Farro, I owe you an apology. I didn't mean to bury you in the back of the pantry cupboard and forget all about you for, oh, a couple of years, but I did. To make amends, I've created this salad to showcase your nutty wheat taste and texture. You have great company: white beans, slow-roasted tomatoes, pecans and kale, and a mustardy balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over everything adds a bit of glamor. One of the ancient grains, you are easy to prepare (especially pearled farro, which has the outer husk removed and cooks more quickly) and versatile, pairing well with savory vegetables and spices, or with honey and fruit. This salad makes a great vegetarian main dish -- add some crumbled feta cheese if you wish -- and a perfect picnic take-along. Farro, everyone will love this salad, so I hope you forgive me for neglecting you.
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Some time during the summer, my slow cooker took up residence on the kitchen counter, and ever since, I've been inspired to adapt some of my favorite stove top recipes to the low-and-slow method. Kasha (buckwheat groats) reminds my taste buds of the best comfort food that came out of my Polish grandmother's kitchen, and it never fails to satisfy, whether I'm serving it as a side dish with roast chicken or brisket, or a lunch or light supper entree with a tangy green salad on the side. If you've never cooked with kasha before, look for it in the ethnic foods aisle at your grocery store; it comes in three different granulations -- fine, medium, and coarse. This kasha, kicked up a bit with caramelized onions and mushrooms, does its thing without the frequent tending the stove top version demands, down to browning the onions right in the slow cooker. You can make ahead and freeze, then reheat in the microwave.
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If there were a beauty contest for chili, this rather odd-colored spicy pinto bean chili with corn and kale wouldn't make it to the swimsuit round. Don't be fooled by its rather modest looks, however. Hiding in this vegan chili are three -- yes, three -- types of chile pepper (fresh, dried and canned), and a whole six cups of antioxidant-rich kale. If that isn't sexy, I don't know what is! As with all chili, you can spice the recipe up even more, or tone it down, to your own taste. My non-vegan husband absolutely loved this chili, which would be a perfect main dish for Meatless Monday, and I'm confident you will love it, too. Make a pot today, and eat it or freeze it.
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Using up every last bit of leftover turkey and vegetables from a holiday feast brings out the frugal New Englander in all of us. When the bits you have are small, just a cup of this and a handful of that, you're ready to make fried rice. Everything you need resides in the pantry, and once you get the basic method in your head, you can whip up a bowl of fried rice with any protein and vegetables you have on hand. In this case, turkey and kale, both remnants of our Thanksgiving dinner, bring just the right balance to a dish where the rice and Asian condiments really take center stage. You can swap tofu for turkey, brown rice for white, cabbage for kale, and no nuts for peanuts. It's all good.
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