Hi there friends! Over the last week I have been attempting to really use up spare food which I have in the house. I feel so strongly about food waste, yet I inexplicably seem to be able to throw away unacceptable amounts of food because I don’t get around to using them. I plan all our meals, making sure any ingredients I buy can be used up over a couple of meals if one bag of an item is too much to use in one go (spinach is a big culprit here). Every week when I do my meal plan and shopping list, I check what veggies I have left in the fridge and do my utmost to accommodate them into the following week’s meals. I try to make soups out of leftover, past-their-best root veggies, and to eat what I can for lunch from what is sitting in my salad drawer. Yet still so much seems to pass my attention and I find vegetables in the bottom of the drawer which had been resplendent when placed into it, shiny and colourful, but which have become haggard and unusable (even by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s standards).
I am also a great culprit of making too large portions for dinner. My thinking goes that, if the meal goes down really well, people might like some more (this very rarely happens, even if everyone loved the meal). My younger son is also a tremendously fussy eater, despite having always been fed the same as we have been eating, and never having had any problem with this until he was about two and a half (he is now nearly five). Since then, things he previously loved suddenly became a problem, and literally from one meal to the next, sometimes he loves an ingredient, sometimes he hates it. But I always give him too much, even for a meal he really enjoys (such as toad in the hole), and end up putting so much in the food waste bin. This obviously needs to be rectified, and I plan to look harder into how I am using ingredients to reduce waste, but if you have any tips I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment.
This meal, which is actually one of my favourite recipes I’ve created, was something I put together with spare ingredients last week. I had planned for it to just be a quick Facebook page post, but enjoyed it so much that I felt it deserved the prominence of a blog post. Plus, the light meals section of the website needs a little padding out. Let me tell you a little secret. I actually managed to burn the first load of kale I baked for this meal by leaving it in the oven for too long. Just one minute too much can be the difference between the life and death of your kale, so check on it after about four minutes in the oven. You want it to be starting to colour and crisp, and even look golden in places. You don’t however, want it to be carbonated!!!
- A few large handfuls of kale
- About 6 sun-dried tomatoes
- Half an avocado
- 6 black olives
- 5 cherry vine tomatoes
- Shake of each of paprika, ground cumin and ground coriander
- Handful of pine nuts
- Drizzle of olive oil
For the dressing
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ tsp honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp tahini
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- Shake of chilli flakes
Pre-heat oven to 180°C fan
Remove the hard stalks from the kale and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle over the olive oil and use your fingers to toss it on the tray, then shake over the paprika, cumin, coriander, plus a grinding of salt and pepper. Bake for four to five minutes, checking after four minutes to ensure the kale doesn’t burn.
Chop the avocado in half, deseed, then peel whichever half you want to use. Chop into little cubes along with both types of tomato and the olives.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan on a medium heat, keeping an eye out that they don’t burn, whilst putting the dressing together.
Crush and chop the garlic clove, then place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together well.
When the kale is ready, add it to a pasta bowl or other serving bowl with the other chopped veggies. Toss together with your fingers then drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle with the pine nuts.
I served mine with a baked pitta bread, but to be honest, this is actually filling enough on its own not to need any carbs to bulk it out.
I hope you find the flavour combination in this recipe as incredible as I did. I will definitely be making this for lunch or a small meal many times in the future. I’d love to know what you think, so please leave a comment in the box.
Thanks so much for reading.