Life. When did life get so busy? I swear our parents were never THAT busy when we were growing up, right?
I say that because I have a back log of recipes I want to post and share with you all to include my two eBooks, Plan-ahead Paleo and Whole Baby Food. Maybe they will get done when there are 25+ hours in the day?
I digress. But more along with the previous point, I always tell people you are not going to find a lot of treats on my blog.
Because treats are not practical. Yes I said it. I don’t know about you, but I barely find the time (or energy) to get dinner on the table most nights nonetheless find the time to bake. Also, I know when I bake something, I EAT IT ALL!
I am declaring to you all, now more than ever, that I am focusing all future recipes on the blog to be super easy recipes. I can’t wait share a lot of my NEW go-to recipes where you can make large quantities ahead of time. Planning ahead will help prevent you from going through the drive thru or going out to eat during the busy work week. By sharing my meal prep ideas and recipes, I can help encourage you to find the time to cook during the week.
Ok let’s talk about this super versatile recipe which I am currently obsessed with. Actually, obsessed is an understatement. Perhaps stalkerish; but can you stalk food? Maybe, just maybe. Either way, this recipe actually was inspired by my good friend, Kelsey, who came to my house and brought me a home cooked meal after my youngest son, Dylan, was born. Yes, that was 11 months ago and it has taken me that long to post the recipe and publicly thank her for her sweet gesture. No judgement, please! BUT THANK YOU KELSEY! You are the best and are so thoughtful! Better late than never, right? As much as I love gifts like the rest of us, it was not until after having three kids that the kindness of this gesture really dawned on me. I now believe home cooked meals far outweigh the latest “it” toy or the cutest outfit. Who is with me on that? But again as stated above, our time is precious and any gesture is certainly appreciated.
Back to this recipe. The best thing about this recipe is you can make it with whatever ingredients you like or have on hand. It can also be served as a side dish, add another protein to it for the main dish, and my personal fave, use the leftovers for breakfast and use it as a hash.
- 1 bag of fresh kale (16 oz)
- 3-4 pieces of bacon
- juice of 2 limes
- ½ of roasted butternut squash (about 1lb)
- ⅛ teaspoon of all spice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven till 400 degrees.
- First and foremost, you must decide what starch you want to use for your recipe. I usually prefer a sweeter starch to give this dish a great sweet and salty, yet savory combination. We typically prefer to make this dish with sweet potato or plantains because not only is it sweet, but we always have those laying around on the kitchen counter. Other options are acorn and butternut squash too! Don’t you just love how versatile this recipe is? The possibilities are endless.
- If you are using sweet potato or the other squashes, you have two options depending how much time you have. If you have ample time or have something already cooking in the oven, then the preferred way I like to cook the starch is to roast them. For the squashes (acorn or butternut), you just have to cut them in half, deseed them, brush a lit avocado oil on the flesh and face them flesh down on a lined cookie sheet. Depending how big the squashes are you need to roast them for about 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees. You basically want them cooked through and soft enough to easily cube them, but not too soft where they are “mush.” For the sweet potato, all you have to do is poke holes in the skin with a fork all over and place on a cookie sheet still intact for about 20-30 minutes, again making sure it is cooked through and soft but not too soft.
- If time is of the essence, then take that sweet potato and after you poke holes in it wrap a damp paper towel around it and throw it in the microwave. Cook for 5-6 minutes depending how big it is. Halfway through the cooking process, you will want to turn it to cook evenly. If you want to use the other starches, you will have to prepare it the same as you would if you roasted it (cut in half and deseed), but this time place them in a microwave safe container with an inch of water and cook for about 15 minutes in the microwave. I would recommend if you do not have much time then use a sweet potato.
- If you want to use plantains, I prefer to use the more ripe variety. Usually you can find plantains at the grocery store close to where they sell bananas. The difference are they are bigger and greener than normal bananas. If there are no ripe plantains in the grocery store, buy the hard, green ones and wait a week plus until it ripens a bit more. The more brown the skin is the sweeter the plantains become. These are not like normal bananas and you can still eat them when the majority of the skin, if not all, are almost black entirely. Whatever hue you decide to cook the plantain, just peel and slice them in thin ½ inch pieces. Fry it in coconut oil before you fry the bacon. I also do not throw them back in the bacon fat like I suggest for the other starches because they have enough flavor. Set aside to cool.
- Once your starch is almost done cooking, in a frying pan on medium heat sauté 3- 4 pieces of bacon turning them every few minutes to evenly cook the bacon. While the bacon is cooking you can cube your starch.
- Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove the bacon and set aside.
- Keeping the rendered bacon fat in the pan, add your roasted sweet potato (or other starch of choice except the plantain) to char it for a few minutes and get that great rustic flavor.
- Remove the sweet potato chunks and set aside along with the bacon that is cooling.
- You should still have enough bacon fat in the pan, if not add a tad more of a fat of your choice (more bacon fat if you had some saved or you can use lard, avocado oil, butter, etc.) Start adding your chopped kale a few handfuls at a time. Once your first batch starts wilting and you have more room in the pan, add a little more.
- Somewhere in the middle of your kale, add your fresh squeezed lime juice, salt and all spice.
- Add the remainder of kale constantly stirring until all your kale is slightly cooked (I like mine equivalent to those who prefer aldente pasta) so I cook mine for less than 5 minutes total. Take off heat.
- Take your bacon that was cooling and roughly chop it. Add it to the top of your cooked kale along with the sweet potato (plantains or other starch of choice) and stir.
- Serve it as a side for dinner and then the leftovers are great for your morning’s hash the following morning to fry an egg on top of it.
So who is running out and making this dish tonight?!?!
See your Recipe Book.