earthy lacinato kale pesto & bean sandwich

DINOSAUR kale!!!!! My grocery store doesn’t carry it regularly and I’ve been wanting to try it, so I bought a bunch of lacinato/dinosaur kale when I spotted it this week. I was going to put it in a smoothie, but I never got around to freezing my bananas and now all they’re good for is baking. So.

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What to do with this lovely dark green kale? I decided to make a pesto. I thought that was an original idea, but I googled and found a couple recipes. Well, none were vegan. Let’s fix that.
One recipe I looked at said to rinse the kale with very hot water because, especially if the kale is fresh from your garden, there may be aphids. Hmm. What are aphids? I didn’t know, so I threw the kale in my colander and gave them a quick rinse. I started cutting the kale. I noticed…something.

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This is an aphid. Gross. I looked through the kale I’d already cut, and sure enough, there were a bunch of little dead aphids everywhere. I threw the cut kale away and carefully, and with very hot water, sprayed the rest of the kale – one piece at a time – until I didn’t see anymore critters. So be careful of that, it could really happen to you.

(P.S. Thus making this a half recipe!)

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Carefully cleaned kale, stems removed, torn into pieces. Set that aside for a moment.

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Let’s get the beans going. I almost never plan ahead, so I had to used canned blackeye peas. If you’re using canned beans, be sure to drain, rinse & drain before use.

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Chop some onion…

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In a small pan, add 1/4 C water to beans & onions. Season with a little garlic powder and a pinch of salt (I also added nutritional yeast, it’s optional). Cover and let simmer for at least half an hour.
Let’s finish the pesto.

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I put the kale in the small 4-Cup bowl of my processor. Add 2 large cloves of garlic, each cut in half.

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Process just enough to make some room in the bowl.

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Add 1 Tbsp tahini and about 1 tsp (one squirt) of Dijon mustard. And of course a sprinkling of salt, to taste. Process until creamy. Give it a taste and see if it needs anything…

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I decided to add smoked paprika, nutritional yeast and about 2 tsp of lemon juice to mine. If you make any additions, scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again briefly to mix in the spices.

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Back to the beans a minute. The onions should be clear and soft by now. Uncover and mash some of the beans with your spoon – I wouldn’t do more than half the beans, maybe a bit less than that.

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Stir, and you should have a nice sauce to hold everything together.

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Assemble the sandwich. I’m using my favorite bread, sprouted whole grain Ezekiel. I have at least 2 Tbsp of the pesto on one side, and tons of spicy mustard on the other.

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Surely you know to spread it. The pesto was such a beautiful shade of green…

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Now add a big scoop of beans to one side, tomatoes on the other. Spread those beans out.

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I also added romaine. I have never, not once, found an aphid in my romaine!

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There ya go. I admit, this is going to make a mess. If you’re not eating alone, I highly recommend using a knife and fork for this thing.
Both the kale and the blackeye peas have a very earthy flavor, the mustard offsets it a bit without taking away from it. Of course I love mustard, but it really did go well with it. I was still hungry after this but didn’t feel like eating more bread, so I just mixed the beans and pesto together and put them on my plate with a ton of mustard squeezed on top.

Be careful to check your teeth for kale bits when you’re finished because there will be at least two or three.

This is oil-free and perfect for a strict fasting day!

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