Thursday, June 26, 2014

a new breakfast, a small grace

Every once in a while, something enters your life and changes it in small but significant ways. Have you every experienced this? A new idea or way of thinking of rhythm for life comes along and breaks up the monotonous forward motion toward who knows what. Sometimes these small graces are just that - something good and pleasant, like gentle rainfall to cool us in the heat of day, like the kind words that we needed to hear.

The hopeful thing is that though grace is gentle as a light rain, it is also sturdy and powerful, like a jackhammer that breaks up hard stone. It might wreck what's in place, but for something new to grow there. It is both water and weapon.

Maybe that is a rather sentimental introduction to a recipe, but it's true, isn't it, that sometimes we are stuck, and the breaking-in is something that is entirely not of us, and so something that begets gratitude. I have been stuck in some food ruts, and have experienced varying degrees of desire to change them. I eat the same semi-healthy items for breakfast almost every morning, and was mostly ok with that. But the other night, I started reading through a new cookbook I ordered and was newly inspired to buy and eat lots of veggies. One simple dish was a saute of red onions and spinach (which I made for dinner last night). I was inspired again this morning, and had just enough time to saute some more slices of red onion, then add kale and let it simmer slowly until it got nice and soft. I tossed in a few toasted walnuts at the end. And it was hearty and sweet and earthy and wonderful.

I wonder what other small graces might be coming my way. Breakfast reminded me to be open, and to be ready.

Red Onion and Kale Saute with Toasted Walnuts
(inspired by The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone* by Deborah Madison)

  • 1/2 red onion, cut into chunky but uniform slices
  • two large handfuls of chopped kale (you can include the stems if you want, since it's cooked down quite a bit)
  • a handful of toasted walnutes, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • lemon (I didn't have this on hand but I imagine just a squeeze would be good)

Let oil heat in skillet. Add red onions and saute, stirring occassionally, about 5 minutes. Onions should be soft but not yet dark. Add kale and cover for a few minutes. Then stir, and add just a little bit of water and cover again until water is evaporated. Repeat this process until kale is at desired softness. When it's done, add salt, pepper, lemon (if using) and walnuts, stir and serve.

*I'm not a vegetarian or planning to become one - especially after visiting North Caroline (the best bbq this mid-atlantic/socal girl has had!) - but am always aiming to eat a more veggie-rich diet. I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone seeking to do the same!

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