Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baked Potato (pressure cooked), Massaged Kale with Smoky Tempeh (No Added Fat)

I know that baking potatoes is fast in a pressure cooker, and wanted to try cooking a regular sized Russet baking potato. Massaged kale is tasty, and I thought that I would make kale with smoky tempeh. Here is what I did.


  • Juice of half lemon
  • Head of kale, leaves roughly hand torn from the stems (stems composted) into approximately 1" squares
  • 1/8 small red onion cut into thin (approx. 1/4") half moon slices
  • Smoky tempeh, sautéed with no oil till warm and gently browned then cut into approx. 2" pieces
  • Approx. 1/4 t salt (to taste)
  • Approx. 1t hemp seeds
  1. Into a medium mixing bowl I put the lemon juice.
  2. Handful at a time, I took the kale squares, dipped in the lemon juice, and massaged in my two hands, squeezing for maybe 10 or 15 seconds till the leaves darken and compress.
  3. I mixed in the onion, tempeh, salt, and hemp seeds, and served.
I found several recipes online for using my pressure cooker for baked potatoes, each of which called for putting the potatoes raised up from the floor of the pot and onto a trivet. The one that I followed called for pressure cooking for 15m on high with 2 cups of water (still below the surface of the potatoes).  A steaming recipe calls for 1/2 cup of water and a 35m steam, and another steaming recipe calls for 2 cups of water and a 15m steam time.

When I put the scrubbed potatoes into the pressure cooker, I thought that I would experiment with what the kale stems and some garlic would be like. I normally compost kale stems or sometimes use them in a soup stock or with a sauté. My theory was that possibly the kale stems would be tasty when pressure cooked, and that garlic would roast and become a soft gel with much more nuanced flavor. I threw in the stems as well as a few cloves of garlic; I had cut the top 1/4" or so off the garlic but left the paper-like covering otherwise on.


Dinner was good! I quite liked the baked potato, though another minute of cooking would have been okay for a bit more doneness. The salad was very good. Massaging kale takes away bitterness,

The kale stalks were not very good - we just composted them. But the garlic - wow! Just like oven roasting, I squeezed the garlic easily out of the skin and served it atop the potato, though it could also have done well with the salad.

Ideas for the future

I have known about massaging kale for some time, especially through my friend and cookbook author Nava Atlas. It takes bitterness away and makes kale, already tasty, even more enjoyable. I demonstrated a massaged kale salad with seitan at my Whole Foods Market demonstration the day before yesterday (Monday May 19, 2014) but I don't massage kale often at home - I need to do this more regularly! I also love the easy way of roasting garlic that I now know, and hope to use this more commonly. I'd like to try out the other ways of cooking baked potatoes in the near future.

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