Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
I have a confession: As a general rule, I kind of (TOTALLY) hate Valentine’s Day. But for nearly every year since I started dating back in high school, I’ve either been half of a couple or resentfully single on Valentine’s Day. This is the first year I’ve been quite happily single, and it turns out that’s the switch I needed to feel pretty giddy about this love fest.
Why, you might ask? When I’m part of a couple, I feel pressured to find a great gift and spend lots of money. I am not a gifty person; it’s not how I show love, so this annoys me greatly. However, all of a sudden, if I’m resentfully single, all I want is someone to put all that pressure and expense on me because I JUST WANT LOVE, DAMMIT!
Now? It’s a blessed evening to myself that is costing me exactly $21.85 in grocery money. I’m going to celebrate by making Single Lady Stew (aka a spicy, soupy “stew” that contains no meat) and these heart-shaped cookies by Shutterbean for dessert, which will be consumed in front of the TV while watching Grey’s Anatomy and cuddling with the dog. My roommate will be out with her Boyfriend-Like Person Who We Don’t Call Her Boyfriend, and I get the house to myself!
In case this happens to sound like someone else’s perfect recipe for a single lady solo date night, I wanted to share my recipe for Single Lady Stew.
Single Lady Stew, aka spicy stewed kale & veggies
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run’s Spicy Lentils with Sweet Potatoes & Kale
1/2 cup quinoa (or lentils, or other favourite grain), rinsed
1 large carrot, peeled & diced
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled & diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced small
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of kale, chopped or torn
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Generous pinch or two of dried rosemary
1 tsp sriracha, or to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking
Heat a little oil in a medium pot. Once hot, add the onion, celery, carrot and sweet potato and cook for about six minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and kale and continue cooking until kale wilts.
Add the quinoa, bay leaf, rosemary sprigs, chicken stock, sriracha, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until quinoa is tender and has absorbed much of the liquid.
A note about the chicken stock: I prefer this dish to have a slightly soupy texture to it, so I use more stock than the quinoa will absorb. If you don’t prefer this, use 2 cups of stock instead of 3.
Remove the bay leaf before serving. Serve with crusty bread. And because this dish is basically a big pot full of health, you should have cookies for dessert for a properly balanced diet.