Quick Dinner No. 1

Extra curricular activities can really thwart family dinners. On those days we have late practices and games, I try to come up with dinners that take minutes and require little clean up. This is one of our favorites.

I put a large pot of water to poach eggs. (I use this technique.) While the water comes up to temperature, I wash, destem, and chop the kale. Then I place it in a sauté pan drizzled with oil and let it cook over medium-low heat. While the kale sautés, I poach the eggs. The brown rice is the Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s, and I just toss that in the microwave. One day I will buy a rice cooker and make large batches of rice to eat during the week. Until then, this works.

Everything cooks at once, taking 16 minutes or so for a total of four plates. I stagger the eggs, but if you are brave enough to poach multiple eggs at once, you reduce your active time considerably. We place generous slices of avocado on top if they are available, too, because once must always guild the lily when opportunity strikes. The boys like to eat this plain, but I shake some hot sauce on top.

Vegans, you can skip the eggs and saute a can of beans (I like garbanzo) in the same pan you used for the kale.

Comments
34 Responses to “Quick Dinner No. 1”
  1. Annabelvita says:

    This is the sort of food I love! I do something similar based on this recipe http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/EGGS%20IN%20A%20NEST.pdf – you poach the eggs IN the chard (but I’m sure kale would work the same way!)

  2. That looks great, making tonight. I just told the kids we’d need to pick some of the kale from the garden.

    • Jules says:

      “I just told the kids we’d need to pick some of the kale from the garden.”

      Sigh. One day I would like to do the same.

      • I have a 6 foot by 3 foot plot where we experiment with vegis because I want my urban kids to know what the food they eat looks like. What’s in it varies every year and there’s usually only one or two of each plant. Not really a major food source, but its fun. This year they want to grow a melon, so that may be all we plant in our tiny plot.

  3. Rita says:

    Thanks for this idea. I’m now on the lookout for gluten-free, and this is one I want to try. I’ll second your idea on the rice cooker. They are so easy and I can make a batch of rice in a few minutes. I found ours (a Cuisinart) at Goodwill for $10. Making up some in advance keeps me from filling up with junk when it’s late and I’m starving.

    • Jules says:

      Yes, this was my thought, too. Usually the biggest time eater for dinner is the starch.

      • Meghan says:

        I agree! We do not have a rice cooker but I’ve found that you can bake both barley and brown rice in the oven. It takes 45 minutes but I usually do this on Sunday while I’m picking up the house since its totally hands free. Also both cooked brown rice and barley freeze well. White rice, not so much.
        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-barley-recipe/index.html

        You can also use this technique to cook white rice in 20 minutes and its pretty hands off
        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/red-beans-and-rice-recipe/index.html

        Both of these are recipes I helped develop – I use them both probably once a week. Unless you cook rice everyday you really don’t need a rice cooker.

        • Jules says:

          I think I tried the oven method before, but since I can’t remember (seriously, I’ve tried everything but I SUCK at making rice), it’s worth revisiting. Fingers crossed.

          The second link…yeah. Tried it. Didn’t work. I’m rice challenged. It’s not that my rice comes out HORRIBLE (most of the time) it’s just not light and fluffy. And yes, I’ve reduced the water, kept the lid on, etc. etc.

  4. Missie says:

    While I would love this, I think my kids would run away from the table after seeing all of the green stuff on top! :) My husband has to have meat so I’d have to add something, I bet Italian turkey sausage would be good. Thanks for the idea!

    • Jules says:

      I’ve also made it without the eggs and added sausage, peppers, and onions (my husband’s favorite meal). That takes time, though, so eggs it is! :)

  5. Amy says:

    Hmm. . . I may have to give this a try. I’ll not eat a poached egg on my own volition. However, I had a Swedish breakfast dish once, with a poached eggs resting atop. Not wanting to be rude, I gave it a go–and what do you know? I liked it. So. Now, if I can just poach the egg myself . . . again, I ponder . . .

  6. Melody F. says:

    Thanks for a great idea for supper!

  7. Stef says:

    Love this. My go-to dish as a single lady was sautéed zucchini or spinach mixed with brown rice, topped with fried egg, cilantro & salsa verde. It’s still a favorite combo, alas my guy doesn’t consider it real food.

    • Jules says:

      That sounds delicious. I’m lucky that my husband is pretty easy to cook for, and actually prefers a few meatless meals per week.

  8. Karena says:

    Oh Jules this looks delish, I eat very little meat so this is perfect! So good to find you!

    I have a feature Interview on my site with Tina from The Enchanted Home…I hope you will visit

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

  9. Keryn says:

    Jules, you read my mind! With our schedules getting busier by the minute, my husband and I are on the hunt for quick, easy and HEALTHY dinner recipes. This one definitely fits the bill.

    Thank you so much for sharing this little gem.

  10. valentina says:

    you do not need a rice cooker to cook large quantities of rice. least of all because you also don’t need another item cluttering your kitchen counter ;-)

    • Jules says:

      I need a rice cooker. Not because I need it to make large batches. I need it because I suck at making rice. I’ve been making it for over 20 years now, and it BLOWS every time. I have no idea why, and I’ve tried everything. I think it’s a mental block now, because I can bake and cook anything else! My rice comes out too soft, too hard, or too burned. It’s to the point that the kids see rice and ask who made it before they serve themselves!

      • valentina says:

        that is very funny and cute and a good reason. have you tried the boiling method? i now boil my brown rice and only use white for risotto. the latter is hard to mess up as you have to hover over it. hey! i know. switch to quinoa. doesn’t require cooking, is fast – but the taste needs some getting used to.

        • Jules says:

          I eat quinoa for breakfast. I also keep the pantry stocked with millet, millet grits, polenta, barley, oats, oatmeal, etc. I’ve tried the boiling method.

          • valentina says:

            what the heck are millet grits (for that matter, what are grits, i never tried to figure it out when i was states side)? don’t answer that! i live in switzerland, we don’t have that. i’m currently trying to figure out what type of polenta i can use to make corn muffins or bread. the 2-min. kind (which i normally scoff at) didn’t work. maybe that was due to there not being any “cream-style” canned corn and therefore reduced liquid in the batter. and you thought you had problems ;-) — please feel free to ignore me.

  11. Meg says:

    This is one of our faves too, but I always forget about it. It’s about the only way to get my son to eat greens (aside from salad, and that’s a pretty recent addition for him.) Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Jenn says:

    Mmm. That looks delicious. Simple. Easy. Healthy. It would be easy to vary too – couscous/quinoa, lentils/navy beans…etc. My kids would probably love it with hardboiled eggs – they’re going through a phase of no runny yolk, and hard-boiling a half dozen or so eggs earlier in the week, makes for an even quicker dinner.
    Great photo too.
    So hungry, must go eat!

  13. Ha! Rice issues all around! I’m working on a stove top + colander method that I hope might break my losing streak after all these years.

    This meal looks right up my alley. D, who thinks that I am ridiculous for wanting to put poached eggs on top of everything, might disagree.

    • Jules says:

      I’ve tried that method (only once) and it was an abysmal failure. Let me know if you get it to work–I would love to try it again with instructions from a fellow rice reject!

  14. Miss B. says:

    Yum, we love kale!

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.