My two-year old is not the biggest fan of greens, outside of kale chips (which make the biggest mess, but I digress...), so I have lately found myself trying to find creative way to incorporate them in recipes I know she likes. I don't love the idea of hiding veggies in other recipes though because it feels dishonest—I wouldn't like it very much if someone tried to hide an ingredient I wasn't crazy about in a recipe they served me! So, when Noodles with Peanut Sauce was listed on our dry erase menu board recently, I thought I'd experiment with adding kale to the sauce.
It was quick and easy and it turned the sauce a fun shade of green which Linden enjoyed. I actually had her in the kitchen with me as I did this and she watched as the leaves were ground down into the green sauce. She tasted it almost right away and was generally really curious about the process. (It probably helped that she had also helped me to pick the kale from the garden.)
I tossed the sauce with some cooked rice noodles that I cut up with a pair of kitchen shears for the little one and peas for a simple dinner. It was satisfying, really nutritious, and a fun experiment for us to do together. Plus, Miss Linden happily ate it up, which was really the point.
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tbsp agave or 1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbs water
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp powdered ginger or 1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed kale leaves
Blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic sesame oil and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cilantro and kale and blend just until it’s finely chopped. The dressing will keep for 3 days, covered and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.
Use sunbutter or tahini or almond butter in place of the peanut butter.
Skip the cilantro if your family doesn't like it.
Try spinach instead of kale.