Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five Favorite Ways to Eat Kale


It might be a little odd that I am writing about kale just a few hours after finding Ryan in the pantry with chipmunk cheeks full of his former potty training reward/bribe. 

Yes, after much regression, we have waved the white flag of toilet paper. I surrender!

But, back to kale. I guess it's an "in" vegetable these days, and for good reason, since it is one of the healthiest vegetables around. However, "in" has no effect on a toddler's (or Chris' ;)) likelihood to inhale kale so I have rounded up my top five ways to put kale on our table and in our bellies. 

1. This salad dressing from Kate Rhodes. I mentioned kale a few weeks ago, and one of my favorite bloggers, Kate, came through with a simply delicious recipe. Kale is tough to eat raw in a salad. It's so chewy. Do you want to feel like a horse? Nay, I say. It's also really tough for a toddler to eat even when he is putting on his best dinosaur impression. Try this recipe out! It's the best way that I have eaten kale so far. I owe it all to you, Kate. 

2. Green smoothies, of course. A "moody" is a perfect pick-me-up for my moody post-napper. The one I made today was a mix of coconut milk, a banana, pineapple chunks, a squeeze of lemon and kale. 


3. Potato and Kale Gratin. I discovered this dish last year when my father-in-law was visiting. This recipe is hearty and savory. It is little more time intensive for a side than I normally like, but Chris liked it enough that I've continued to make it. 


4. Soup. I would love it if I made colorful meals all the time, but it is more often than not that I plop dinner down and see that it is a mixture of browns and whites. This is especially true when I make soup. I normally make potato soup, black bean soup, chili or jalapeno popper chili. A great way to add some nutrients and color is to toss some chopped kale into the hot pot of soup. I like to add it right before I serve just so it softens enough and wilts, but stays a vibrant green. 

Here's my little trick: if I don't use kale right away, I stick it in the freezer until I need to put it in a soup on a day when I need an easy out for dinner (which is more often than not). Frozen kale is so easy to crumble so you can skip chopping. Make it even easier on yourself by taking the leaves off the stems before you freeze it. Then you can just crush the bag with your hands once you take it out of the freezer and dump it all into your soup. Voila! Delicious, easy and small enough to sneak past your little one. 

5. Roasted Kale Chips. Easy peasy. Kale + olive oil + salt + oven time = savory and healthy goodness. 


Do you have a favorite way to eat kale? 

Linking up with Hallie for Five Favorites

11 comments :

  1. Yes, to freezing kale! I freeze my fresh spinach, too. It helps keep my smoothies nice and cold! :)

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  2. We love what we call 'kale soup' which is a little lighter version of the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden. (You can get Zuppa Toscana copycat recipes all over the internet, we just add less bacon and cream and way way more kale than the recipes usually say.). So yummy.

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    Replies
    1. Ooooo thanks for the idea, Tanya! I'm going to try it.

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  3. I love kale. When I was pregnant with my second, I loved kale so much that we even considered calling him kale (probably spelled Kail or Cale). I mean, we liked the name before and we thought it would be funny to name him after a food I craved so much while I was pregnant... But we didn't. But I digress...

    My favourite kale recipe is braised kale with caramelized red onions, blue cheese and walnuts. I had it at a fancy restaurant and my mouth salivates every time I make it at home. Sooooo good, but also more time consuming than I usually like a side to be (steamed broccoli, anyone?). Here's the recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/11/the-crisper-whisperer-braised-kale-with-caramelized-onions-walnuts-blue-cheese-thanksgiving-side.html

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  4. No favorites yet, still discerning how best to introduce into our meal plan. Thanks for the tips!


    BTW I nominated you for an award on my blog today ~ come by and see!

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  5. I made a kale, white bean, and chicken soup all winter long from How Sweet It Is (she uses spinach, but I liked kale because it held up better). Find it here:
    http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/12/30-minute-white-bean-chicken-soup/

    Plus you can convince Chris to eat it because you add fontina cheese and bacon to the top. Win-win!

    xoM

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  6. I'll have to check out Kate's recipe, thanks! I admit I've never been a fan of kale. The only time I've used it for something was when I made kale chips from a friend's garden and they were delicious! Here's to jumping on the kale wagon. :)

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  7. Great idea about freezing kale. Will do!

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  8. This is great! I've tried to put kale in our salads before and it has not been well-received by either of us :/ This dressing might be the answer! And kale chips, I definitely need to jump on that.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this great list, Katrina. Look forward to trying some of these.

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