One of the things we are asked about often is how we eat on Rejoice. The answer is: very well! Nourishment is a primary activity and a great pleasure for us. My body has some interesting ideas about food, which is common in people living with endometriosis, so over the years I've done a lot of experimentation with my diet. At this point, we eat meat (which I generally keep in the freezer and thaw for the next meal at each meal), legumes (which I cook in a thermos to save on propane), eggs, vegetables & fruit, and nuts. Dairy is a treat. I stock lots of good oils and spices. Sometimes we eat rice or quinoa, but not often.
Fresh leafy greens take up a lot of space and don't last long, so each time we come to port and go to a farmer's market, I'm excited about greens! I've been working on ways to preserve them and have hit upon a wonderful dish I thought it would be fun to share.
In Santa Barbara I bought some lovely basil and turned it into pesto since that freezes so nicely. Then I looked at the kale and wondered... so I did what I do when I wonder about a possible dish, which is to poke around online and see if anyone is making that thing: yes, lots of recipes for kale pesto! I like to peruse several recipes for the same dish to see how methods and ingredients vary, and then wing it. I've made four batches of kale pesto in the past couple of weeks and we're delighted with where this recipe has gotten. The Captain is NOT a man who will eat food he does not enjoy simply because it is nutritious. When asked if he had any words about kale pesto for this post, he replied "I f@cking love kale pesto!" We enjoy it with pasta, of course, (we aren't big on GF substitute foods, but Banza is made from chick pea flower and is quite tasty) and had it last night over seared tuna steaks. Honestly, I also ate a lot of it with a spoon one night! While the kale is not cooked, in our experience, the way that it is broken down in this preparation eliminates the challenging digestive issues that can come from a poorly-prepared raw kale salad. Hurray!
I like my recipes to be a scaffold with a lot of wiggle room, so:
Kale Walnut Pesto
- 3 cups chopped kale (we've enjoyed both lacinato and purple)
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/3-1/2 cup walnuts
- 1t salt (or to taste)
- 1-2T citrus (we've used regular and pink lemons from Anastasia's garden and grapefruit)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (it's actually decent without, too)
If you have a food processor or blender, toss everything but the cheese in, mix as desired, then add the cheese and mix again.
I do not have electric kitchen appliances aboard 'joice -- with one small exception: a stick blender (thanks, Marcy!) I therefore chop my kale finely and put it into a flat-bottomed bowl. Then I press the stick blender into the mass of greens-and-stuff over and over and over and over and over, operating the blender with one hand and turning the kale with the other. Getting the liquids mixed into the greens is helpful. This particular preparation requires patience and rewards it sweetly!
If you do not have the luxury of a stick blender, you could get very zen and chop and chop and chop, then mix it all and let it marinate a few hours or overnight.
If you try this, I'd love to hear how it goes in the comments!