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Peanut Butter + Jelly Kale

Posted Oct 22 2012 5:22am

When Heather announced that K is for Kale in her Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge , my mind kept going back to one recipe. This Cranberry Tempeh Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Kale has been at the top of my all-time favorites list* since I made it originally .

*This is, of course, a hypothetical list. Although the whole delicious, surprising mess is incredible as a whole, I will not hide the fact that I always found myself picking out the cranberry-balsamic infused kale from the rest of the stew. Of course, I’ve already re-posted that recipe, and I figure since last week  I kind of took the pass for the hallway of lame, I felt I needed to kick things up a notch. Then, just as quickly as my mind jumped to my first–and perhaps best–vegan recipe, I thought of another vegan crowd-pleaser*:

*And by crowd, I mean my stepdad. Who actually requested it again. Vegan food requests from a meat and potatoes man? I’ll take it!  This slightly spicy Groundnut Stew featuring a tomato based infused with peanut butter was so richly satisfying my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Cranberry sauce is kind of like jelly. Jelly and peanut butter are a perfect match. Peanut butter is good in stew.

The conditional logic thus results that if cranberry ‘jelly’ tastes amazing with kale, then cranberry ‘jelly’ and peanut butter must also tastes amazing.

And so, Peanut Butter + Jelly Kale was born.*

*Well, not born exactly. More like brought into being.   The secret, of course, is cranberry sauce. I prefer whole berry, because in the end you get nice chunks of cranberries milling about…even if you do start with those tell-tale tan can lines regardless of the type you choose. I love this sweetened Oregon Trail variety if you can find it. And not just because it is named after my favorite computer game from middle school.

OK. Fine. That's exactly why.

Get a nice bunch of kale–I had a little over a pound before de-boning stemming it– steaming in a pot with a little onion, some garlic, and a cup or two of vegetable broth. Once the kale is beautifully green and wilting* you will scoop on and stir in your cranberry sauce–about 1/2 cup–along with 2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt.

*Flowers wilt, and we are sad. Greens wilt, and things get exciting! This is really delicious on its own, so for the only slightly adventurous, you can take your baby step into the Weird Food Movement this far and call it a somewhat wild day.

But if you want to REALLY make things exciting, get out the peanut butter. [Or, in my case, the peanut flour mixed with water, as I am on a "you own a Nutty Butter business so you need to start rethinking peanut butter purchases" ban for the moment.]

If you use real, unsweetened peanut butter, just whisk it up with some water to help smooth it out.

And that, my little chickadees, is how novel, weird, crazy delicious recipes are made. Now is about the time that most people would start singing “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!” but not I. I prefer “Peanut Butter & Jelly” from Mary-Kate & Ashley’s seminal album, Brother for Sale. After (while) bopping around my kitchen, I would put that Peanut…Peanut Butter and JELLY! Kale into a roasted kuri squash.

K is for Kuri, too. :)

[And phonetically also for K-ranberry. It's a trife-K-ta.] Peanut Butter & Jelly Kale

[Makes about 4 cups]

  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion [135 g]
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
  • 1 large bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely torn or chopped
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sweetened whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut flour or peanut butter, mixed with water
    1. Combine onion and garlic in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add water to cover, and cook until onions beging to soften.
    2. Stuff kale into pot and pour in vegetable broth.
    3. Cover pot and steam until kale has wilted considerably.
    4. Stir in cranberry sauce, salt, and balsamic vinegar until it breaks up and coats the kale.
    5. Repeat with peanut flour (or peanut butter) mixture.
    6. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes.
    7. This will taste great right away, but it will be 100% more amazing after sitting for a night.
    **Tastes great when served in roasted winter squash, or, I imagine, with sweet potatoes.**

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