside, peeled
- 1/2 pound kale tough stems removed, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of one lemon
In a heavy dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil starts to glisten and shimmer in the bottom of the pot add 3 whole, peeled garlic cloves and simmer for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and golden brown, but not burnt. Remove garlic and discard.
Add kale to the pot and about 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock. Cover tightly with lid and braise the kale for 2-3 minutes, until wilted.
Add red pepper flakes, grape tomatoes, minced garlic and another 1/4 cup of stock. Stir to combine, cover tightly with lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tomatoes start to split and give up their juices.
Stir in the beans, the remaining stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the lid to the pot and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Toss lemon juice into the braise and serve.