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Simple Garlic Spaghetti Bowl & Homemade Kale Powder (AKA What To Do With All That Garden Kale)

Hey everyone! Here we are well into September already, who's ready & excited ready to soon pull on jeans & warm cosy sweaters?! The past few weeks have been so busy that, as I mentioned in my last post, could be termed as officially crossing that line of ‘too much’, when that fine balance between busy and overwhelmed seems to blur and I start to feel out of sorts. When this happens to me, it’s usually just the result of one simple thing, and it’s never because I’ve got too much going on (I like having lots on the go, it keeps me out of trouble, for the most part).

As physical folks, born into (hopefully able) bodies that carry us through our days, many of us do our part to make time to eat well, and to source food that is safe to eat, delicious & nourishing. We cook (of course), and do other things to tend to our daily lives and keep ourselves in top shape. Indeed the maintenance of life can at times feel tedious, but there is great reward in the basics of good eating, good grooming, and in the general upkeep & care of ourselves and our surroundings. Yes, life is good indeed. In that list of must-dos, our daily exercise is almost as key as the food we eat, and for me, my running is my lifeline to sanity and (along with great music) is a sure and proven road to bountiful inspiration.

Unfortunately, during times like the past few weeks, when my days get too complicated, and commitments take over that leave me virtually no breathing room, the first thing that falls by the wayside in a turbo-scheduled life is running. It shouldn’t be this way but it is…how many of you experience this along with me?

This is never a good thing for too long (though I like to think my mind can always stay strong for the win), as after a few weeks of sporadic exercising, my body & mind start to change. I can feel it everywhere. Inspiration can start to feel a little more forced than I like, and my breathing gets tight along with my viewpoint. I am a firm believer that the creatures of habit that we are makes it all too easy to adapt to new ‘normals’ and I for one, need for my basic sanity to keep exercise as a huge part of mine. I’d love to hear how you deal with busy times and whether you, like me, rely on fresh air & endorphins to keep you elevated, energetic, and truly ready to absorb and reflect back all that it means to be alive.

It’s so easy and free just to get out in that fresh air….and the benefits come back 1000 fold. Hoping you all are taking the time to get outside, or time to sweat, and feel the body you were gifted within all its beautiful form & function!

Today’s recipe comes from a conversation I had with a good friend recently. We were chatting about recipe ideas and the question came up: what to do with all this bounty of backyard kale? As the harvest rolls in, there are only so many salads and smoothies we can really consume, and if you are looking to save some of that goodness for future months, look no further as this might just be the ticket for you!

My neighbour’s garden last weekend is the perfect example…overflowing with black kale and tomatoes by the bucketful..and lucky for us more than the two of them along can consume or process (yay!) I’ve been enjoying this kale powder for the past few weeks (thanks to me ever generous neighbors) on everything, and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by how far it goes. If you like kale chips, you’ll like kale powder, as this concentrated super food gives a nutrient boost to all your meals, whether you are eating hot foods, cold foods, or everything in between.

It takes about 5 seconds to get it all prepped, and the results are epic. Easy, fast nutrition that makes use of all those garden greens.

Homemade Kale Powder

You will need:

  • As much kale as you have on hand, in full leaves (aka just picked)
  • A small amount of olive oil to rub your hands with (about a tbsp per 4-5 leaves)

To make this easy nutritious condiment, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees while you head outside to pick your kale (or raid the fridge for your market finds). Either curly kale or Dino kale will work, and you may just need to vary the cooking times depending on the thickness of the leaves. Wash & dry the leaves if required. Gather a flat baking tray or two, and get ready to oil the leaves. To do this, simply rub a tbsp or so of olive oil into the palms of your clean hands. With your oil rubbed hands, gently rub each kale leave with the oil, just to 'kiss' it --- no need to go crazy here. A little here, a little there is perfect. Add the oiled leaves to the baking trays and try to get them laying flat, overlapping a little but not too much.

Bake the leaves until crispy but not brown....anywhere from 15 - 25 minutes. Smaller, thinner leaves will crisp up quicker than thick ones, and it, of course, depends on the moisture content of the leaves. The goal is to get the leaves just crispy enough to powder, without being burnt. Undercooked leaves will be fibrous when you try to powder them.

Once cooked, remove the kale leaves from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. When ready to crumble, gather a large bowl and crackle the leaves with your hands into the bowl. Do this until all the leaves are finished, removing the fibrous stems as they will not break down (especially with thicker leaves). Once all the leaves have been broken down, get your hands in there and crumple the kale further, to small flakes or as desired. Store in a clean dry jar at room temperature. Use sparingly - this stuff is concentrated!

Simple Garlic Spaghetti Bowl with Kale Powder

  • (2) cloves garlic, minced
  • (1-2) tbsp olive oil
  • Spaghetti for one (about the size of a quarter round)
  • (1/2) cup tomato sauce (Classic Tomato Sauce recipe here)
  • (1) Fresh tomato, chopped
  • (2-3) tbsp fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Additional olive oil & black pepper as desired
  • (1-2) tbsp kale powder, as desired

An easy lunch or dinner for one that is easy, healthy and partially green! Start by boiling the water for the pasta and once boiling, cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Once the pasta has been cooked & drained, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or a wok and add the minced garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring continuously for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the drained pasta and the tomato sauce and stir until well mixed. Heat for 3-4 minutes, and add the chopped tomato and stir. To serve, transfer the hot tomato pasta mixture to a favorite bowl and top with more fresh tomato, Parmesan cheese if desired, fresh herbs & kale powder. A delicious way to enjoy the backyard bounty!

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