I really did have the best of intentions when it came to signing up for a CSA this year. I did the research about which ones were available in this area- if they weren’t organically certified, I found out which ones might still use chemical-free growing methods. I decided on a few options. I talked it over with the hubby, but it was too late– our choices were full. It turns out that partially due to the economy, and partially due to the hype of community supported agriculture in the media, more people than ever are signing up for CSA groups.
After a little more research, I do actually know of one that will accept late-comers, but I can’t help but wonder if this was for the best this year. You see, hubby and I have talked about moving, as well as the possibility of buying our first home, and because of our budget constraints, it’s probably not going to be in Howard County. So maybe it’s a good thing not to have to go pick up a box of fruit and veggies every week, transport them back to wherever home may be, and then figure out what to do with them. I may not want the extra stress of cooking on the fly when we’re possibly going to be dealing with home inspectors, closing dates, and the giant mess that is moving. Then again, it might not happen and we’ll be here another year. Who knows? I’ve learned (to try) not to worry too much about things as they will be what they are meant to be.
So, while we don’t have a weekly CSA box, we can still eat like we do! Kale is hot on the market (and in those CSA boxes) right now and it’s dirt-cheap. I picked up a large bunch at the local organic market and planned to come up with something on the fly. M and I are both fans of Indian food, especially of the vegetarian variety, so I went that route. We love the healthy curries of dark, leafy greens, and the flavors and texture of channa masala (chickpeas curry) so I decided to use those dishes as our inspiration. Here’s what I ended up making- and my apologies to any readers from the Indian community as this is an inauthentic version of your delicious cuisine. (But I still think it’s good!)
Kale and Chickpeas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
1/2 medium-sized yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
4 garlic cloves, smashed and finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (use more if you so desire)
a pinch red pepper flakes- more or less according to your preferences
1 large bunch of kale, ribs removed and leaves chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
zest of 1 lemon
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed (if you plan ahead, you can substitute soaked and cooked dried chickpeas.)
basmati rice- to serve
naan- to serve
Saute the spices, garlic and onions in the coconut oil, in a large skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the onions start to become transparent. Add the chopped kale, and toss to coat with the oil, onions, and garlic. Add in the vegetable broth and lemon zest, and toss again to coat the kale. Turn heat down to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes until the kale is wilted. Add the chickpeas to the pan and replace cover, simmering another 10 minutes until chickpeas are heated through and kale is tender.
Check seasonings and add additional salt/pepper according to your tastes. Serve over basmati rice, and if you’d like, a piece of naan for mopping up the juices.
M and I both thought this was delicious the way it was, but agreed that it would be good with the addition of a cubed potato for a heartier Fall variation. You could also swap the kale for swiss chard or another leafy green and it would be excellent. Since there are only two of us, we had the leftovers for lunch the next day and they reheated well.