Kale for everyone!

Curly Leaf - Kale

Kale is one of the most nutrient dense superfoods there are. While not as well received as some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cabbage, kale is a food that you can certainly count on for some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness.

I am always amazed that so many people use kale as a decorative plant.  I laughed out loud at the sight of a hearty supply of  Black Russian Kale planted beautifully in pots with flowers outside the front of the Chateau Frontenac when I was visiting Quebec City.  I wonder if the chefs were being beaten off daily just so tourists could enjoy the artistic display?

All of the suggestions that follow are for de-stemmed kale. I have heard dogs like to chew on the stalks. I usually save the stem in the freezer for soup stock later on.

SPICY SAUTEED KALE

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 cups Kale, washed and trimmed, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add kale, water, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to skillet.  Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until kale is wilted and tender.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

There are so many ways to use Kale

  • Chop it up, sauté, and scramble with eggs.
  • Add a handful to yogurt, fresh or frozen berries, and blend to make a green smoothie.
  • For a healthful addition to a cold pasta salad, add chopped kale to the pasta the last 10 minutes of the boil. Drain. Add your favorite oil and vinegar dressing and additional chopped vegetables like sweet peppers or cucumbers, olives, what ever you have in the kitchen.
  • Kale chips. So, for the longest time I’ve wanted to make kale chips, there are many variations on the recipe, one I found has instructions to bake them. Rip into chip size pieces. Sprinkle with oil and salt. Bake at 350F to 450F, 15 to 20 minutes.  Try various types of oils or gourmet salt/herb combinations. Just watch the time it takes to make them nice and crunchy.
  • Add to your favorite stir fry recipe.
  • Add to any soup.
  • Chop in a food processor and add to a favourite spaghetti sauce.
  • Greens in peanut sauce In a large skillet, sauté in 1 T of oil a chopped onion and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic. If you’d like, you can add a medium tomato and simmer for 2-4 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 12 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp cloves, and cook and stir for 2 minutes. This is awesome!
  • Add 1 lb of kale or collards and 1/2 cup of water, steam until greens are soft but not mushy. Stir occasionally.
  • Combine 2-3 T chunky peanut butter and 1-2 tsp hot water and add to the greens, stirring and cooking to coat evenly.
  • Saute and add to your favourite humus recipe.  You won’t even know kale is in there other than the bright green colour.
  • Confetti Kale.  A bunch of kale sautéed with a small bit of olive oil and a clove of garlic for 10 minutes. Add a chopped red and green pepper, some chopped zucchini or , 1/4 cup of water, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Kale Potato Soup.  Chop one large bunch of kale, steam, and set aside.
    Melt 1 T butter in a soup pot, add one large chopped onion, and sauté until the onion is tender. Add a clove of garlic and sauté a minute more.
    Dice two large potatoes and add to the soup, along with 2 cups of hot water or broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Then, remove half of the cooked potatoes, add the kale that you have previously steamed and purée everything else in the pot if you want a chunky soup. Otherwise just purée it all together.
    Add 3 more cups of liquid such as milk, water, or broth until desired consistency, plus salt and pepper to taste. Voila!
  • Try it as a healthy pizza topping along with asparagus or spinach.
  • If you own a juicer, you might try juicing it with apple and carrot. That way you can take advantage of the nutrients lost in the cooking process.

Black Russian Kale

What are your favorite kale recipes? I’m sure there are plenty more out there.

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2 Responses to Kale for everyone!

  1. Pingback: Killer Kale | Lady Locavore

  2. Diggity Dog says:

    I’m still learning how to eat my kale, but the one thing I’ve found to love about it is that it’s so dang hardy. I don’t have to baby it one bit, it just handles every soil situation I’ve put it in.

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