Tag Archives: Simple Vegetarian Pleasures


Kale is one of those vegetables that is never out of season, or it least so it seems. It is often the the workhorse green, and only recently has gotten trendy.

Kale - this is the curly kind

Kale – this is the curly kind

Tuscan or black kale

Tuscan or black kale

It seems that the words ‘kale’ and ‘chips’ are now partnered, like ‘potato’ and ‘chips’  or ‘fish’ and ‘chips’ or even ‘wood’ and ‘chips’……

Kale Chips from Wiki How

Kale Chips from WikiHow

Since you might very well have kale on hand right this minute…here are some suggestions from what I’m reading right this minute.

Good with

  • Garlic – lots of garlic
  • Something sharp – lemon juice, vinegars
  • Something mellow – olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce
  • Bacon – just a little – or other strong sausages – linguica and chorizo are very good
  • Smoked paprika and smoked salt
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

from Deborah Madison. Vegetable Literacy.Ten Speed Press: 2013. p. 134.


But when I think of kale, I think of potatoes…like Colcannon or Caldo Verde. Not the trendy kales, the traditional ones.

So here’s a soup that right anytime of the year, and is all but guaranteed to make any day better.


3 TBL olive oil

8-10 garlic cloves, minced (or just use the whole head)

¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 Quarts vegetable stock (or water)

4 cups peeled and finely diced potatoes (about 4 medium – she calls for waxy potatoes, which will hold their shape, but I also like it when the potatoes give up their shape…)

1 # kale, washed and stripped of the nasty rib (DM says, “It’s as tough as rope and will never get tender, ever.”) and chopped or cut into ribbons

1 teaspoon salt (used a smoked salt to change it up or if you’d like less garlic)


  1. Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold everything by the end over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minutes. Do not let the garlic get as all brown. It should smell good (it should smell GREAT) – you’re infusing the oil to help those flavor compounds carry.
  2. Pour in the stock (or water), raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, lower the heat and keep at a lively simmer. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale and the salt and cook 15 more minutes.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. HarperCollins, 1998. p. 119.

Simple Veg Pleasures

There are 2 covers for this book...of course I can't remember which one is mine, even though I looked at it 3 hours ago and I've owned it pretty much throughout this entire century

There are 2 covers for this book…of course I can’t remember which one is mine, even though I looked at it 3 hours ago and I’ve owned it pretty much throughout this entire century

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Beer Pizza Pronto

Pizza and Beer are a pretty good combination.

Grolsch Beer  - Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 - a little history in a little bottle

Grolsch Beer – Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 – a little bottle of history.

Pizza without sauce...sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianca

Pizza without sauce…sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianc0

So beer IN the pizza….pure genius!

This is a dough that can be made in a hurry, mostly with pantry/fridge ingredients, so also easy to do on the spur of the moment.


3 cups AP flour, plus more for the board
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 12 oz beer, bottle or can, light or dark, whatever your purse and palate allow in the house
Olive oil
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese (not the fresh; the supermarket kind. Even the pre-grated packaged stuff would work here; depending on your topping, the pre-grated ‘cheddar’ stuff could also be good – let your taste buds decide)
Assorted toppings – you know what you like – or what you have…
1. Pre heat oven to 450°
2. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil; put aside.
3. Spread flour on your work surface – give yourself enough swing room if you’re using a rolling pin.
4. Open the beer (If it’s been a rough day, open 2 – one for the pizza and one for the cook. Put the Cook beer out of swing range of the pizza dough prep – if you spill it, angels will weep. They just don’t like messy kitchens)
5. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder. I use a whisk.
6. Pour in the beer, mix well. This will form a sticky lump.
7. Dump it out on the floured work surface. Roll it in the flour until it’s not so sticky and knead it a time or two to form a ball. A Bench knife is your friend. Divide to make 2 balls.
8. Place one ball on each greased baking sheet and pat, pull and otherwise coax with your impeccably clean hands the dough into a 11-12” circle (oil your hands if the dough gets sticky ) OR
9. Roll each ball to an 11-12” circle and place on the greased baking sheet.
10. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of the grated cheese on top of each, and top with topping – remember, this is quick and easy, so don’t over load. Make a salad or an antipasto to serve WITH the pizza with all the cool stuff you’ve found kicking around your fridge and pantry instead of piling it all on this pizza. This is a quick dough, not a sturdy one. Cheese, one topping. IF you need some tomato sauce, very little, merest, tiniest  smidge – or use the sauce to dip……you are eating outside the box, after all!
11. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown top and bottom.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. Quill. 1998. p. 137.

Simple Veg Pleasures

Jeanne Lemlin

Jeanne Lemlin




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