Shawna Leader / The AS Review

By far the most difficult time to eat seasonally is winter. Contrary to the abundance of summer and fall, winter typically provides only the hardiest of vegetables. You can get mangoes and tomatoes from the supermarket in January or you could take the seasonal route and use a vegetable that is in abundance right now locally: kale.

Kale is one of those leafy greens nutritionists are always telling us we should eat. But let’s forgo nutrients for a moment and talk about taste. Stronger in flavor than spinach and lettuce, kale complements many spices and is a tasty addition to soups, as in the recipe below. [Adapted from the New York Times]

What you’ll need:

8 oz. rice or soba noodles; 1 15-oz. can black beans (or use freshly cooked beans), rinsed and drained; 1 tablespoon olive or peanut oil; 3 cloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon coriander; 1 teaspoon cumin; 1 teaspoon turmeric; 1 teaspoon ground ginger; 1 bunch kale, rinsed and roughly chopped (stems removed); 20 shitake mushrooms, rinsed, stems removed, caps quartered; Dried or fresh cilantro, for garnish; Peanut sauce, for garnish

How to do it:

Place noodles in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until noodles are soft. Remove from heat but do not drain. Stir in black beans.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add coriander, cumin, tumeric and ground ginger. Sauté one minute more; if all the oil is absorbed, add a little at a time as necessary to keep the mixture in a slightly liquid form.

Stir kale and mushrooms into the spice mixture. Continue stirring for five to seven minutes in order to coat the kale and mushrooms in the spices as well as prevent burning.

Stir the kale mixture into the noodle mixture. Divide the noodles among bowls. Garnish each serving with cilantro and peanut sauce.