Happy Accidents – Braised Kale with Coconut

I am not sure about the rest of you, but man….I hate Sunday nights. Monday morning and the school-lunches/can’t find my keys/stockings have a run in them/Mom-I-forgot-to-tell-you-but-I-need-ten-dollars-in-small-change is undeniably imminent.

In an effort to combat the Sunday night blues, I like to end the weekend with a meal that allows for some quality time in the kitchen – something that takes a bit of effort but pays big dividends. This week’s cooler weather had me in the mood for a hearty curry so out came my copy of Vij’s cookbook. I have made his recipe for “Family Chicken Curry” so many times that the book now obediently opens to that page by itself.

Suffice it to say that the curry was lovely, as was the cauliflower rice pilaff that I made to go with it. A totally unexpected surprise, however, was the kale. Now, this is where I should be telling you a cautionary tale about reading through the entire recipe before you make it. Had I read through the instructions, I would have realized that a) the spices and kale needed to be steeped in the coconut for 4 hours and b) that I was to grill the kale on a BBQ. Neither were going to happen at 6:00pm on a very chilly/windy Sunday night. This time my terrible habit of rushing headlong into things paid off as I improvised a bit with delicious results.

Coconut Braised Kale

Braised Kale with Coconut
based loosely on Grilled Coconut Kale by Vij

  • 2 bunches of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • juice of half a lemon

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Strawberry Cake – Hold the Cow (aka Dairy Free)

This post has as much to do with my family tree as it does food. You may need a flow chart to follow along…

I have a sister. She is a very, very, very lovely sister. She has a boyfriend. He is also lovely. Recently, he discovered that he is allergic to dairy. Not so lovely :(

Have I mentioned I also have two lovely cousins? It’s true. These two cousins also have lovely parents who were in town to help their children (the cousins) prepare for their upcoming adventure to Thailand. I wanted to make a cake to celebrate their visit but also wanted aforementioned boyfriend to be able to enjoy it. So I fired up the internet to see if there was such a thing as a dairy-free cake (I know, I know…I am new to this whole alternative diet thing).

I came across this recipe on the WholeFoods Market website. You can find the original here. I tweaked it slightly to compensate for the sad state of my pantry. The result; a very moist and flavourful cake. It was also a very pretty shade of pink if that matters.

Dairy Free Strawberry Cake

Dairy-Free Strawberry Cake

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. pureed strawberries – can use frozen but at this time of year, why would you?

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