Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo… Walked Into A Bar

One night, two Italians, a Portuguese and an American met one another while sitting at a bar… the conversation quickly led from sports to food. It began with the sharing of photographs from years gone by: “This was me as a basketball player 3o years ago” one of the Italians shared from his Facebook page, the other Italian whipped out his phone bearing an old soccer photograph and a marathon photo from his childhood. The Portuguese had a few soccer photos of his own too. The American the only female of the group smiled and laughed, I saved my old running photos for myself.
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Meat-less Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Kale Mashed Potatoes

Finger food isn’t only for kids, grab ahold of these muffins and channel your inner-child! Fun to eat and easy to pack and reheat for a brown bagged lunch, you’ll be thinking of ways to mini-mize all of your favorite foods.

Meat-less Meatloaf Muffins

Meat-less Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Kale Mashed Potatoes

Meat-less Meatloaf Muffin

The inspiration for these meat-less meatloaf muffins came from The Sweet Life—a blog filled vegan delights. You can follow The Sweet Life’s Recipe which is equally good, topped with pureed butternut squash.  I’ve played around with toppings and tried a mashed sweet potato one which I threw into the”do not keep pile,” however the kale mashed potatoes are definitely a “keeper!”

Meat-less Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Kale Mashed Potatoes

Meat-Less Meatloaf from The Sweet Life:
1 cup brown lentils, dry
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1/3 cup green pepper, diced
1 (6) ounce can tomato paste
1 cup walnuts
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt and pepper to taste

Kale Mashed Potatoes
this may be halved or enjoy extra mashers
3lbs potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
1 bunch of kale
1 Tbs. coconut oil
4Tbs butter
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1 -1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
1 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F

For the Meat-less Meatloaf:
Rinse the lentils. In a medium pot combine lentils with vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until lentils are soft (about 45 minutes). Add Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small pan heat vegetable oil. Saute onions and peppers over medium high heat for 5 minutes, until cooked. Stir together onion mixture, lentils, and tomato paste. In a food processor blend together walnuts and chick pea flour until combined. Add the lentil mixture and mix until well combined. Salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop lentil/walnut mixture into muffin tins, filling to the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes until edges brown and begin pulling away from the edge. It’s okay if it’s still a little underdone on the inside, it will harden as it sets.

Let cool in muffin tins at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, release by running a knife around the edge.

Top the muffins with the Kale Mashed Potatoes either with a piping bag or a big spoon/ice cream scoop works just as well!

For the Kale Mashed Potatoes:
Prep all of your ingredients, wash, de-stem and chop the kale.  Chop the shallots, mince garlic and wash and cut your potatoes in half. Peeling of the potatoes are optional, I leave the skin on, as it gives the dish a more rustic look, saves on prep time and gives the dish more fiber. Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover them completely with tepid water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes. 

While the potatoes cook, heat the 1-teaspoon coconut oil in a sauté pan set over medium-low heat, and sauté the shallots and garlic until softened, 1 to 2 minutes and then add the kale until it softens yet still vibrant green (another minute or so.) Set aside.
When the potatoes are tender, drain them and return them to the pot.  Add to the potatoes the shallots, garlic, kale, butter and greek yogurt.
Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes together with the liquid ingredients until you get a smooth consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mash it up!

It rained the other day, and the smell of fall-dampened leaves was poignant.  To me, this weather calls for comfort food, a warm kitchen and soul-satisfying eats. I turned to some pantry staples: potatoes, kale, butter = mashed potatoes, by no means ascetic but fun to cook and good to eat!  I’m sure kale does not cancel out butter but it is an added nutrient!

Mashed Potatoes with Kale

Mashed Potatoes with Kale
2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed (I prefer to leave the skins on and use half red-skinned potatoes and half yukon gold)
1 bunch kale, with the ribs removed and the leaves washed
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons chopped green onions (about 3)
freshly ground pepper
1/2 stick of butter + some for sauteing
3 heaping spoonfuls of Greek Yogurt (you can also use sour cream)

1. Cover the potatoes with water in a saucepan, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover partially and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 to 45 minutes.

2. While the potatoes are cooking caramelize the shallots and garlic in butter or oil in a hot skillet.  Remove the shallots and garlic to a large bowl and add the chopped kale and green onion.  Saute the kale for 4 to 6 minutes, until the leaves are tender but still bright green. Add to the large bowl with the caramelized shallots and garlic

3. Once the potatoes are mash-able remove from heat and drain.  Add to the large bowl with the caramelized shallots, garlic and now kale and green onion.  Add the butter and greek yogurt.  Using a potato masher or an electric mixer, beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot, right away! Yield: a big bowl