Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going Green

"Going green" is buzz term right now that everyone seems to be dropping.  In an effort to "go green" you might have bought energy saving light bulbs, sworn off disposable water bottles or committed yourself to a completely local diet.  But, sustainable living is not the only important aspect of "going green."  Another important place to "go green" is on your plate!  What was the last green food you ate?   Green vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals to the diet and are often considered to be the most nutrient dense.  This means you get lots of nutrients in very few calories.  Green vegetables are also very high in phytonutrients.  So, make your efforts extend from your earth friendly practices to your healthy plate practices and "Go Green!"

In this recipe, the kale provides lots of antioxidants and vitamins A, C and K.  It is one of my favorite greens for its texture boasting a firm stem that offers a crispiness and curly leaves that do not easily wilt.  During this time of year, kale will have a more bitter flavor but after the first frost will become sweeter and will remain available through the winter. Adding walnuts to this dish provides a nice texture and delicious nutty essence.  If you have never cooked tofu before, the trick is to cook it in a separate pan, using just a little bit of olive oil, to get it to crisp lightly on the outside.  If not, it will be a mushy mess and break apart.  You can also add chicken to this dish if you prefer it over tofu.

What makes this bite better?
Often times people have the good intention of "eating green" but they are overwhelmed by the selection of leafy greens presented to them at the grocery store or green market.  This recipe makes it easy-try kale.  And once you have tried kale, you can substitute any other leafy green into this recipe.  Cook it over and over again with spinach, swiss chard or collard greens.  Even better, if you have always by passed tofu because it freaks you out, try that too.  It's a recipe full of new foods for most people, and that in itself is awesome.  Secondly, kale is packed with vitamins and minerals making it a one of the healthiest, most nutrient dense greens available.  And if you like it now, you can continue to eat it all through winter.

Kale and Tofu with Walnuts
Makes 2-3 servings

1 bunch of fresh Kale
Olive Oil
1 small onion, sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pack of extra firm tofu in water, rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel and cubed
About 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Drizzle a little bit of olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a pan, or lightly spray with cooking spray.  Place the tofu in the pan so all the tofu is touching the bottom of the pan to brown.  Cook over medium heat, rotating sides so the tofu crisps nicely on all sides.

In a separate saute pan, drizzle olive oil in the pan and sauté onions and garlic until they begin to brown slightly.  Wash the kale under cold water, remove the thick part at the base of the stem and cut into chunks about 2-3 inches in size.  Place the kale into the pan and rotate until it begins to cook down.  If extra moisture is needed, add water in small amounts to help steam down the kale.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the kale is soft but not wilted or mushy.  Add the walnuts and tofu and toss to allow the flavors to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and Enjoy :)


  1. the last green food i ate = cabbbage on my in-n-out burger. clearly missing some delights de gina out here... miss you!!! x