Tag Archives: food

Bootsy’s Hungover Kale


I stumbled upon this "recipe" while trying to recreate/interpret a wonderful dish called Hungover Kale from Mucci’s Restaurant on W. Lake Street in Minneapolis. Theirs includes pancetta, pine nuts and Chardonnay. As I had none of the above items, I decided to wing it with ingredients that I had on hand. After all, that's half the fun of cooking, IMO. And while I won’t claim that my dish is tastier than the offering from Mucci (it isn’t), I can attest that it's pretty damn good in its own right (it is.) Serve it as a main course with an egg or two on top, or in combination with a side of buttered noodles, rice, or macaroni and gravy.*

*hat tip to Paulie Walnuts


-6 cups kale chopped and washed

-1 medium to large yellow onion chopped

-6 cloves garlic chopped (more or less to your tastes)

-8oz ground pork sausage (could sub turkey sausage or skip entirely, but it becomes a different dish--still good, I bet)

-2  jalapeño peppers sliced (more or less depending on your tastes)

-3 tablespoons olive oil

-3 oz. dry vermouth (a good glug from the bottle.)

-1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed

-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (you could cut that in half if you lack fortitude)

-sea salt

-black pepper

-farm fresh eggs (optional)

-green onions (optional)

-quarter cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts (optional)

Now first an admission, I rarely ever follow a recipe. (It's why I don't bake. lol) In fact, I take a perverse pride in winging it in the kitchen. I once made dinner for a group of co-workers from the restaurant at the Hilton,  including the executive chef and his wife. Yes, I was nervous. Very nervous, as a matter of fact. Turns out,  I shouldn't have been--everybody loved it. (It was my Hot and Spicy Pork.) Afterwards, Chef J.G. asked if he might have the recipe. I told him there wasn't one, I just threw it together by feel. He smirked and said, "I wasn't aware that you played Jazz." With that in mind, these measurements are all approximations.

In a large skillet add 3 tablespoons olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add onion, jalapeños, and a couple pinches of sea salt. Cook until onions are semi-translucent. Add garlic and brown for a few minutes. Add ground pork sausage and raise heat to med high. Add the crushed red pepper and brown the sausage while gently mixing the contents with a spatula. Once the meat is cooked somewhat (med-rare-ish), raise heat to high and add the cannellini beans. After a minute or so, add 3 ounces of dry white vermouth (cooking sherry or the Chardonnay that the recipe actually calls for could be substituted.) Promptly add the chopped kale on top of ingredients and cover. After a minute or so on high, reduce heat all the way down to low. Check dish after 12-15 minutes and stir your mixture of ingredients all together. Re-cover the skillet and continue on low heat for 5 more minutes. The beauty of this recipe is that while it's ready to serve at this point, you can continue to keep the dish on low heat for another 15 minutes or more. Kale retains its integrity far longer than most greens, so it won't turn to mush. It affords you the time to tend to other items you might be preparing, or simply give you an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. First rule of the kitchen? Marinate the chef. Top with the pine nuts or walnuts if you have them. (I did not this outting.) Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Once plated, a sprinkling of sliced green onion will add even more color, flavor and texture thus assuring your dish is ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille. Bootsy's Hungover Kale: a versatile and tasty dish that works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serves 3-4 as an entree, 6-8 as a side dish.


Thanks so much to DG for suggesting this as our next topic! The good news is that it's super simple and not complex in any respect.

Oh, wait.

After spending the last week avoiding writing this post and finally deciding that the best approach would be to start by deriding DG, I finally did a little research*. Not too much, though, because one of my big frustrations with trying to make environmentally-friendly choices is that if you research long enough, the less clear everything becomes.

So here are some of the key tips and resources I found that all seem to make sense.

How You Shop
Remember last month's topic? It's back! That's because bringing reusable bags to the grocery store is a great idea. At first, this was hard to remember, but once it's a habit, it becomes automatic.

Recommendations include to eat local, organic, and in season. Sounds easy enough, but what's local and in season in Minnesota in early February? Our family shops primarily at a co-op, and a certain amount of the produce is local, even in the winter. But with kids in the house, buying things they'll probably actually eat is just as much as a consideration as what's local.

How do you balance a desire to eat flavors from around the globe with the desire to eat foods grown close to home?

Meat and Dairy
Eating local and buying organic both come up in this category as well. But along with that, eating less is also recommended. I'm vegetarian and the family eats vegetarian at home, though the boys choose to eat meat pretty regularly at school lunch. When the boys were a little younger, I worried that they just wouldn't like most of the vegetarian dinners we made, but it turns out that if you expose them to things enough times (just like the advice books all recommend), kids really do start to eat more things! That's not to say they don't have their moments, and the peperoncino still ends up having a quesadilla once or twice a week when he won't eat what the rest of us are having for dinner.

Our oceans are in trouble, as are many fish populations. The good news is that if you eat fish, there are a couple of great resources to help you make more environmentally friendly choices. There's the Marine Stewardship Council and the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch.

Eat them!

Okay, yes, there's a bit more to it than that. And one of my ongoing frustrations in my household is seeing how much food is uneaten any given week. I try to at least talk to the boys off and on about the concept of wasting something and what we can do to not waste so much (this applies to much more than just food).

As I mentioned last month, we do have a great composting program in our community, so at the very least I can take a little comfort in knowing that what's not eaten isn't going into a landfill.

Things I'd Like to Change in My Own Home

  • Consider cutting back on dairy. We do eat some vegan meals already (which are in the repertoire because we like them, not specifically because they're vegan), but I like the idea of being on the lookout for some additional recipes to try. I had to give up dairy for a time when the peperoncino was young (because it was linked to his reflux), and I found that the best vegan dishes are really well seasoned so that they still have a lot of flavor.
  • Get some cloth napkins for everyday use. We don't use napkins at all of our meals, but some of the time they're essential, and I'd like to stop just giving everyone paper towels when that happens.
  • For cleaning up spills, use cleaning rags more often instead of paper towels. I cut up a pair of very old flannel pajamas recently, and I've been working on reaching for one of those rags rather than automatically grabbing a paper towel. Of course not having any toddlers in the house also helps when it comes to cutting down on spills...

So what about you? What are you doing well when it comes to food and would you like to do differently?

*Here's the main article I used for reference when writing this post if you'd like to peruse the full list of tips.