I saw an article pass through my news feed that alarmed me. NPR saw fit to report that kale was about to have an identity crisis:
Their reasoning? People said that they would like kale if it didn’t taste like, well, kale.
Now, I have suffered many a conversation and moment in the store at people saying that they purposefully and willingly commit the ultimate kale crime. They put it in a blender! *gasp* They complain that it tastes ‘awful’.
That, my dear crickets, is a waste of a wonderful set of greens.
Those poor dears just haven’t had it cooked right!
For this Sunday Dinner… in an effort to save kale from becoming the newest (genetically modified) GMO product, I will repost my family’s favorite kale recipe: Beans & Greens.
The recipe came from 2 separate, similar recipes (I believe 1 was from Whole Foods, but I don’t really recall). I made some minor, and a few major tweaks to the recipes.
Beyond the ingredients themselves, I will offer these few tips for kale preparation and cooking.
Fresh Kale Tips:
- Cut it into bite sized pieces. If you are buying whole leaves of kale, split them down the middle with a knife and roll the two halves together and chop them into bite sized (but not TOO small) pieces. This will help especially if you have children eating it. Kale can be tough to chew for little ones, but chopping it smaller helps soften it, without over-cooking it.
- Crunched for time? Grab a bag of already cut up kale. Yes, it usually costs 50 cents to 1 dollar more, depending on the brand or type, but it’s worth it. Dump the portion you are cooking into a large mixing bowl. Use kitchen shears to cut up large pieces. 1 bag usually lasts us a recipe of beans & greens, plus a fair amount of roasted kale chips.
- Frozen is good too. I keep a bag of frozen, chopped kale to add to soups and stews. Just about any soup works, tomato, vegetable, soup beans… add the frozen kale in for the last 10 minutes of cooking. It gives it a hearty, healthy zing.
- Oh, kale chips? You HAVE to try them. They are super easy.
- Put some olive oil in the bottom of a wide bowl, dump the chopped kale in.
- Toss the kale in the olive oil using two large spoons, coating evenly.
- Spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- As soon as you take it out of the oven, sprinkle the kale with fresh ground sea salt (or whatever seasonings you like).
- Warning: This stuff is yummy addictive.
NOW, here’s the girls’ favorite, and as always, I hope this helps you be brave in the kitchen and try some vegetable or fruit you’ve never tried before:
Awesome Beans & Greens
Servings – 4 to 6. Prep time – 15 minutes. Cooking time – 25-30 minutes.
1 ½ Cup chopped carrots
1 medium onion, chopped (about ¾ Cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 Cups vegetable broth
2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas or garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
8 Cups of (bite-sized) chopped fresh kale
½ Cup plain, low fat, yogurt (yes, non-dairy yogurt works too… coconut being the most likely)
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot.
Add carrots and onions. Cook onions and carrots, stirring occasionally until onions begin to pearl. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add paprika, salt, cumin and red pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add beans and stir for 1 minute. Stir in vegetable broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the 8 Cups of kale to bean mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.
Ladle bean mixture into bowls, sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of yogurt.
Serve with your favorite warm bread (we alternate between garlic bread and flatbread).