What’s old is new again, and very healthy. So much green, sure does a body good! Kale is on the chic list in all the fine and fancy bistros. Kale, everyone’s talking about it and putting it in and on practically everything! Hey, why not? This leafy green packs a punch when it comes to being good food and good for you.
Long used in North America as an ornamental garden plant for borders and walkways, Kale has come a long way from the flower garden to the vegetable garden and now into our daily nutrient food source.
Kale has long been a staple food in Europe for centuries as a peasant food. Until the end of the middle ages, kale was one of the most common veggies in Europe. During World War II, the British adopted it for their dinner tables because of its important nutrients and it was easy to grow. Scotland used it as a staple food due to the tough, cold and hearty growing conditions kale can withstand.
Fresh young crispy Kale can be used raw in salads. Mature leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sautéed. Many kitchens are using it in soups, stews, salads, pizza, and pasta. It is also used in a variety of traditional recipes with potatoes, green beans, poultry, and meat. Fresh kale juice is quite popular among juice bars everywhere. Foodies are making amazing smoothies with Kale! Try a Kale, Pineapple and Almond Milk combo.
SWEET POTATO AND KALE HASH
Adapted from The Mostly Vegan (www.themostlyvegan.com) Serves 4
Great way to use your sweet potatoes AND get some greens in! Use kale, broccoli greens or whatever you’ve got!
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed & roughly chopped
- ½ yellow onion, diced 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper 1 T EVOO
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions to pan and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a glass bowl and cover with a paper towel. Steam in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or double boiler until potatoes are just fork tender.
Increase heat to medium-high and add sweet potatoes to skillet. Season with salt and pepper and and sauté about 5 minutes until evenly browned, stirring often to prevent burning. Add maple syrup to pan and toss to coat, sauté 2 minutes more.
Add chipotle chili pepper and sauté a minute more.
Lower heat to medium and add kale to skillet. Season again with salt and pepper. Allow to cook until kale is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.
LEMONY PASTA WITH KALE
- 1 pound kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pkg spaghetti
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Finely grated Parmesan cheese
Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
CREAMY LEMONY PASTA WITH KALE
- 8 cups packed coarsely chopped kale leaves, (about 6 large leaves)
- 12 oz fettuccine or other long pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 red pepper, halved crosswise and cut in thin strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour or spelt
- 1 1/4 cups 5% or 10% cream
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp grated Canadian Parmesan cheese
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook kale for about 3 min or until bright green. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove kale from water and transfer to a colander to drain well.
Bring pot of water back to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; sauté onion, red pepper, garlic, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper for about 5 min or until softened. Add kale; cook, stirring often, for about 3 min or until kale is tender. Add lemon zest.
Whisk flour into cream; gradually stir into skillet. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 2 min or until slightly thickened.
Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with lemon juice, pepper, nutmeg and up to 1/4 tsp (1 mL) more salt. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
HEALTHY KALE CHIPS
An amazing alternative to potato chips which are showing up on store counters everywhere. Make your own for a fraction of the cost.
Wash and pat dry kale leaves. Tear into smaller pieces. Toss with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 375 degree oven until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.
KALE VEGGIE SOUP
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
- 6 cups kale (about one bunch), stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup soaked cooked beans, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 chopped fresh tomatoes or handful of cherry tomatoes, pierced with a pick.
- 4–6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry or wine
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes until lightly browned; add red bell pepper, carrots, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Add potatoes, kale, beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add additional water or stock if mixture becomes too thick. Before serving, stir in vinegar and garnish with rosemary.
BLOODY KALE MARY! SMOOTHIE (pun intended)
This spicy tomato smoothie provides all the healthiest and tastiest things about a bloody mary without the alcohol.
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 shakes celery salt
- 1 tsp horseradish
- 1 tsp Bragg’s soy sauce
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 2 leaves of kale or more…
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Adjust spices to taste, pour, and top with a stock of celery. Cute umbrella optional.
recipe gathered from
KALE AND QUINOA PILAF
- 2cups salted water
- 1cup quinoa
- 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 scallions, minced
- 1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or Feta
- salt and pepper
Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil, pine nuts, and goat cheese.
Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.
OVEN ROASTED CARROTS AND KALE
- ½ lb carrots, sliced lengthwise, then cut on diagonal
- 5 ounces kale, washed, thick stems removed
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- ½ yellow or white onion or sweet onion
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- Salt and (optional) parmesan cheese to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop kale finely. Chop the onion.
Combine kale, carrots, onion, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl and use your hands to mix it well. Make sure all the kale gets massaged with oil.
Spread in a 13 x 9 baking dish and cook 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. (The carrots should be tender and the kale wilted and brown in spots.) Sprinkle lightly with salt and parmesan if using, and enjoy.
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