Moms are awesome. My mother is absolutely nuts, but it keeps things interesting.
In all honesty, I am ridiculously lucky to have a mom as wonderful as mine. She’s smart, hilarious, and the best role model I could ask for. And she has always given me some kick-butt advice.
For example, when I was younger, she was helping me study for a state capital test. You want to know how I still remember the capital of Kansas? She told me that you don’t want someone TO-PEK at you while you’re on the KAN (For all of you playing along at home, Topeka is the capital of Kansas).
This is my life.
There were other rather helpful gems she bestowed onto my developing brain that are a little less embarrassing. I was studying for a spelling test. I had to discern between desert and dessert. She asked me which I would want more of, deserts or desserts; my answer was the one that would get more Ss. My mother is brilliant. Crazy, but brilliant.
I am especially fond of this Kale & Pinto Beans dish for two reasons. First, it is a play on one of my favorite dishes from one of my beloved Pittsburgh restaurants, Tamari. Tamari is a Latin-Asian fusion restaurant that specializes in kick-butt sushi and incredibly inventive entrées. I’ve been there for Happy Hour. I’ve been there for dinner. I go a ton because it truly is that spot-on. Second, I frequently order Kale & Pinto Beans when I am with my mother, sipping a glass of wine, after a long day at school or work. I just cherish these moments with my mom, so that’s why I decided to recreate this dish for you today. It’s the little things, you know?
As the name implies, kale takes center-stage in this recipe. And not just any kale; we’re making kale chips today! A crispy, healthy, and addictive snack in and of itself, kale chips add such a unique and wonderful texture to the creaminess of the rest of the dish. Not to mention that kale gives us remarkable amounts of vitamins A and K and protein. To make our kale crisp, we’re making garlic oil. But don’t be alarmed – it could not be easier. Or more delicious. Win-win.
Pinto beans are the other leading ladies of this meal. I used an organic canned variety, but please make your own if you have the time and/or means. For some reason, I’m a little intimidated by making my own. Has anyone done it before? Regardless, you’ll want to add a hefty pinch of pepper, some salt, and a whole, peeled garlic clove to a pot to simmer the crap out of the beans, so that they’ll get even more creamy and enticing. So much flavor. So much protein. SO MUCH YUM.
Tamari used to stud their Kale & Pinto Beans with roasted brussels sprouts, but they have recently replaced it with truffle oil. Truffle oil is so decadent, but it’s entirely too expensive for a young professional like myself. So I’m bringing my lovely brussels back! Slice them and pop them on a sheet pan and roast them up using some of that garlic oil we made. Crazy simple. Crazy heavenly.
I have some optional additions for all ya’ll today. Tamari serves their Kale & Pinto Beans with crispy bacon and shaved manchengo cheese. Feel free to do the same if that’s your game. I always order it without the bacon, but the cheese adds even more creaminess and flavor to the dish.
This Kale & Pinto Beans can be on your table in just 30 minutes flat. It’s healthy, protein-packed, and ridiculously flavorful; the textures alone will send you into a frenzy of happiness and delight. Share it with someone you love: your roommate, your friend, a sibling, or a parent. I will always choose to share mine with the one, the only, Mama Fooduzzi.
Kale & Pinto Beans
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: serves 2 people||Total:|
A quick, easy, and filling gluten free and vegan meal made with kale, brussels sprouts, homemade garlic oil, and pinto beans!
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil*
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole, and divided
- 3 stalks kale, destemmed and cleaned
- 1/4 lb. brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
- salt + pepper
- 1 15-oz can pinto beans (organic and BPA-free if you can)
- Optional: shaved manchego cheese, bacon, additional garlic oil, for topping
- Make the garlic oil: Add olive oil and two garlic cloves to a small sauce pan. Place over low heat. Cook garlic until slightly brown and blistered. Be careful not to burn. Remove from heat, remove garlic cloves (save them for soup or toasted bread), and set oil aside in a small bowl.
- Roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place kale on one prepared baking sheet and drizzle 1-2 tsp. of the garlic oil over the top. Massage the kale to coat the leaves with the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place brussels sprouts on the other baking sheet and drizzle 1 tsp. of the garlic oil over the top. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
- Place brussels sprouts on the top rack of your oven, and place the kale underneath. Roast until the kale is crispy and the brussels sprouts are slightly charred and tender, about 20 minutes. Give the vegetables a stir every 5-10 minutes.
- Make the pinto beans: While the vegetables are cooking, make the beans. Reserve 2 Tbsp. of the liquid from the can, then drain the beans. Slightly rinse the beans, then add to a small pot. Add the reserved liquid and 2 Tbsp. of water. Season with salt and a hefty pinch of pepper to taste. Cook over medium-low heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Slightly mash the beans while cooking. Once reduced, remove and discard garlic clove.
- Assemble the plates: Place pinto beans on the plate and stud with the brussels sprouts. Lay the kale chips on top. Top with optional ingredients if desired.
*You will not use the entire 1/4 cup olive oil in this recipe. Keep it in a container for other uses.
Recipe inspired by Tamari
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