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Steamed kale and summer squash with rice wine vinegar

Updated on July 17, 2011
There are an abundance of summer squash . . .  in the summer!!
There are an abundance of summer squash . . . in the summer!!

Quick, nutritious and delicious!

This is a nice side dish or light lunch, or if you put it over rice it would be enough for a meal. Use both the green and yellow summer squash varieties together so it looks beautiful. Any sort of kale will work well in this recipe, though if you want to use dinosaur kale, I'd suggest doubling the quantity involved. It's a real simple recipe, and I'm sure you'll love to eat it.

A little knife magic!

Summer squash in two varieties.
Summer squash in two varieties.
Cut off the ends and feed them to bunny rabbits.
Cut off the ends and feed them to bunny rabbits.
Cut! Cut!
Cut! Cut!
Both ends off.
Both ends off.
Make a long cut!
Make a long cut!

Ingredients for each serving:

Between four and eight leaves of kale

One half of a summer squash (or use a smaller one if you're making this dish for one person)

A few dashes of Tabasco sauce, or your favorite hot sauce (about 1/8 of a teaspoon, more or less, to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)

A tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

Salt to taste

You will also need:

A saute pan with a lid

A large bowl

Cutting board and knife

Cut it in half length wise.
Cut it in half length wise.
Follow the bend of the squash if there is one.
Follow the bend of the squash if there is one.
Make long strips.
Make long strips.
Make more long strips.
Make more long strips.
Chop it up!
Chop it up!
A little knife magic!!
A little knife magic!!


Separate the leaves of the kale from the stems by hand. Next, rip or cut the kale into bite-size pieces. I like ripping kale, it's easier and quicker than cutting.

Pour about a half-inch of water into a saute pan (one that has a lid). A shallow pan like this works best for steaming since the water comes to a boil more quickly, and the heat's not on as long. Take your vegetable steamer, open it up and place it into the pan. Circle the kale around the metal stem of the steamer. Usually there is a little metal ring on the end of that stem. If there is, be sure to keep the ring accessible so that it is on top of the kale. Later on, everything will be quite hot, but the little metal ring will cool off quickly once you remove the lid from the pan. Then you can grab it, with a potholder if need be, and remove the whole steamer without burning yourself. Now with the kale and the water in the pan turn the heat onto high. Cover the pan with the lid. Set the timer for about 5 minutes, you want the kale to steam for at least 3 minutes. Some people like kale cooked a little bit less, and some people more.

If you have dentures, you'll probably want to steam the kale for about 20 minutes. Otherwise it's way difficult to eat because it's so chewy. If you do cook it this long, be sure to replenish the water from time to time so that the pan doesn't boil dry. Burned kale water stuck to a boiled dry pan is really hard to clean up after!!

Now that the kale's on the stove cut the summer squash into four lengthwise strips, then turn it, and cut these into quarter-inch segments. The trick with cooking summer squash is not to cook it too long. It gets all mushy. So once the kale is mostly cooked (after 3 to 5 minutes), add the summer squash on top of the kale, replace the lid, and let everything cook for one or at most two minutes. Once the squash is cooked, grab the little metal ring, and remove the steamer and put the kale and squash into a large bowl. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, and about a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar. Add the black pepper. Mix thoroughly with a spoon and fork, until the vegetables are coated with vinegar. About 20 seconds.

Give it the taste test, and if necessary add salt, more hot sauce or pepper. The water that is left in the pan is full of nutrients. You may want to use it as a soup stock, or just add some honey to it (or other sweetener) and drink it. Sometimes, I make tea with the kale water. It's particularly beneficial to drink it if you're feeling a little bit sick or blue.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my steamed kale and summer squash recipe. If you give it a try, please let me know how you like it!


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    • Robert Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Hughes 

      7 years ago

      Thanks, Stephanie. I'm a big fan of recipes that feature fewer ingredients.

    • slmorgan profile image


      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank-you for the minimum ingredient and nutritious meal that sounds delicious. I love zucchini squash for main meals as well as for making zucchini bread.


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