A few years ago, the hubby and I, on a whim, joined a CSA at a farmer’s market. It was during the summer and the thought of getting farmer’s market fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to my apartment every week just made me giddy. There is something intoxicating about being at a farmer’s market, walking from booth to booth checking out fresh produce, fruit, flowers, honey, home baked goods, etc. It just sends me to a happy place. If someone could box up that happiness, and have it waiting for me on my doorstep weekly when I got home from work, I was in.
When the shipments started showing up, I loved getting my weekly fix of fragrant basil, fresh picked peaches, juicy tomatoes and whatever else happened to be in season. But as the air grew cooler, so did the variety in my CSA box, until weekly I came home to a box full of kale, chard and cabbage.
Before moving out to the west coast, I think I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I had had kale or chard. I probably could not have told you the difference between them, let alone how to cook them. I also had no idea what to cook with cabbage, aside from cole slaw or stuffed cabbage, and to be honest, still have no idea, but that is another post.
The hubby threw down an ultimatum, it was either let the CSA box go or start getting creative in the kitchen. He could not deal with another week of rotting leafy green vegetables in the refridgerator, and to be honest, neither could I. Remembering those first summer shipments, and daydreaming about what those spring boxes could bring, I decided it was time to get creative. It was then that I discovered our go-to household dinner – kale, coconut and tofu.
This recipe literally kept my husband and I fed weekly during the early months of parenthood. I have made it so many times that it is now memorized and perfected. Not only is it super easy to make but it is beyond delicious.
We have long given up the CSA boxes but I still find myself buying kale at the market every other week so the hubby and I can get our Kale, Coconut and Tofu dinner fix.
Kale, Coconut and Tofu
2 cups of cooked brown rice (I use the frozen rice for Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s)
1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
8oz of extra firm tofu, drained, dried and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
Preheat oven to 350 and place the racks in the top and bottom 1/3 of the oven.
Rinse and dry the kale. Remove the kale leaves from the stems and tear into 2 to 3 inch pieces (like you would for making kale chips). Place in a large bowl. Add the coconut and tofu.
In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.
Pour 2/3 of the olive oil mixture over the kale, coconut and tofu and toss. Set the remaining 1/3 of the olive oil mixture aside.
Spread the kale, coconut and tofu mixture across two cookie sheets and place in the oven for 20 minutes, making sure to rotate the cookie sheets and mix the ingredients half way through. (I also switch which rack the sheets are on due to heating differentials in my oven.)
When finished cooking, the tofu should be browned and the kale leaves crispy (depending on your oven it might be longer or shorter). Remove the kale, coconut and tofu from the cookie sheets and place back in the large mixing bowl, toss with the remaining olive oil mixture and serve immediately in individual bowls over a cup of brown rice.
Adapted from Food and Wine magazine’s Kale, Coconut & Tofu