Friday, May 14, 2010

Crispy Kale and Tofu with Brown Rice and Coconut

Lacinato kale goes by many names, including Cavolo Nero, dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale and black kale.   It is a beautiful leafy green to include in the garden thanks to its striking texture and unusual blue color.   It is a fairly versatile vegetable as well, working in any number of soups, stir fries, pastas and flatbreads.  People are so passionate about kale that there are several websites devoted solely to this leafy green.*
Kale is featured in many types of ethnic cooking including Italian, West African, Portuguese and Spanish.  Here, we use kale in an amazing dish created by Heidi Swanson that is influenced by Asian flavors.  The recipe features crispy kale on a bed of brown rice and tofu.  No one will miss eating meat when this amazing vegan dish is served.
Crispy Lacinato Kale and Tofu with Brown Rice and Coconut


1            cup           short-grain brown rice
1/3         cup           olive oil
1            tsp            toasted sesame oil
2            Tbs           soy sauce
1            lbs            lacinato kale, washed, stems and 
                             thick ribs removed, leaves chopped
1/2         cup          unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2         lb             extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4" cubes
                             sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and place shelves in upper and lower thirds of oven.
  2. Combine rice with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer for 35 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, sesame oil and soy sauce.  Reserve 1/3 of the dressing, then combine remaining with kale, coconut and tofu.  Toss well, then spread in a single layer on 2 sheet pans.
  4. Bake until crispy, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly on all sides.
  5. Remove from oven and toss mixture with remaining dressing and the cooked rice.  Season with salt and serve warm.
Printable Recipe

Other kale recipes from Vegetable Matter:
Flatbread with Kale, Swiss Chard, Collards, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter
Flatbread with Crispy Lacinato Kale and Tarentaise Cheese

*A few sites devoted to kale:
I Heart Kale
365 Days of Kale 
Red Russian Kale


  1. gorgeousness :) love kale, never tried it with coconut...

  2. you had me at coconut! I've been very curious about trying baked kale. saw some dino today at the farmers market..I'll have to pick some up tomorrow

  3. ooo, looks delicious! i absolutely need to try baking or frying some kale - everyone keeps raving about it!

  4. I just received some kale in my organic delivery box. I'll have to try this recipe. I'm about to have a look through your recipes to see if you have any good cabbage recipes :)

  5. Lovely blog, great pics... and many thanks for the links on kale... we are very much hooked on kale, too...


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