Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Questions About Kale

I hope that you know how much i love comments on this blog. I especially love it when people send me questions directly using the "Contact Me" option at the top of the page. I received a question yesterday about the various ways i prepare kale. Susy at Chiot's Run posted her difficulties with enjoying this wonderful green: many people (my mother included) are finicky about the texture of cooked greens. I am not among this lot. In fact, cooked kale is probably one of my all time favorite vegetables. I try to keep a nice stand of Lacinato Kale growing in my garden at ALL times with chard being a squeeky textured runner up: it grows so darned well, just not quite as tasty in my opinion.

I could have kale with dinner every single night, and here are some of my favorite preparations:
That last recipe is one of my go-to potluck dishes or quick dinners. The version in that post used brussels sprouts, but i've found that kale or chard work even better. Here's an even quicker and easier method to make that delicious and protein packed dish:
Heat some chicken or veggie stock in the microwave or on the stove until close to boiling. Pour over bulghar wheat with some dried herbs of your choice, salt and pepper. Stir briefly then cover. I like to mix in a large pyrex bowl and put its fitted lid on it. Let sit aside while you sautee the rest of the ingredients. Some favorites: chopped kale, garlic, onions, hot peppers, water chestnuts, whatever is in season at the time. Sautee in plenty of delicious tasting olive oil and a bit of lemon juice (lemon keeps the green in greens) until just soft. Mix into the bulghar wheat mixture (bulghar wheat has a ton of protein, but you could add a meat as well) and serve as a main dish or a side. Delish!

 For kale chips, timing is key. Toss ripped kale chips, that have had the largest stem removed, in a bowl with some olive or coconut oil and generous seasoning of your choice. Imagine you're making oven fries. Lay the kale evenly on a cookie sheet (or two) so that they do not overlap much. Put in an oven at 350 or 375 for a few minutes, flip and do the other side for a few more minutes. The timing depends how hot your oven really is and how large your 'chips' are. You want to pay very close attention the first few times you make them: they can burn very easily. You want them JUST blistering, but not black. I like them to be a bit chewy in places, vs totally chipped but that's a matter of preferance.

So there you go, some of my favorite ways to prepare kale. Feel free to comment with more questions, as i'd be happy to elaborate on any of these recipes or share more ideas for this calcium packed veggie!

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!