Of kale, lentils and chili-cheese fries: My first PCC potluck

First potlucks can be intimidating. Especially when you work for a certified-organic grocery store and the majority of your co-workers adore cooking and great food. 

Check out the spread from earlier this week! 

Quite possibly the healthiest potluck of which I've ever taken part. Also, among the tastiest. 

(Yes, those darling cupcakes are from our bakery!).

It helps having a kitchen at work with a gas range and oven.

Here's my plate. 

My colleague Rachel made the lovely watermelon/feta/mint appetizer. Tom and Thom threw together chili-cheese fries at the last minute with fries from up the street and leftover chili (they were great). That's my garlicky kale with white beans in the foreground (not bad vegan, but I prefer it simmered in chicken broth). We had a tasty lentil stew and kale soup, both made fresh in the kitchen that morning by Trudy and Goldie. The scent wafting through the office was tremendous. 

What are some of your favorite potluck dishes to share? What makes a potluck great? Among my favorites was a Thanksgiving-in-spring potluck where a co-worker who is an amazing cook lugged a portable oven to the office and roasted a turkey (we all brought the sides). Incredible. I can still remember the scent of that turkey greeting us at the door when we arrived at work that day.

I struggled with my dish this time around, wanting to create something everyone could eat regardless of diet. Next time I think I'll go for something more creative! But I'm still proud I met my goal. Here's the recipe, from "Vegetables Every Day" by Jack Bishop, a cookbook I turn to when stumped by new produce or in search of a new preparation method: 

Garlicky Kale with White Beans

(Serves 4 as a vegetarian main course)

  • 1 1/2 pounds kale
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans  cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot.

2. Meanwhile, wash the kale in several changes of cold water, stripping off the leafy green portion from both sides of the tough central vein. Discard the veins and tear the leafy portions into small pieces. Add the kale and 1 teaspoon salt to the boiling water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the kale is tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well. 

3. Heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet set over medium heat. When the garlic is golden (this will take about 2 minutes), add the kale and cook, tossing well, until heated through and evenly flavored with garlic, 1 to 2 minutes. 

4. Add the beans and stock and simmer just until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add pepper to taste. Adjust the seasonings and serve immediately. 

 

 

 

More about: desserts, kale, vegan

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shout out!

Thanks for the chili-cheese fries shout out. The duo of T(h)om squared came up correct!!!

Chili-cheese fries

Those chili cheese fries look delicious! Can we get the reciepe for that too?!

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