Kymberly loves to cook, bake, and preserve. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with delicious (healthy) recipes!
How to Cook Kale
The first step to cooking great kale is selecting great kale.
As it is a cool-weather leafy vegetable, look for fresh bunches in the stores during the autumn and winter months. Wash the leaves thoroughly in cool water before chopping.
In many countries, it can be bought all year round, pre-shredded and frozen, or already lightly cooked in jars.
Minced or chopped kale contains a potent anti-cancer chemical—sulforaphane. To ensure this is not lost, the best cooking methods are steaming, stir-frying, or microwaving.
You can also use it fresh in salads with strongly flavored dressings, or in green smoothies.
You Can Eat Ornamental Kale!
Purple or white and green variants are often used as ornamental plants, or sometimes even as a pretty serving decoration for meals. These variants are most certainly edible but may be stronger in flavor.
Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, kale has edged out spinach for the title of the most nutritious of greens!
One cup of chopped kale contains only 33 calories and almost no fat.
It contains a good amount of fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. And that one cup contains more than 100% of our daily required antioxidants—vitamins A, C, and K.
In a Salad
You can eat raw kale, chopped as a salad leaf. It goes wonderfully with strong flavors like balsamic vinegar, sun-ripened cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts and feta cheese.
Grow your own, and you will have salad greens throughout autumn and winter when lettuce doesn't happily grow.
This is best made with fresh leaves.
- Heat a little oil in a saucepan or wok, add 1 diced onion, 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 diced hot chili pepper.
- Cook for 2 minutes to soften the onion, garlic and chili, then add 4 cups (200g) of chopped fresh kale.
- Add 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes, then continue cooking with the lid off until the liquid has evaporated.
- Serve hot!
Stir Fried With Roasted Garlic and Nuts
A fast and tasty stir fry to accompany barbecued dishes. It goes well with beef or pork dishes, as it has a strong flavor.
This is also best made with fresh leaves, bottled or frozen kale disintegrates too easily.
- 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, 0.5 inch (1cm) ginger, plus 1 hot red chili pepper, all finely diced
- 3 cups fresh kale, chopped
- 1 handful of roasted cashew nuts (unsalted)
- 1 tsp five spice powder
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- sesame oil for serving
- Cook the onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a little oil over a medium heat for 2 minutes until softened and aromatic.
- Add the kale, cook for an extra 2 minutes, then add the cashew nuts and stir through.
- Sprinkle over the five spice powder and soy sauce, and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve hot, drizzled with a little sesame oil and additional soy or hoisin sauce.
You can also dress this up further with toasted sesame seeds, or extra chopped cashews, lightly toasted.
Many dishes in a variety of countries mix boiled or steamed potatoes with steamed kale and other ingredients.
These side dishes are an easy way to get kale into picky kids.
You can use frozen, canned or bottled leaves in these dishes as a strong, fresh leaf structure is not important.
This is a dish from the Netherlands that consists of boiled kale and other vegetables with boiled and peeled potatoes.
The mixture of vegetables is then mashed together, sometimes with a bit of apple sauce for a little sweetness, and served with a strongly flavored smoked sausage.
Ireland's creamy colcannon is made from mashed potatoes, butter, spring onions, shredded braised kale, and salt/pepper. Colcannon is often eaten with boiled ham or bacon.
In northern Germany, kale (Grünkohl) is finely chopped and added to soft cooked onions, then served with sausages or smoked pork. You can even go on a boozy winter tour, a Grünkohlfahrt, to consume a lot of schnapps and eat large quantities of this dish!
4. Asian/Mexican Stir Fry
Throughout Asia and Mexico, fresh kale is typically stir-fried with beef or other meats, often with strongly flavored ingredients, such as chili peppers, sesame oil or peanuts.
The Best Vegetable Pie
I try to eat a wide variety of vegetables each day, making sure that they have different colors—it ensures I have a wide range of vitamins in my meals.
That's why this pie is great—I can add a range of colorful vegetables and it will always taste fabulous.
Kale is a fantastic green addition, packed with vitamins A, C, B6 and K.
- Use any of your favorite vegetables, herbs and spices.
- A mixture of cheddar and parmesan works well, as does crumbled feta cheese.
- Cooked bacon pieces or browned chicken pieces are also tasty additions if you want to add some meat.
- For a gluten-free quiche, make the filling in a glass pie dish and skip the pastry crust.
- Dairy-free - use soy milk instead of milk/cream, and omit the pastry and cheese. Alternatively, use soy cheese in the filling, and plant-based margarine to make the pastry.
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- 4 large eggs (organic free range are best)
- ½ cup (100ml) cream
- shortcrust pastry (or prepared pie crust)
- 1 tsp each dried oregano and dried majoram
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup (50g) kale, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 medium mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup sweet corn kernels
- ½ zucchini, coarsely grated
- ½ cup (60g) cheese, grated
- Preheat your oven to a medium heat of 350°F (180°C).
- Roll out the shortcrust pastry and line a large quiche or pie tin (a deep 9 inch/22 cm).
- Sauté the onion and garlic in a little oil until slightly soft and fragrant. Add the chopped bell pepper, kale and mushroom, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool thoroughly.
- Mix the cool vegetable mixture with the corn, grated zucchini and cheese together in a bowl.
- Break the eggs into another bowl, add the milk, and whisk thoroughly together. Add the herbs and spices, then whisk to blend evenly.
- Lay the vegetable mixture evenly in the tin over the pastry, then pour over the egg mixture.
Tip: Top with sliced tomatoes, red bell peppers or sliced mushrooms, sprinkle over extra grated cheese or herbs and spices for a beautiful pie top!
- Cook for 45 minutes, or until the middle of the pie is set.
Serve hot or cold, with a fresh green salad.
- Spanish flavors - Add some chopped up chorizo sausage to the onion and garlic mixture at the beginning of the recipe. Include cayenne pepper and saffron to the spices in the egg and milk mixture.
- Potato covered - Slice one or two potatoes very thinly and quickly steam or cook in a microwave until slightly softened. Layer over the top of the pie before baking.
- Crunchy cheesy top - Melt some butter and pour over a mixture of breadcrumbs and grated cheese, then sprinkle over the top before baking. Japanese panko breadcrumbs are much more crunchy than standard breadcrumbs.
What are your favourite kale dishes?
Let us know in the comments below!