15 Ways to Enjoy Kale
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Kale is like lettuce's underrated sister. It contains more nutrition than lettuce, but due to its slight bitter taste and sinewy texture, kale has never been as popular. Ask random 100 people what their favorite vegetables are; I bet very few would say kale. What a pity to see such a wonderful veggie be so unappreciated! That's why I would love to promote this nutritious leafy green, and talk about different ways to cook it. Its bitterness can easily be toned down or eliminated completely. Its texture can also be softened or even crisped up to suit your liking. These kale cooking ideas might make kale haters start looking at this lovely vegetable in a whole different light.
Grilling gives kale such a nice, smoky aroma. If you season it well, it could be one of the best veggies to cook on a grill. Before grilling kale leaves, thoroughly toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and balsamic vinegar. Then grill for just about 1 - 2 minutes on each side. This should be a wonderful side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses.
Looking for an easy and nutritious side dish? Try kale chips! You can make kale leaves super crispy without deep-frying. Simply remove the ribs, cut the leaves into small pieces of about 1 - 2 inches. Lightly toss with olive oil and salt. Arrange them on a baking sheet. Then bake in a preheated 275-degree F oven for about 20 minutes. (Remember to flip the leaves halfway through.)
Almost everything tastes better when it's turned into crispy deep-fried cakes. Kale is no different. If you enjoy apple, carrot or corn fritters, try adding chopped kale to your favorite fritter recipes. This might actually be a great way to convert kale haters into kale lovers.
A juicer is a must-have kitchen gadget if you're into concocting your own healthy beverages. To make kale juice, remove the ribs from your kale leaves. Put the leaves into a juicer along with a few other fruits or vegetables in order to sweeten the juice or balance the bitterness of the kale. Some nice ingredients to juice with kale include cucumber, celery, apple, pineapple, mint and mango.
Kale can add an incredible umami flavor to any soup, let alone extra nutrition. You may use kale as an additional vegetable in your soup or let it shine as the main ingredient. It will be delicious either way.
How to Make Sausage and Kale Soup
Kale with Scrambled Eggs
Kale and eggs may sound like an odd couple, but they can, in fact, go together quite beautifully. Saute some chopped kale leaves until tender and set side. Then cook your scrambled eggs and add the sauteed kale in the last minute. Quickly stir them together in the skillet and serve.
If you love to put an array of vegetables into your quiche, don't forget to include kale on the list. It will add lovely color, texture, and of course, extra nutrients to the quiche. Plus, just like spinach, it goes quite wonderfully with cheese.
For those of you who don't really like to eat veggies on a plate, green smoothies can be a smart alternative. Pair kale with some sweet fruits (pineapple, mango, strawberries, etc) and a little bit of milk or yogurt. A few mint leaves can also be a refreshing addition. Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!
Green Smoothie Recipe with Kale, Banana and Strawberry
Have you ever had lettuce wraps? Guess what? Kale wraps are just as delicious. However, raw kale may be too bitter and tough. What you can do is blanch kale leaves, then immerse them in an ice water bath for a few minutes. The kale leaves will be more tender and less bitter while maintaining their beautiful color.
When it comes to kale cooking, the tough ribs or stems are usually removed and discarded. If you don't want to waste those perfectly fine stems, pickling is an easy way to make use of them. To prepare a pickling liquid, boil some vinegar, sugar, salt, water and other spices of your choice together. Put chopped kale stems in a small jar, then fill the jar with the hot pickling liquid you have just made. Let them pickle for 3 days in a refrigerator before serving.
Sauteing is one of the most popular methods of cooking kale. To do it like a pro, start with heating some oil in a saucepan. Add chopped garlic and cook until tender. Then add chopped kale and some vegetable stock, just enough to cover it. Close the lid and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes. Finally, remove the lid and keep sauteing until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and spices of your choice.
Steaming is a healthy way to cook kale. Remove the ribs and chop kale leaves into 1-inch pieces. Cook the leaves in a heated steamer for about 5 - 10 minutes or until they're tender enough for your liking. Then transfer them to a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice (or vinegar). That's how easy it is!
How to Steam Kale
Using Kale as an Edible Garnish
Kale leaves are dark green and frilly in appearance, which makes them a lovely garnish for a plain-looking dish like a pureed soup or a lackluster stew. Plus, once the kale leaves are stirred into the warm broth, they will become more tender and more palatable than when they were completely raw.
Using Kale in a Casserole
If you don't like kale enough to make it the star of your dish, simply use it as an additional ingredient in a baked casserole. Whether it be a sausage casserole or a lasagna, some chopped kale leaves would beautifully add texture, color and nutrition to it.
Using Kale in a Salad
Eating raw kale could make you feel like chewing on a rose bush. It's just a little too tough and bitter. That doesn't mean you can't use it in a salad, though. Simply blanch some kale leaves (without the ribs), then chill them in a bowl of water and ice for a few minutes. This way, your kale will be more tender and slightly crispy like lettuce. Its bitterness will also be significantly toned down.
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