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Kale 101 Basic Kale Cookery

Updated on August 27, 2012

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Kale, it tastes better than it looks!
Kale, it tastes better than it looks! | Source

Basic Kale Cookery 101

Kale is a widely available and under appreciated vegetable. I wrote this because several ladies asked me how to cook Kale as I shopped at the Sprouts grocery store. They all wanted to expand their vegetable eating options but had never worked with kale. So, here it is!

It grows easily in most gardens and is very healthy. Kale is an excellent source of calcium and is also a highly desired cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables are considered cancer protective vegetables. Kale is also packed full of vitamins K, A, and C.

Kale is quite tasty too.

Unfortunately, most people are not quite sure what to do with kale. Here is a basic primer on how to cook kale. Although, I used two strips of bacon as a flavor building base, you may choose to use a vegetable oil. The layering of flavor that uses bacon as a base is particularly pleasing though. I recommend the bacon.

HINT: Don’t want to use or eat too much bacon? Purchase a few strips and then freeze them two pieces per sandwich bag in your freezer. That way you have some for use as a flavor condiment.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 2-4 servings

Kale Prep Steps



  • 1-2 bunches kale, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 strips bacon, cut up
  • 1.2 C. water, may need less or a bit more
  • 1-2 t. apple vinegar, served at table
  • dash salt & pepper, to taste, served at table

Cooking Prep Steps


Easier than it looks!

  1. Fry the bacon in the Dutch oven. I love my cast iron enamel coated Dutch Oven for this
  2. Sauté the onion and then the garlic next with the bacon and oil
  3. Add the chopped kale and stir until all coated. It will start wilting down
  4. Add water and place the lid on the Dutch Oven.
  5. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, checking often. Less mature kale will take less time than more mature picked kale. Use your own judgment here as you want the kale to be a bit chewy but not tough.
  6. Remove the lid and turn the heat up a bit to steam out most (if any) of the water you added

Serve with apple cider vinegar on the table. Do try a dash of the vinegar on your kale. Salt and pepper to taste.

Kale is also wonderful added to most vegetable soups. It adds a layer of flavor as well as giving some heft to the soup. We also like it with canned chicken rice or noodle soups.

Do see my Kale Quesadilla Recipe for another idea.


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