Love Your Greens—As Sides or Entrées
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that kale and other greens are among Mother Earth’s superfoods—and today’s recipe for Kale and Beets with Spiced Pecans will help you take advantage of your favorite greens deliciously!
Did you know that there are at least 10 different types of kale? And many of them are available in stores such as Whole Foods, as well as in farmers markets and your abundant gardens. I used lacinato kale for my test recipe, but you can also substitute any kind of kale—or, for that matter, any other sort of greens—when you make this dish. Just know that each has its own cooking time and that these vary. From an Ayurvedic perspective, you will want to cook them until they are tender enough for easy digestion.
And if you think you don’t like kale or other greens, I will suggest that you might not have tasted a version with enough spice to entice your palate. In this recipe. I use spices well known to Ayurvedic cooks: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, garam masala, and fresh ginger. If you want to simplify, you could replace the first four spices called for in the greens and use 1 to 2 teaspoons of garam masala, which likely has all of these spices and more. Garam masala is a generic name for a combination of warming spices bottled and sold in markets and spice shops. If you grew up in an Indian family, your mother may have passed along the family’s secret recipe! If kale’s bitterness leaves you cold, you can add a little coconut sugar or maple syrup to balance kale’s flavor more to your liking.
For those of you just learning to use an Instant Pot, I recommend using it to steam beets as an easy and efficient exercise. I purchased a set of steaming baskets for just that purpose. I suppose I could have completed the dish in the Instant Pot, but I used the time while the beets were steaming to cook the kale on the stovetop.
Today’s recipe mimics some of the cuisine I’ve seen served in our favorite upscale restaurant, whose menu always features one vegan or vegetarian dish. Whatever braised vegetables they cook that evening are always served in a large soup bowl with a light broth. When this is served over quinoa or millet, what was a lovely side dish becomes an elegant entrée.
Enjoy this delicious Kale and Beets with Spiced Pecans this summer or all year round!