Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Orange Kale and Chicken

I try to use as many local ingredients as possible.  Kale is a vegetable that you can probably find at your local farmers' market, if you don't grow it yourself.  I even included kale in my garden this year, which speaks to the ease of growing it.  Increasing the proportion of plants to meat in your diet will help sustain our planet, as plants require fewer resources to grow than animals do.  As the human population increases, and as a greater number of people globally become more affluent and eat more meat as a result of their new affluence, our food resources will become more strained.  By reducing your own meat consumption, you can set an example for the rest of the world to help sustain our planet.  

This dish includes a small quantity of chicken, relying on vegetables included in the meal to fill people up.  I find that cutting boneless chicken into bite-sized chunks and combining it with vegetables enables me to reduce the amount of chicken I cook for people.  When I serve whole pieces of chicken, I allow a piece per person, otherwise I think people would not feel they were getting an adequate amount of meat.  Using chunks of chicken hides from people the actual quantity being served, so it allows the cook to reduce the amount of meat in a way that does not make people feel cheated. While I have pretty much eliminated meat from my diet, through a gradual process, I still cook meat for other members of my family who do not want to take such extreme measures.  Last night, I created this dish and served it with roasted delicata squash slices, tossed with a lemon tahini dressing (I got the recipe from epicurious.com), and a Spanish rice dish.  I served myself only the kale from this dish, while other members of my family ate the chicken cooked with the kale.  It was a filling, wholesome and delicious meal.

2 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
½ large onion, cut into strips
Dash seasoning (or other spice blend, or use a mixture of salt, pepper, oregano and maybe basil or marjoram)
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 bunch kale, leaves stripped from ribs and chopped
1 cup orange juice
1 TBS soy sauce

Sprinkle chicken liberally on all sides with Dash seasoning.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Cook garlic, stirring, briefly—be careful not to burn it.  Add onions and stir.  Cook until onions begin to become translucent.  Raise heat to high and add chicken.  Brown chicken on all sides.  Mix orange juice and soy sauce.  Add kale and orange juice mixture to pan.  Reduce heat so that liquid simmers gently.  If it seems like all the kale won’t fit into the pan, be patient.  Stir the kale into the juice and, as it cooks, move it to the top and move uncooked kale to the bottom of the pan.  It will lose volume as it cooks and you can continue to fold more kale into the pan.  Continue cooking and stirring kale under the chicken as it cooks so that everything is coated with the orange juice mixture.  Simmer until chicken is cooked through and kale is cooked, about 15 minutes or so.  Serves 3-4.

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