Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...
Dark leafy greens, such as the many types of kale, are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamins, and minerals. Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, kale is a member of the Brassica family, related to the crucifers broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. In addition to its cancer-fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, kale is superior in versatility in the kitchen and can be cooked in many healthy, delicious ways. Here are just a few kale recipes to put on your family’s daily menu.
Spicy garlic kale chips
Serves 3 to 4
Garlic infused oil makes these crispy, low calorie kale chips even more delicious. You will have extra oil; simply keep it on hand for cooking other dishes or to drizzle on salads and vegetables.
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch or two red pepper flakes
1/2 pound torn kale leaves, washed, patted dry
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes to infuse oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place kale in a salad spinner and spin all the moisture out of the leaves, repeating 2 to 3 times to get leaves extra dry.
Place kale in a large bowl. With a fine sieve, strain oil into an airtight container, removing the garlic and red pepper. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil into bowl and toss to kale to coat.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. If kale is crispy, remove baking sheet from the oven. If kale is still soft, continue to bake until crispy. Be sure to watch kale carefully and don't let the leaves get browned.
Sweetly caramelized onions and mildly bitter kale turn plain polenta into a special occasion dish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 thin slices proscuitto, chopped
1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 cups coarsely torn kale leaves, stems removed
6 cups vegetable broth
1-1/2 cups dry polenta or coarse ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large wide skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and cook prosciutto, stirring often, until it is lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove proscuitto and set aside on a plate.
Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring often, until onions are lightly browned and caramelized. Stir in garlic and prosciutto and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook kale until tender. Drain and set aside.
While kale is cooking, bring vegetable broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in polenta and bring mixture to a boil again. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until polenta thickens.
Stir butter and 1/2 cup Parmesan into polenta and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Place skillet with onion mixture back on the stovetop over medium-heat. Stir in kale and cook, stirring, just until reheated.
To serve, ladle polenta onto serving plates and top with kale mixture. Garnish with Parmesan and serve warm.