Everyone needs to have a dinner for those days when you want to eat at home, but can’t really stand the thought of cooking anything elaborate. Yes, you can snack, or just make some scrambled eggs, but sometime I want something nurturing, deeply satisfying, and delicious. Now, I don’t know if this is odd or not, but I don’t really get junk food cravings, no, I get greens and brown rice cravings. Admittedly, that stuff can be really bland, unless of course you know how to make it tasty. And I do ;) Lately my go-to meal has been brown rice, kale, and sweet potatoes. To make it extra wonderful, I’ll add an olive-oil fried egg, still runny.
If you haven’t tried greens with sweet potatoes before, I think you should give it a shot. The bitterness of the greens combined with the sweetness of the yams balances perfectly. The brown rice, made with broth for extra flavor, gives the dish heft, and the egg makes it decadent. And the best part is, it’s SO easy. You can make the brown rice ahead of time, or just start it ten minutes before everything else. After that, everything else comes together pretty effortlessly. So here it is:
Brown Rice, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes
For the brown rice:
1 cup brown rice (I used texmati)
2 1/4 cups chicken broth, or water and one bullion cube
(all bullion is definitely not created equal. I use rapunzel and really like it)
For the sweet potatoes:
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
For the kale:
1 glug olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 small yellow onion, or 1/2 of a large onion, chopped fine
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch salt, ground pepper to taste
1 bunch lacinato kale (any other type would work too), washed and chopped into ribbons
To make the brown rice:
Combine the brown rice and the broth (or the water and the bullion) in a small pot. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium high heat (watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over!) Once it comes to a boil, bring the heat down to low, stir once, re-cover, and continue cooking for 40 minutes or so until, the rice is tender, but still has a little bit of a bite.
For the potatoes:
While the brown rice is cooking, place the potatoes in a steam basket over simmering water, cover, and steam for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender.
For the kale:
Warm the glug of olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Toss in the onions and, after a minute or so, the garlic. The oil shouldn’t be hot yet- you want the onions and garlic cook slowly until the onions have softened a bit, about 5 minutes.
At this point, add the salt and the cumin, and stir to mix. Let the cumin warm up for a minute or so, then turn up the heat a little and add the kale. Stir it all around to distribute the onions and garlic throughout the kale, and then cook until the kale wilts, about five minutes or so. Some kale has more structure than others, so if you’re using a really hearty variety, you may want to add a tablespoon or so of water, cover the pot, and steam for a couple of minutes. Season with ground pepper, and more salt if it needs it.
Now, there are a few ways to eat this. You can combine it all in the pot and mix it there, or you can do a layered type of presentation in a bowl. The latter is my favorite. I like to put some brown rice on the bottom, then the kale, and then the sweet potatoes. I usually drizzle a little bit of soy sauce over the whole thing.
Also, at this point, you could also fry up an egg in some olive oil and lay it over everything so that when you cut into it, the yolk runs down over everything, making a kind of a sauce. That’s what I did tonight.