If you’ve found yourself uninspired by your latest sack lunches, this surprisingly filling dish may be the perfect way to jazz up the PB&J routine you are currently nestled into.
A few weeks ago, some of my family’s closest friends — so close they are by all definitions of the word “family” — thoughtfully donated over 100 backdated issues of Vegetarian Times (VT) to me. Gleeful and slightly overwhelmed, I hauled the 30-lbs-and-about-to-bust bag of vegetarian recipes into our condo and began to sort through the archival collection. Some of the issues dated all the way back to the grunge-ridden days of 1993 when Beanie Babies were just beginning to incite collectors’ insanity and the teenage drama of Saved by the Bell was just beginning to fade away. As I flipped through the pages of each issue, I found entertaining reminders of the dietary trends of the 90s; low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar, etc. There were also some insightful and snappy advertising slogans: “Long ago, way before cartoons and processed food, people relied on the healthful benefits of herbs,” “Get a burst of Ener-B: Vitamin B-12 Nasal Gel,” and “Silk Dairyless Beverage: Here’s a fresh idea, it’s refrigerated.” I summed each of the aforementioned advertising slogans up to illogical, gross, and “I don’t get it,” respectively. However, despite a few outdated trends and laughable advertising schemes, Vegetarian Times’ pre-Millenium issues demonstrated cutting-edge recipes and inspired knowledge of health. From Quinoa to Flax Seed Oil, the benefits of more unusual health-food items were clearly identified by VT way back in ’93. Even the currently trending leafy-green, Kale, was receiving hype from Vegetarian Times nearly two decades ago. Moral of the story: Vegetarian Times is ahead of their time. Oh, snap.
After a few hours of page-flipping and dog-earring, I had enough recipes to keep me cooking for the next few months. One recipe that I continued to flip back to in admiration of its simplicity and healthfulness was Warm Tuscan Kale and Fingerling Potatoes. As I studied the recipe, I decided that it would either be completely impressive or utterly boring and then promptly added the ingredients to my grocery list. I ended up throwing this recipe together for lunch during one of the Snowmageddon ’11 days a few weeks back. To my surprise, the seemingly basic dish turned out awesome. Even Dan, who had initially requested a turkey sandwich for lunch, enjoyed this dish enough to ask for seconds and request that it be put into my “make again” file. Once you’ve tried it, I’m certain that this meal that will nourish and satisfy its way into your no-longer-lackluster lunch routine. It’s full of flavor, filling, and super healthy.
Warm Tuscan Kale and Fingerling Potatoes (Serves 4)
Modified from Vegetarian Times
3/4 lb fingerling potatoes
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
dash of red pepper flakes
1/2 lb Tuscan kale, torn into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes and onion with 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread potato and onion mixture on baking sheet and roast until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into bite-size pieces.
3. In a large skillet, heat remaining tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, for 30 seconds. Add kale, potatoes, and onions. Cover and cook until kale is wilted, 2 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss thoroughly and serve.