Kale is a gorgeous and sturdy green with its amazing array of vitamins, antioxidants, and effective detox and anti-inflammatory properties. It's truly versatile, making it easy to add into dishes you already know and love.
To prepare kale for cooking, simply remove the tough core from each leaf and rinse it well. Washing is important, especially if you're using curly leafed kale. Those tightly curled leaves make good hiding spots for critters.
I love eating kale at breakfast, especially with fresh eggs.
My favorite way to prepare it is to lightly steam chopped kale leaves while I saute tomatoes, diced onion, and minced garlic in a saucepan. When the kale is tender, drain it well and add it to the saucepan, stirring well to ensure even coverage of the tomato sauce over the leaves. Make a mound of the kale tomato mixture on each plate, and top with fried eggs. If you like, add a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
You can also add a few leaves to your breakfast smoothie or use young leaves as a substitute for bread in a breakfast sandwich.
For lunch I like using kale in a crust-less quiche.
I puree steamed kale leaves with a bit of water or chicken broth until it's a smooth paste. I then stir it into scrambled eggs and add feta cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes or maybe mild green chilies, sliced scallions, and chopped fresh tomatoes. I pour the lot into a greased oven-proof dish and bake it at 350 for 30-40 minutes until the top is browned and the quiche is firm to the touch.
You could also toss young kale leaves into your noon salad or use them as handy wraps for tuna salad.
Adding kale to a dinner time ritual is easy.
Alfredo or marinara sauces are made much healthier by the addition of a few handfuls of finely chopped kale. Add it to any vegetable soup or chowder, chili or stew. One of my go-to quick dinner options is to fry up lean hamburger with a diced whole onion and several cloves of minced garlic while I lightly steam chopped kale. Once the hamburger and onion is cooked through, I stir in the drained kale, adding a bit of soy sauce to round out the flavors. This is great by itself or tossed with leftover rice to stretch it a bit further.
If you can't find kale at your local market, try growing it at home in your garden or in pots on your balcony. It is a hardy plant and will produce well into Autumn if you look after it. Kale is susceptible to cabbage moths, so be sure to sprinkle a good inch of wheat bran around the base of each plant. This should keep the pests off your kale plants.
Krista Bjorn is a food and travel writer. She blogs daily on her site RamblingTart.com. She's a self-described "Danish-Canadian lass who loves to write, travel and cook with people I love."