Monday, April 16, 2012

oh kale

I once had a job in a steak house. True. In fact, that's where my hospitality 'career' began. I tended the salad and dessert bar slicing and dicing salad vegetables, concocting dressings and preparing desserts many of which were covered in lashings of hot chocolate sauce. It was here that I first touched kale. Each morning when the salad bar was set up with crushed ice, once the salad bowls were positioned in the ice kale was used as decoration to cover the ice. I was 18 years young and had no idea kale could be eaten!

Thankfully I made that delicious discovery in my mid twenties and have had a love affair with this deep green and/or purple, nutrient packed member of the cabbage family ever since.

One of my favorite ways to eat kale is as soup. I am a big fan of green soups, to me they're a bit like the cool weather version of having a green smoothie (minus the fruit), and another great way to present green veggies to children.

My kale soup recipe varies depending on what I have on hand but always starts with melting a knob of butter, dicing an onion and frying it gently in the butter with as many chopped cloves of garlic I think the family can handle (the more the better) and then in goes a chopped head of broccoli, a diced zucchini or two, the chopped bunch of kale leaves, any herbs looking to go in parsley, basil or coriander and then cover with the homemade stock I hopefully have in supply. If not, I cover with filtered water and season with Bragg's All Purpose Seasoning. Bring to boil and then simmer until all vegetables are soft, then puree or mash if you prefer it a little more textured. If I'm not keeping the soup strictly green I add in diced potatoes or a head of cauliflower.

I came across this recipe for kale and quinoa cakes on Joy the Baker (if you can't bear to read about or eat quinoa again there are plenty of distractions involving unbelievable amounts of sugar and butter to be found on this beauty of a cooking blog, such as this Best Chocolate Bundt Cake ever).

Keeping things simple, roughly chop kale leaves, lightly saute garlic in butter or olive oil add the kale and cook for a few minutes then squeeze over some lemon juice.

These kale chips are a super tasty, if pricey, way to get your greens. Or follow this recipe and make your own.

Have you cooked with kale? What are your favorite ways?


  1. Hey Nikki! I'm thrilled to have found you. I'm also a stay at home mumma with a kitchen garden. We eat as much as we can from our own soil and yard - our journey is just beginning but i know I will find inspiration here!

    xo em

  2. Yay! Thrilled to have you here Em. I can't take any credit at all for growing the food we eat, I thank my husband Pete and our boys for tending the vegie patch. I am very happy though to cook with the harvest and love the challenge of coming up with new ways to cook the 500th zucchini or pumpkin or whatever is abundantly in season. Fantastic you have a kitchen garden, especially because your children will naturally enjoy picking and eating vegetables. I look forward to comparing notes. Thanks for reading.

  3. I'm so glad I checked back to find this note Nikki! I must confess our garden is mostly kept by my Dave but the kids and I do spend quite a bit of time amongst 'the green'.

    I also have read the divided heart after my neighbour and friend (jodi from Che and Fidel) lent it to me!

    xo em


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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