In this week's Martin and Sylvia: Saturdays! story, “How to Be a Firefighter”, Sylvia dreams of becoming a firefighter. To that end, she and her family visit the fire station to see the life of a firefighter first hand. While they're there, Sylvia is excited to ask questions and learn that she can start her firefighter training right away.
We all know that firefighters are brave. They run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out, and, plus, they get to drive really big trucks. But—given the scope of Sparkle Kitchen—this story made me think of a different question entirely: what do firefighters eat?
After doing some research, here's what I found out.
First, while most firefighters live at the fire station when they're on duty, their meals aren't usually provided. But rather than packing meals from home, many battalions pool their food money and eat communally. As such, firehouse meals must be budget-friendly.
Second, firehouse meals can't be overly complicated. When a call could come in at any second to interrupt meal prep, dinner can't be a sensitive, hours-long affair.
And last, firehouse meals have to be healthy and hearty. Firefighters do demanding physical work, and they need good fuel to keep them going.
The following recipe is a healthy twist on a classic, firehouse hash. It meets the criteria of being quick and economical, and — while the sweet potatoes and kale add nutrition — it's still hearty enough for heroes.
Firefighter Hash (serves 4)
1 pound sweet potatoes
½ large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 cup water
1 bell pepper
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 bunch kale
Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving
Dice the sweet potatoes and onion into 1 inch chunks. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and let them get about a two minute head start, then add the sweet potatoes. Next, mince the garlic. Stir the garlic and the water into the potatoes and onions, and leave the mixture to cook while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
Then, dice the bell pepper and strip the kale leaves from their stems. Chop the kale leaves into ribbons and discard the stems.
When the potatoes are starting to get soft and most of the water has cooked off — this should take about 10-15 minutes, depending on your potatoes — add the pepper, paprika, and salt to the mixture. Then, add the kale and toss everything together as best you can. Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the skillet to give the kale a chance to wilt.
While that's happening, heat a separate pan and fry four eggs. When the eggs are done and the kale is wilted down, put a large pile of hash onto each serving plate and top it with a fried egg. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.