Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vegan Mofo #9 - Terry’s Braised Brazilian Shredded Kale...

Vegan Mofo #9 - Terry’s Braised Brazilian Shredded Kale 

The Region - Brasil
The Book - Viva Vegan!
The Author - Terry Hope Romero
The Recipe - Braised Brazilian Shredded Kale
Page # 121
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 15 minutes

Today we move on from Europe and head into Latin America with this nifty little side dish. According to Terry Kale is a popular leafy green vegetable in South America and is typically used in soups or served as a side dish.  It’s funny you know, over the past couple of years kale consumption has exploded in America and I often hear people talk about it as though it’s some ‘new food’ or something, when in reality other cultures around the globe have been enjoying it for centuries.

I hadn’t originally intended to cook this dish at all, but as it turns out in addition to Mofoing I needed to clean out my fridge before I leave for Montreal tomorrow. That left me with a huge bunch of kale and no plan. Well, I thought I’d ‘cut two carrots with one knife’ - to borrow an expression from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau - and see how I could turn my mass of kale into a Mofo post that fit my theme. Enter Viva Vegan! To the rescue! Terry says Brazilian style kale is typically cut very fine and served in a big juicy mound as opposed to how we typically serve it in America which is as salad or whole steamed leaves, or ribbons. I kind of like the idea of this. I like cutting the kale very finely because it offers a unique texture. Over all this dish is very simple and takes no time at all. You saute onions and garlic in coconut oil, add your kale with a bit of vegetable broth and salt, then sprinkle in some liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is the secret ingredients here you see, because Brazilian kale is typically made with bacon or ham to give it flavor.

Personally I’ve always thought greens flavored with bacon or ham have always been too heavy, and too greasy, not to mention disgusting. With the liquid smoke you get that same flavor without all the heavy, drippy grease or animal cruelty. I also think the coconut oil goes along way in lending a unique flavor to the kale. As simple as this dish is, I think it’s become one of my new favorite ways to eat this glorious vegetable.

Viva la Brazil!

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