VeganMofo 2012

There was little Evie loved more than good balls. They had to be a little salty, smell yummy, and a combination of spicy and sweet always sent her over the edge.

Evie kept her balls in a jar, on a shelf, in the fridge. They stayed fresher that way so she could include them in her morning bento for the gym. One of her secret pleasures was savoring a healthy kale ball after watching the buff boys lift weights. Luckily, her balls weren’t sweaty.

Use a wide mouth Ball jar so your balls are easier to retrieve.

Curry Kale Balls

Pulse the following in a food processor until evenly ground but stop before it gets gummy:

  • 1 t. curry powder, Madras style, hot
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled, I prefer roasted and salted
  • zest from 1 lemon

Add and process until evenly chopped and mixed:

  • 1 cup chopped kale, Dino/Tuscan type, no stems

Add these last and run the processor until a soft dough starts to collect. It will still be crumbly but will hold together.

  • 8 medjool dates, pitted

Roll 12-14 balls between your palms then roll them in 1/4 cup pistachios, crushed fine, to coat.

Depending on how big you like your balls, you’ll get around a dozen. Keep refrigerated until needed.

NOTE: 1 teaspoon of hot Madras curry powder will give you a very slight heat in your throat after you swallow. If you want them hotter, add more but I wouldn’t go over 1 tablespoon unless you have big balls.

More balls from VeganMofo 2012!

If I’ve neglected your balls, please leave a comment with a link!

Sweet balls

Savory balls

Balls with ears

“Hey there, kale breath. What’s for lunch?” laughed Kim.

Evie rolled her eyes and motioned to her leftover potato kale salad with a side of cherry tomatoes. Best idea she ever had; mixing in kale to add nutrients to a high carb dish.

At that moment, Jorge from sales strutted into the office kitchen, flashing his beamer at the girls as he made way toward the coffee machine. Evie had always had a crush on Jorge. He was so dashing and confident, as only the top-earning sales associate could be. He knew it too, he knew all the interns liked to watch him. And he was good at putting on a show.

Swaying to the slow rhythm of his spoon stirring the coffee, he turned to give them a rear view, just for fun. Evie couldn’t stand it any more, “Jorge—hon—do you need help with your coffee? Cuz you know, Kim specializes in cups of all sizes.” Kim kicked her under the table. If anyone had a bigger crush on Jorge than Evie, it was Kim.

Jorge planted himself spread eagle at the table facing them and proceeded to sip his brew, slowly. Kim flushed redder than Evie’s tomatoes then dashed to the ladies room.

“So, Eeeeeevie. Don’t you have a new client to show around the office today?” The sound of his velvet voice alone could lube a rusted out 1956 Chevy but combine it with the sexy eyebrow gymnastics and none of the girls could sit still.

Startled, Evie realized the new client was due in 5 minutes and she had yet to assemble the welcome kit. She started for the door.

“Hey wait! Do you want some floss?”


“You’ve got kale in your teeth.”

Potato Kale Salad

  • 6 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped raw kale, stems removed
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped, use as much as you want
  • 3/4-1 cup vegan mayonaise
  • 1 T. yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste (regular salt also ok)

While chopped potatoes are boiling, mix the mayo, mustard and relish in a small bowl. Put all the other chopped ingredients except the kale in a big bowl.

When the potatoes are just about done, add the chopped kale to the boiling water and stir. Before the kale turns army green, drain potatoes and kale then add to the large bowl with chopped veggies. Fold to mix. Fold in the mayo mixture and season with garlic salt and pepper. Serve.

She hadn’t experienced such pain since her first red wings in high school. This was the type of pain that only comes when too many girls get together and play drinking games.

“Oh holy hominy, I can’t call in sick again,” Evie complained to no one within earshot.

She had to man up quick and coffee wasn’t going to do it. She needed something to hydrate her and provide energy more than she needed to be awake. There would be time for waking up on the Red Line.

Grabbing the ear plugs and aspirin, she plodded to the kitchen to fix a smoothie that would go down, well, as easily as Mitch. Then, perhaps she could manage to change out of the clothes she wore to Kim’s party.

Hangover Smoothie

A pair of ear plugs are helpful if your hangover is severe and your blender loud.

  • 1 banana, chunked
  • 1 mango, pith removed and flesh chopped
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger, skinned
  • 3 large or 4 small kale leaves stripped from their stems and torn roughly
  • 1 cup coconut water, chilled

Dump everything in the Blendtec and hit the smoothie button. Only add ice cubes to the blender if your headache is not so bad you can’t stand drinking a cold beverage too quickly. Yields about 2 cups of smoothie.


  • Use Tuscan/Dino kale because it’s milder and will create a nicer smoothie for this particular occasion.
  • Don’t go overboard on the ginger, a short knob about an inch long is sufficient. Really, the only reason I skin ginger is because so many people rummage through it at the store. Bugs me.
  • You won’t need sweetener if your banana and mango are ripe.

It wasn’t like she knew all that much about football. Nope, Evie was there for the tight ends and drinking games.

Exiting the elevator, she could already smell the odd mix of eight different perfumes and hear the high-pitched chatter of female interns. Kim answered the door, “There you are! I was beginning to think Mitch had you tied up the rest of the afternoon.”

“No way! I am the reigning food queen of your girly games. I have a duty,” Evie replied, unloading her BBQ kale chips on the soapstone kitchen island. Then her eyes grew wide when she spied the bowl of gorgeous green tapenade.

“You’re not the only one who with a fetish for kale. Babs made this…uh…hey Bab’s! What did you call this?” Kim yelled as if the intercom were never invented.

Green Envy Tapenade came the answer. Ah yes, something to give Evie a little competition in the kale department. Evie puckered at the sharp briny edge of Bab’s so-called Green Envy on a chunk of crusty bread. Her eyes rolled, yes, this would be great with a very dry, authentic German Riesling. But first, she had to get Babs to tell her the recipe.

Yells from the living room indicated the drinking games had begun. With any luck, there’d be enough butt patting from just the Bears alone to make Babs spill the beans.

Green Envy Tapenade

  • 1 and 1/2 cup green olives
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 of your biggest basil leaves
  • 5 small to medium Tuscan kale leaves, stems removed
  • 3-5 T. olive oil
  • Optional: a few shreds of vegan mozzarella

Put all items in a food processor and process until slightly chunky spreadable consistency. You might need to add a dribble of more olive oil to keep the blades turning. Play it by ear (which never makes sense because you should really play it by sight). Keeps for a few days in the fridge.

Assemble the Bruschetta:

  1. Spread tapanade on slices of baguette.
  2. Top with mozzarella if you’re opting in.
  3. Roast under broiler just a tad to heat. Serve with a dry white wine.

Don’t tell Evie but Bab’s adapted the olive tapenade recipe on, merely increasing the amount of olives, adding kale and topping with vegan mozzarella.

While Mitch was still sleeping, Evie got ready for her morning run. Heading down the hall, she was full of energy she hadn’t felt in weeks. Sprinting out the lobby door, her mind was on Mitch, still lying on her bed with just a swath of cloth, looking like a Roman painting. He was a fine specimen: taller than her but not by much, muscular but not overly so, considerate but not a softy, and he didn’t overheat like her old, two-cup food processor. He seemed dependable, in every way.

No sooner than she hit Lakeshore Drive, her cell phone begged for attention from her front pocket. “They really shouldn’t make these things vibrate so…effectively.”

It was Kim, wanting a TPS report on Mitch.

Evie explained, while huffing toward Grant Park, that though they had many things in common and last night had been pretty great, something was missing. “Kim, he even brought me a cupcake! Way better than getting flowers.”

“So what’s the problem? Did he puke on your kitty?”

“No, it’s just…” She sighed and laid it all out, “he asked if I had any Bud Light.”

Kim snickered into the phone.

“I mean, I made this 4-star dinner, massaged a cart-load of kale—and you know what that does to me—got all the breading photo perfect on the tofu cutlets…I even ironed the table cloth! And he wants a Bud Light to go with that?”

There was silence, then, “You know Evie, that’s really nothing.”

“So I’m being shallow?” Evie knew the answer.

“Little Missy, if he’s not a microbrew, then you just have to accept that. Or move on. Now go home, get cleaned up and come over this afternoon for the game. And don’t forget to bring some munchies,” then Kim teased, “and I don’t mean Mitch.”

Kim was having the Bettys over for game day, girl style. That meant lots of Oreos and ice cream along with the requisite BBQ fare. Evie’s standard contribution was her famous BBQ kale chips. Little did the Bettys know, her secret ingredient was a bottled sauce.

Heading back to her place, her mind was still on Mitch. She decided she would not hold his beer preference against him as she had other implements in mind before turning him loose.

Quickie BBQ Kale Chips

  • Curly kale, washed and torn into chunks, no big stems. Curly kale is the better choice due to its perky nature and the ability of its curls to hold the sauce.
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce, I used Annie’s Sweet & Spicy (gluten free) because the sweet edge complements the kale nicely.
  • Optional: a healthy sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Not neccessary but a very nice addition.
  1. Wash and spin the kale chunks in a salad spinner (or pillowcase method, or towel dry). Get as much water off as possible.
  2. In a very large bowl, drizzle BBQ sauce over the kale and work it onto every leaf but don’t overly massage the kale. It needs to maintain its sturdiness to withstand the heat of an oven.
  3. Now is the time to sprinkle on some nutritional yeast, once there’s some sauce for it to stick to. Toss lightly and sprinkle some more.
  4. If using an oven, preheat to warm or your lowest setting. I’ve seen some recipes that call for 350F but I was afraid I’d burn the kale because my tiny oven is so freaky. The warm setting took longer but nothing burned.
  5. Spread the kale on pa archment paper-lined baking sheet and pop in the oven.
  6. Check every five minutes and turn the chips when they start crisping up so they dry on both sides. I found that if I didn’t turn them, they sort of flattened to the pan and were difficult to remove later. My batch took about 15 minutes.

Serve with a good microbrew, very cold.

The doorbell startled Evie as she fixated on breading the tofu slices perfectly. She loved making Susan’s Pistachio Crusted Tofu recipe and always got lost in the smell of the ingredients.

Dusting her hands quickly over the sink while checking her reflection in the window, she listened to make sure the iPod was still on tonight’s playlist. Then she half-jogged to the door, slowing as she approached so she didn’t sound too desperate.

Opening the door, she noticed he looked even hotter by the light of the hallway fluorescents. “Dang…how does he DO that?” she puzzled.

“I hope you don’t mind, I brought you a cupcake for dessert.” Mitch said. She just about swooned a little too noticeably, marveling at his thoughtfulness and his wonderfully butch name.

As he walked past her toward the kitchen, she caught a whiff of his day; the grunge of the subway, his Thai lunch, and the smell of his new car. She inhaled quietly. Yep, “the only thing that smells better than him is my Green Meanie Martini,” she mused.

He sauntered to the fridge looking every bit a cool Instagram. Opening the door, he paused while peering at the many fancy jars and bottles. He shifted to the other foot then asked, “Don’t you have any Bud Light?”

Making a Green Meanie Martini

Make the ginger syrup and kale juice ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.

  • 1 ounce ginger syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 ounce kale/apple juice (how to do this in a blender below)
  • 2 ounces limoncello (or 1 to 1 ratio of limoncello and vodka)

Add syrup, juice and limoncello to a shaker with ice. Shake, pour into martini glass and garnish with lemon.

Ginger Simple Syrup

  • 3/4 to 1 cup thinly sliced ginger, no need to peel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  1. Bring all ingredients to a soft boil, turn heat down to medium-high and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. It’s done when it reduces by about half, bubbles like a syrup, and a taste test confirms a strong ginger flavor.
  2. Strain into seal-able container and refrigerate until needed. Yields about a cup of syrup.

Kale/Apple Juice via a Blender

  • 1 bundle of kale leaves, torn from stem (about 14 leaves)
  • 1 large apple, chopped (your choice of flavor)
  • 1 cup water
  1. Place items in blender as follows: chopped apple, then kale, then water. Blend until very smooth with no visible chunks. I use a Blendtec and have not tried this in a normal blender.
  2. Strain resulting smoothie in a nut bag or paint strainer bag over a big bowl. Paint strainer bags are about 1/4 the prices of a nut bag and you can get them at the hardware store.
  3. Go slow, if it splatters on you, it can stain. Twist the bag like you would a garbage bag and slowly squeeze the juice from the pulp.
  4. Pour juice in a jar and refrigerate until needed. Attempt to clean the bag. You may save the kale pulp and use in soups or smoothies.

TIP: I used Lacinato Kale for it’s milder flavor but you could try other kales of course.

Massaging avocado into her kale always aroused her faster than watching Sam Elliott in Roadhouse. “Seriously, I should just keep an extra vibrator in the kitchen,” Evie mused, leering at her Blendtec. No, she would never force herself on her favorite kitchen toy no matter how much kale she massaged. Besides, the cord wasn’t long enough.

Plus, she still had the rest of dinner to prepare. At least the hottie she met at the Bone Yard the night before wasn’t due to arrive for another hour. If he were here now, she was positive he wouldn’t get a chance to try her kale.

50 shades of kale, avocado fava bean salad

Kale is a great leafy green for dinner salads since it stays firm for hours.

Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado and Marinated Beans

Make marinated beans a day ahead by mixing:

  • 1 can beans, rinsed and drained (use garbanzos if fava beans aren’t your type)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • juice from 1/2 lemon (reserve remaining juice for assembling the salad)
  • handful of parsley, chopped

Assembling the salad:

  • 1 avocado
  • juice from 1/2 lemon (or more if you like lemon)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 big bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1 large roma tomato or 2 small, chopped
  1. Chop and mash the avocado with the lemon juice.
  2. Add kale and massage until kale is about half the bulk that it was originally. Salt as desired.
  3. Plate kale and sprinkle with chopped tomatoes, marinated beans, and extra avocado if you have some right before serving.

TIP: You can plate the massaged kale ahead of time because it stays firm for as long as you need. But don’t dress it with additional chunks of avocado until right before serving since they will brown quickly.

IDEAS: This is actually a very flexible salad. I find fava beans to be a tad earthy so I’ll likely try garbanzos in the next batch. Some folks like lots of lemon and others, not so much. If you have a vampire problem, then of course, add more garlic. I always use more avocado than a normal person would but I’m an avocado junky. The point is, once you’ve got your kale massaged, you can top it with a wide variety of veggies.

« Previous PageNext Page »