Friday, January 17, 2014

Sweet Potato and Kale Colcannon

If you follow me on Facebook you may have already witnessed my excitement for signing up for a CSA box program from Johnson's Backyard Garden here in Austin. Basically, for a specific amount of money up front, I've been receiving a box of locally grown, organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs each week. It's been so much fun! Everything is super fresh, tasty, and interesting. Eating what's in season can have its challenges, though, like eating the same things every week. All three of our boxes so far have had kale, sweet potatoes, and parsley in them. We've also had grapefruit and oranges in each of them, too. Sometimes we've gotten Brussels sprouts greens, green or red cabbage, turnips, and watermelon radishes, which are very cool vegetables, actually. We tried them raw and didn't care for them. I roasted them with other root vegetables and they were great.

So even though everything is fresh and delicious we have been trying to come up with new ways to eat the same vegetables. I usually saute kale with oil and garlic or make it asSmoky Kale Tacos. Last week I wanted to try something new. Chris was looking for ways to use cabbage and sent me a recipe for colcannon, an Irish dish combining mashed potatoes and cabbage. While I thought it looked great as is, I chose to use some sweet potatoes for the base and some kale for the greens. It turned out really great. This version is also lower in fat and calories than the conventional version because it uses vegetable broth instead of cream and significantly less butter alternative.

2 to 2.5 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cups shredded kale
2 tablespoons diced green onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons vegan butter

Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. If you have a standing mixer, go ahead and put them in your mixing bowl. You can use the beater attachment for the final step like I did.

Return the same pot to the stove and add the two teaspoons of olive oil. Let it warm a few minutes, then add the green onions and kale. Cover and let cook until the kale has softened, maybe 10 minutes. If you feel like the kale is sticking to the pot, add a tablespoon of water to assist in cooking.

Once the greens are cooked, return the potatoes to the pot. Remove from heat, add the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and a small amount of broth and mash. Add more broth as needed until potatoes are creamy. Alternatively, you can use a standing mixer. In this case, you add the greens to the mixing bowl. Add your seasonings and some of the broth and mix on Speed 1 or Speed 2 until creamy.

To serve, top with 1-2 tablespoons of vegan butter in the middle. We ate ours with roasted Brussels sprouts. Any type of protein would go great with it.

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on desired size.

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