Monday, March 15, 2010

Couscous with Kale, Clementines, Toasted Almonds and a Poached Farm Egg

Look at that hotbed of overexposed deliciousness. I do feel like I should apologize for the photo but even with the extended bit of daylight (glorious sunshine), I couldn't figure out my dinner decisions till close to eight. No natural light= no lovely photo. I'm sure you understand and I promise I'm about to make it up to you.

I've started saving my cash and calories for my big adventure next month and it's led to a pretty lovely upturn in conscious decision-making. I'll wait till we're 3-4 weeks in to say it's a routine but thanks to the lovely Coach G, things are looking good that I'll stick with it. One hour, five days a week. That's it. Nothing really insane happens during that hour but I sweat and it feels good.

Along with increased activity, I'm eating in when I might typically have eaten out. Aside from a spectacular dinner on Saturday with Caroline at Green Zebra, I've been trying to stay creative with my mealtimes at Wicked Park.

There's a restaurant in my neighborhood called Mana that I've loved since it opened. Mostly vegetarian, inventive and seasonal...tough to ask for much more in a neighborhood joint. Ever since I tried their red quinoa with almonds, currants, mint and tangerine dressing, it's something I crave regularly. I resisted the urge to pick some up and instead tried to recreate with what I had on hand. Recipe serves two so I could relive it for lunch at the office.

Couscous with Kale, Clementine, Toasted Almonds and a Poached Farm Egg

1 cup chicken broth (homemade if you've got it)
1 3/4 tsp olive oil
pinch salt
1 cup couscous (not quite as healthy as quinoa but what I had on hand)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 TB water
3 stalks of kale, leaves stripped and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 clementine, broken into sections then cut in half again for thinner slices
1 egg
1 tsp white vinegar (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1) Prepare couscous according to box instructions. Really couldn't be easier. Bring your chicken broth and 3/4 teaspoon of olive oil to a boil. Turn off the heat, add your couscous and cover. Wait 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Done.

2) Heat a small frying pan to medium then add your almonds. These will toast quickly so toss them lightly in the pan every 30 seconds until they become fragrant and just slightly golden. Toss these into a ramekin or small bowl-we'll use them in a minute.

3) Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and turn the heat back to medium. Add your kale and cover till the greens are steamed but still bright green in color. Should take about 3-4 minutes.

4) Discard any extra liquid and add kale, almonds and clementine pieces to the couscous. Mix well, divide between plates (and tupperware in my case) then cover plates to keep 'em warm.

5) Can you even believe you're almost done?

6) This is the part that people occasionally find daunting. Poaching the egg(s). Wash out your pot from the couscous and refill about 2/3 full with water. Add the teaspoon of vinegar and bring to a boil.

7) Crack your egg into a ramekin or small bowl (perhaps the one you used for the almonds?) and have it at the ready. Don't skip this part because you don't want to crack the egg directly into that very hot water, it's harder to be gentle.

8) When the water boils, turn down the heat and swirl the water around with a spoon. Gently slide the egg into the center of the swirling, no longer boiling water.

9) After 3-4 minutes have passed, remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place it atop the couscous. Top with ground pepper and enjoy.

Absolutely delicious, takes almost no time or prep and heart-healthy. Yes, please.


Anonymous said...

get it girl!

elle michelle said...

Starred and YUM. I will be making this.

TKTC said...

Mailbox: Got it again this morning...Thanks Geeg:)

Elle Michelle: It's so flipping easy. You don't even need to light anything/anyone on fire :)

We Are Not Martha said...

This looks awesome! And you know I'm always up for a dinner that involves some sort of egg. Throw in some clementines and kale and I'm in heaven!


TKTC said...

WANM: Years later (no, seriously, YEARS) and we still have the same priorities. I like it. If you liked it then you should have put an egg on it.

Molls said...

I'm making this tonight!! I got all the ingredients yesterday, I'm really excited! I love quinoa. Thanks Jessi!

TKTC said...

Molls- Smart girl to stock up on that quinoa. If you're going to stay super true to Mana's version, add a little fresh mint.