Kale the Live-Long Day
June 24th, 2013
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve become something of a kale expert. I’ve embraced the leafy green as my new veggie best friend and have tried out a bunch of new recipes to use up the big bags of the stuff that keep appearing in our CSA. Kale is remarkably versatile and, if you wanted to, you could easily incorporate it into every meal of the day. For example:
Breakfast — Kale Breakfast Burritos
Saute some bell peppers and kale in a little butter, stir in a couple eggs, a splash of milk and a handful of cheese. Wrap it up in a tortilla and – voila! Super Breakfast!
Lunch — Kale Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Okay, so it would be a lot of tortilla. But otherwise, the flavors are totally different and those of us who like tortillas wouldn’t see the duplication as a problem.
Afternoon Snack — Roasted Kale Chips
Having finally mastered the art of the roasted kale chip, they’ve become a regular snack for me. They’re really not hard to make – just don’t burn them! Spray a big cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Rip up a bunch of kale, having removed the leaves from the thick stem. Spread them out on the sheet and spray again with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and Parmesan cheese then bake at 375 for 11 minutes. Mmmmm.
Dinner — Rustic Sausage Potato Soup with Kale
The recipe above calls for spinach, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use kale.
Or, just serve kale as a side dish to something else. Sauteed kale with corn and red pepper is a winner, as is a “massaged kale salad.” Sounds weird, but basically you squash the kale (massage it!) with your hands – and a bit of salt – for a minute or so to break it down a bit before treating it like lettuce and making a salad. I added craisins, feta cheese, and pecans and made a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Yum!
Dessert — Kale Smoothie
I just discovered kale smoothies the other day. I have never been a big fan of smoothies and I think it’s because they often call for banana and, while I like bananas, I don’t like drinking them. But when I tried other fruit (and kale!) I was smitten.
The one pictured below had plain, non-fat yogurt (about a cup), 1 champagne mango, 4 strawberries, 1 leaf of kale, and about 1 TBS of honey. It was awesome. But you can be creative on the contents. Any in-season fruit works great and I’ve heard frozen fruit lends itself as well.
Now, in the interest of truthfulness I should say that I would never actually plan an entire day’s menu with kale at each meal. That’s a bit much even for me. But it’s fun to see all the ways you can use kale!
Also, in the name of full disclosure, I will admit that I am the only member of my household who has embraced kale. The kids and my husband remain deeply skeptical. They tried the kale chips and wrinkled their noses. The refused the salad. And when I gave the kids kale popsicles (using the above smoothie recipe, but frozen), they were not a hit. I asked Miss Mouse to show me with her face what she thought about them:
But I refuse to let their furrowed brows slow me down. Whenever they snub a kale recipe, it means more for me!