Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moroccan Braised Kale over Wheatberries

(with a poached egg)

This summer, my coworker and I decided to keep a shared daily log of everything we ate and all the exercise we've done in order to feel a sense of accountability for a healthy lifestyle.  You've probably heard of this as a method of establishing better habits, but if you haven't tried it you absolutely should!  I also highly recommend pairing up with someone who is a gluten-free vegetarian...seeing that every meal on this log he's keeping is super healthy omelettes and salads.  I may return to school in August to find a rabbit sitting across from me in the office.

One of the benefits of this experiment has been a sort of mirroring effect.  Looking at PA's progress has been really impressive, and it has rubbed off.  So now, I find myself wanting to create more meals that are vegetarian, for example.  I've also found myself eating lots of eggs for protein, because that's his main protein source.  So, while this particular post includes wheatberries, the basic recipe for this braised kale is one I've been coming back to over and over again this summer.  It's a bit of a variation of both my Kale, Spinach, and Meatball Soup and Shakshouka, but without the meat.

I've found keeping the log is motivating enough to try and continue with it while I'm abroad for almost the remainder of the summer.  I know that sounds a bit crazy - and believe me I'll still allow myself a good lemon and sugar crepe in Paris, a waffle in Belgium, etc. - but I think it will be a good way to prevent a dietary nuclear meltdown.  Hopefully it also turns out to be a good way to document some great flavors I discover across the pond, and then bring them home and back to the blog when I return.  I know this is already only the second post of the summer, but surely I'll pick it up again with more regularity in August.

Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings):

  • 1 cup wheatberries (optional)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced/minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large can (28 oz) whole stewed tomatoes
  • 4 cups kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 can of cannellini or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. moroccan spice mix (below)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 poached (or fried) egg per serving (optional)

Moroccan Spice Mix:
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • pinch of saffron threads (optional)

If you are serving over wheatberries: In a small pot, bring the wheatberries and 2 cups of water to a boil.  Continue to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain the wheatberries and set aside.

In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Season well with salt.  Add the diced tomato and 2 tbsp. of the spice mix, and cook an additional 2 minutes until a chunky, aromatic paste forms.

Add the canned tomatoes, breaking them up, along with their juice.  As soon as it simmers, add the kale and cover until wilted.  Once soft, add the beans and any additional seasoning.  Continue to cook uncovered until the juice has reduced to your liking.

Serve with a poached (or fried) egg on top.


  1. Love love love this. It's going straight on my must-make-for-dinner-now-because-I'm-sick-of-eating-out list.

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