While we’re no stranger to meatless meals, it does get a bit tougher on a Low-FODMAP diet to eat vegetarian and, frankly, I’m at a loss of how vegans with FODMAP-triggered IBS manage. It must be tough with so many vegetable protein sources no longer viable alternatives.
This was the thought in the back of my head as I applied to participate in the OXO/Plated Very Vegetarian challenge and, when I was accepted, the thought turned to ‘okay, then, time to prove you can do it!’
Plated is a service that goes a step beyond providing a recipe subscription service and actually delivers the ingredients as well–which, if you’re the type that hates grocery shopping with a passion or are just to busy, that might sound like absolute heaven to you! (Granted, at the moment you also need to live in the DC or Chicago area, but their website says they’re looking to expand, as well.)
So Plated teamed up with OXO and their wonderful line of kitchen tools to ask bloggers to create a vegetarian meal based on the Plated guidelines that took no more than 30 minutes to prepare (including prep work!) and that used at least three items from the tools we were sent.
It was the 30-minute time limit that really is the kicker–there’s plenty you can do with slow-roasted casseroles and simmering soups to make mouth-watering vegetarian meals, but if you’re in a hurry it can be a challenge to grab something more complex than a salad.
My own challenge, of course, was to make a Plated-worthy meal (I hope) that fits the Low-FODMAP guidelines as well. Here’s what I came up with.
Kale and Carrot Eggs with Tri-Color Millet
1/2 cup Millet
1 1/2 Tbsp Garlic-infused Olive Oil, divided
1/2 bunch Kale (about 3 cups, chopped)
1 medium Carrot
2 Green Onions (green tops only)
1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper
8 Grape Tomatoes
1 stalk Celery
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tbsp grated Ginger
2 oz Feta Cheese
Equipment Needed: Sauce Pan, Saute Pan or Ovenproof Skillet, Ramekins or Small Pie Plates, Baking Sheet, Measuring Cups/Spoons, Knife, Cutting Board, Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer, Silicone-Tipped Tongs, Salad Dressing Shaker
1. Put 1 1/4 cups of water into a medium sauce-pan and heat on high. While it’s coming to a boil, toast your millet in a dry saute pan for 5 minutes. This is optional, but it improves the flavor so it’s worth it. Once the 5 minutes is up (or your water has come to a boil) add the millet to the water, return to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer for 25 minutes.
2. Place your ramekins or small pie plates onto a baking sheet and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 375º F and allow to preheat while you prep the vegetables to go inside. Preheating your individual cooking vessels helps to keep the temperature constant when you add your ingredients, later, and speeds up cooking. Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on medium heat in the same saute pan you used for the millet.
3. Wash and shake dry your kale and then stack and slice the leaves into 1/2″ strips, removing any thicker stems. Slice the green onion tops and add them and the kale to the hot pan. Peel your carrots and use the hand-held mandoline slicer on setting 2 to make little coins of the carrots straight into the pan. Saute 5 minutes or so until the kale is wilted, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Remove the heated dishes from the oven, spray with olive oil spray to prevent sticking, and divide the kale and carrot mixture between them using the silicone-tipped tongs, creating a bit of a nest with the strips of kale. Crack an egg into the center of each of your kale nests and return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes or until the whites are set but the yolks are still liquid.
5. Now prep the vegetables and dressing for your millet. Dice the bell pepper into 1/2-inch pieces, halve the grape tomatoes, and quarter the stalk of celery length-wise and chop into a small dice. Tip: If you run a vegetable peeler down the back of your celery you’ll have far fewer stringy bits to deal with. In the salad dressing shaker combine the remaining olive oil with the lemon juice, ginger, and salt and pepper to taste and shake to combine.
6. When the millet is finished (has absorbed all of the liquid), stir in the vegetables and dressing and crumble in the feta. Divide the millet between two plates and add you individual dish of kale and carrot eggs. And if you’ve got some snipped chives around, sprinkle a little on top of the millet for good measure.
There are a few different way to approach this dish. If you don’t have ramekins or the little pie plates, you could create the nests of kale in a cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet and put it straight into your pre-heated oven. You could even whisk the eggs and divide smaller portions between the wells of a muffin tin if you wanted. The thing about the muffin-tin option is that breaking the egg yolk over the kale and carrot mixture adds an almost-decadent level of richness to the dish, something you’ll miss if the yolks are already broken.
As for the FODMAP implications, kale is one of those foods that is usually considered safe enough once you’ve completed the elimination and challenge phases of the diet and have determined your own tolerance levels. If your system can’t handle the kale, fresh spinach will work just as well, but with a different flavor. I’ve done my best to add a number of vegetables into the dish for flavor, color, and variety while still staying in the safe-zone of FODMAPs–I may be pushing the upper limit slightly, but my own lack of reaction shows it’s a good place to start.
Prepping this meal white taking notes and pictures all while my kitchen timer counted down 30 minutes was a little like playing the home version of one of those Food Network Challenge shows. I haven’t felt quite so under the gun since working the dinner shift during my Culinary School internship. Granted, if you make this dish you certainly won’t be watching the clock so much!
It’s projects like this one and the Dip & Sip (which I won, by the way!) that I would love to do more of because they give me that kick-in-the-pants to do things I’ve been thinking about doing in that nebulous eventually, maybe someday way and giving them a deadline. So even if my recipe isn’t one of the ones Plated chooses to add to their menu line-up (four will be, as I understand it), I’m still grateful for the experience!
***Just in case I wasn’t clear enough, above, I received products from OXO to be incorporated in the meal-preparations. No other compensation has been received, all opinions expressed are my own, yadda yadda yadda.***