when i lived with my grandparents
school let out before they got off work
i went to an after school center
where i received tutoring for my homework
or i played with other kids in similar
on occasion this place would
take us on field trips
one such field trip was to the local
roller skating rink
i was not a klutzy child,
not more than the usual
i was quite coordinated at sports
but put round wheels on my shoes
and it was a mess
i fell on my ass more times
than i was standing
and no lie
the next day i could not poop
there is potential scientific
and/or medical proof
that falling on your rear from
roller skating impedes your
my dear friend Nuria
& i discussed it
something about bruising
and all that
so there is a correlation
between the poop and roller skating
plus, that’s what gpa told me
and i believed him
i’m still a shitty
and ever since
my colonoscopy a few
i’ve been very meticulous
about what i eat
there are always greens in the house
i always reach for the kale
or beet greens
or collard greens
or mustard greens
when at the markets
because pooping is important
and that’s it for the TMI stuff
kale + tofu balls with pasta
this is an updated version of my original recipe, with actual exact measurements!!
note: i have a soft spot for baby greens: spinach, kale, arugala/rocket. they’re more tender and honestly, cuter. any greens would be fine with this recipe, i’ve made it with dinosaur kale before and it turned out fine. also, i’ve made it with regular firm tofu and it was fine too.
makes about 22 golf-sized balls, with pasta serves 4-6
2 containers of extra firm tofu (28 oz), excess water squeezed out, i use nasoya
1 carrot (about 1.8 oz) minced
1/2 red onion (about 3 oz) minced
5.5 oz baby kale, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, divided & minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 TBL nutritional yeast
3 TBL panko flakes
8 TBL olive oil, divided
3 TBL parsley, minced
pasta of choice
first squeeze out as much water as you can from the tofu blocks. i normally wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and put a heavy bottom pot filled with cans to weigh it down on top. if i plan ahead i do it the night before, or i leave it on the counter while i do other kitchen duties.
get your mise en place in order: wash, skin and mince carrots. mince the onions and garlic. rough chop the baby kale.
heat 2 TBL olive oil in pan, medium high heat. add in the onions, garlic and carrots, saute for a few minutes until softened. i generally shoot for the onions to get translucent. season with salt & pepper. turn off heat and quickly add in the baby kale. the residual heat will wilt it down. set aside to cool.
in a mixing bowl, crumble the tofu. you’re aiming for pea-sized crumbles. add in the panko flakes, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes if using, and sauteed baby kale mixture. with your hands mix everything together. season again with salt & pepper. you’re going for texture here. depending on how much water was squeezed out of the tofu, you want to be able to form/mold balls. you may need to add more binding, like water, or add in more noosh or panko flakes to soak up excess moisture. just remember, you’re going to fry up these babies, too much water or too dry, and it will not work.
form your balls.
in the same pan, heat up 1 TBL of olive oil. carefully fry the balls up until golden on all sides. i was able to do this in two batches. keep the balls warm by putting on cookie sheet lined with a paper towel in the oven, set at warm.
meanwhile, cook up the pasta according to package instructions. i used linguine.
while the pasta is cooking, in the same pan you used to saute the vegs and fry up the balls, heat up the remaining olive oil, on medium low. you’re not aiming to get it scorching hot. add in the final minced clove of garlic and warm through. when pasta is cooked to liking, add it to the warmed garlic oil and toss to coat. add in the parsley.
divvy up pasta in bowls and top with kale tofu balls. BAM!