Kale & Fried Eggs over Rice
My friend Lauren beat me to it and discovered this dish—or let’s just call it a dinner strategy—first. (About three years back.)
I’m so glad she shared it with me, because over the years it has become one of our Very Frequent Weeknight Dinners (VFWDs). (Don’t worry, that’s not a thing I actually say.)
In fact, it’s frequent enough to rival bulgogi chicken, ochazuke, and avocado chicken tacos, but probably faster and healthier than any of those, depending on your choice of rice. And feel free to exercise your choice in the matter; the bed of rice is really just a backdrop for the juicy, citrus-doused kale, and the delectable warm, runny egg yolk.
Before she moved away from Santa Barbara, Lauren was my yoga buddy. We went to our very first beginner yoga class together, and continued to offer each other endless support in terms of evening yoga class motivation, company, and transportation. (Thank you, Lauren, for driving me to more yoga classes than I could count!)
Evening yoga is a whole different experience than morning yoga (I suppose this applies to any kind of exercise, but the truth is… I wouldn’t know!). Instead of energizing you for the day ahead, it exhausts you—in a good way—while making you really, REALLY focused on dinner.
The question would usually hit me during shavasana (the final relaxation pose), if not during the very first downward facing dog of the class: what am I going to make for dinner?
After all, you get home, it’s approaching 9pm on a weeknight, and you’re high on endorphins, yet completely ravenous, and ready to drop onto the couch and not move a muscle. So how to solve the dinner dilemma, and not just settle for consuming whatever’s salty, crunchy, cheesy, or …beer within arm’s reach?
The answer is to have a quick dinner planned in advance. (You know, so you can fantasize about eating a specific dinner when you should be clearing your mind during that final meditation, rather than worrying about what you can cobble together from your half-empty fridge.)
Bonus points if it’s healthy, since you just got done with a yoga class, and it’s always nice to stretch out that virtuous feeling as long as you can.
Lauren told me she’d been eating brown rice and kale with a poached egg on top after getting home from yoga, so I tried it, too, and was immediately hooked.
Everything tastes better after yoga, but especially this. It’s an immensely satisfying warm meal, that just feels, well, complete. Yet it all comes together quickly, and leaves plenty of room for variation.
You can use any type of rice or grain, really, including sticky white rice, or brown basmati rice (which takes longer but you can either get it on the stove the second you walk in the door, or make it earlier in the evening, then warm it up again). But as long as you’re signed on for the longer cooking time of a healthier brown rice, you could also try this black rice (which looks brownish when raw, but turns purplish when cooked). It might be beloved for its fiber and antioxidants, but I love it for its nutty, sweet flavor and the unexpected color it adds to a meal.
I make the kale through a combination of sautéing and steaming, with olive oil, garlic, and water. To build up the flavors more, though, you can use broth, stock, or whey (from homemade paneer) instead of water to steam the kale. I finish it off with salt and pepper along with fresh lemon or lime juice; I used to add just a tiny squirt of citrus, but I now go all out with a few generous squeezes because I really enjoy the way it can take kale from dull to mouth-watering.
Top it all off with an egg (or two). This is a dish for runny egg yolk-lovers, whether you like your eggs fried, poached, or soft-boiled.
(Because of its irresistible egg factor, Paula and I have agreed that we are just as happy to eat this for breakfast as for dinner.)
Over the past year, I stopped going to as many yoga classes, and my friend Lauren moved away. Not that there’s a cause-and-effect relation with that, but I won’t deny a correlation… I fell off the evening yoga wagon for lots of other reasons, too: car trouble, laziness, our favorite yoga teacher retired, I got a deal on a subscription to an online yoga class website (so now I still do yoga—more cheaply but probably less effectively—at home)…
But on or off the yoga wagon, I will never stop making or enjoying this for (breakfast and) dinner. I think under an egg and over some rice is the perfect home for kale.
p.s. Now that I’m finally sharing this particular dinner strategy with you all, I believe I will take this opportunity to add a “weeknight dinner favorites” section to my recipe index.
Print these recipes. (PDF)
~ 1 cup black rice, rinsed
~ 1¾ cup water
~ sliver of butter (or dash of olive oil)
~ pinch of salt
How to make it:
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan with a tightly-fitting lid. Cover and bring quickly to a boil (I set a timer to check in after only 3-4 minutes, since it shouldn’t take long). Then lift the lid to give it a quick stir, cover again, and turn the heat down to its lowest setting.
2. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then give the rice a quick stir, moving it away from the walls and the bottom of the saucepan, cover it again, and remove from the heat. Let it steam, covered, for 5 more minutes before serving.
Print these recipes. (PDF)
Kale & Fried Eggs over Rice
~ cooked black rice (above), or some other white rice, brown rice, or grain
~ 1 large bunch kale (or 2 small bunches)
~ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
~ 2 cloves garlic, diced
~ ⅓-½ cup water (or broth, stock, or whey)
~ sea salt and black pepper, to taste
~ fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste
~ chili flakes (optional)
~ 1-2 eggs per person (fried, poached, or soft-boiled)
~ olive oil for frying eggs
~ hot sauce, like Sriracha (optional)
How to make it:
1. Rinse the kale well in water, but don’t bother to dry it. De-stem and roughly chop the kale.
2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so. Add the kale (you may need to add just some of it at a time, since it might not all fit at first), and stir to coat the kale in olive oil and garlic. Once it’s shrunk down just enough to fit all of your kale into the stockpot, pour over the water/broth, then put the lid on, and lower the burner to nearly (but not quite) the lowest heat. Allow the kale to steam for 10-15 minutes, opening the lid to give it a stir two or three times. (Usually the liquid will all have evaporated by the time the kale is cooked, but if your kale is fully cooked and there’s still excess liquid, you can drain it away.)
3. Once cooked, season the kale with sea salt, black pepper, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, and optionally chili flakes. Stir to mix well, and remove to a serving dish (if the rice isn’t done yet) so that it won’t continue to cook and get burnt in the stockpot.
4. Assemble the dish by adding cooked rice to individual bowls, then topping that with the cooked and seasoned kale. Finally, place a soft-boiled, poached, or fried egg on top. Serve immediately, with hot sauce.
Print these recipes! (PDF)
Related recipe posts:
|Citrusy Kale and Avocado Salad||Skillet-Baked Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt||Turkey Lentil Soup with Kale||Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)|