Raw Kale Summer Salad

I know, I had you at raw.  Many people are intimidated and don’t know how to prepare raw kale, but don’t fret, it’s easy!  If you’re going to become a kale lover, you really need to train your palate to enjoy the freshness and tang of raw kale.  Just be sure to add the lemon and salt and massage it in!

Raw kale salad with lemon, blueberries, grape tomatoes, avocados, and slivered almonds.

1 Bunch Kale (I used red Russian)

1 Lemon

Salt

Grape Tomatoes

3 Ounces Blueberries

1 Sliced Avocado

2-3 Ounces Slivered Almonds

Begin by washing and drying the kale thoroughly.  Tear the kale into small pieces, and place in a bowl.

Wash your hands really really well.  Like, even  more well than before you started cooking.

Add the juice of the entire lemon and about a teaspoon of salt to the kale to start.  Begin massaging the lemon and salt into the kale.  Continue rubbing the kale, until all surfaces of the kale are coated and shiny.  Add all remaining ingredients and serve!

You may choose to add a little olive oil or a dressing of your choice to complete this dish. I usually toss a dash of olive oil, but that’s all.  A super fresh salad that will compliment your summer dishes and summer lifestyle well!


Kale and Sweet Potato Hash

2o minutes, kale, sweet potatoes, some chicken stock, eggs, and nutmeg.  Awesome!

16 ounces chicken broth ( I prefer Better Than Boullion)
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 bunch kale
4 large eggs
Bring the chicken broth to a simmer over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the sweet potatoes and season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Cover and cook until just soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes; divide among 4 plates. Rinse and dry the skillet, spray with Pam and warm over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook until the whites are opaque and yolks have set. Top each portion of hash with 1 egg.

Recipe inspiration: Rachel Ray It’s so good, I don’t care that I don’t care that she may be the most annoying cook ever.


Kale, Potato, Pea and Anise Soup

It’s cold and all I want to eat is soup, soup, and more soup.  This anise flavored soup is a Vegan, fun, healthy twist on potato soup.  Plus, it looks really pretty when it’s all put together.  Enjoy!

Kale, Potato, Pea and Anise Soup

2 T. Olive Oil

1 Onion, diced

3-4 Carrots, sliced

8 Ounces Potatoes, cubed

2 t Anise Seeds

6 Cups Vegetable Broth (I love Rapunzel Vegan Sea Salt Bouillon Cubes)

1 Cup Peas

1 Bunch Kale, deveined and torn

Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a medium to large stock pot, over medium high heat, sweat onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add carrots, potatoes, and anise seeds. Stir for 1 minute.

Add broth , increase heat to high, and bring to boil.  Leave boiling until potatoes are cooked.  Test with a fork.

Using an immersion blender, blend ingredients together briefly, leaving  a thick, chunky texture.

Reduce heat to simmer.  Add kale and peas and simmer for 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and serve!


Kale Lasagna

This weekend I needed a slam dunk recipe to convert someone into a kale eater.  Pretty sure this did the trick.  You can use ricotta for the cheese layer- but at $7.50 for 16oz for ricotta made in my time zone, I opted for the cottage cheese and egg trick my Mom taught me growing up.  It sounds goofy, but trust me, it tastes delicious.

Kale Lasagna

1 Package No Boil Lasagna Noodles (I like 365 brand- fyi: you won’t use the whole box)
6 Cups Marinara (2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce if you are buying)
1 lb Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs
1 Large Bunch Kale (I used Lacinato)
1 Onion
4 Cloves Garlic
1 T Olive Oil
1 lb Shredded Mozzarella
1/2 C Parmesan

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.

Whisk the egg and cottage cheese together in a bowl.  Set aside.

Thoroughly wash, remove stems, and chiffonade (or cube if you like) kale. Leave kale slightly damp. Dice onion and garlic.  In a sauté pan over medium high heat, cook the onion and garlic until translucent.  Add (still damp) kale and continue to cook until kale is vibrant green and water is absorbed.  Set aside.

Add sauce to the bottom of glass baking dish, just thick enough to cover the bottom of the dish.  Add a layer of lasagna noodles.  Noodles should touch each other, but not overlap.  You will most likely have to break some pieces to create a solid layer.  Puzzle lasagna is fun!  Add cheese mixture atop noodles.  Add another layer of noodles.  Cover noodles in sauce.  Add another layer of noodles.  Cover noodles in sauce.  Layer kale mixture a top noodles and sauce.  Add another layer of noodles.  Add a layer of sauce.  Cover with mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil (this is important!  It will keep the cheese from burning and locks in the moisture to cook the noodles).  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil and bake for additional 10 minutes (until cheese is golden brown).

Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes (for cheese to solidify for slicing).  Enjoy!


Coconut, Curry, and Kale; Creamed Kale Perfection

3 ingredients and 10 minutes to I ate the whole thing…

Creamed Kale

Adapted from Mark
1 Bunch Kale
1/2 Can Coconut Milk
Curry Powder to taste

Wash the kale.  Remove the stems and chiffon (or chop).

Over medium-high heat add coconut milk, then kale.  When kale begins to wilt, sprinkle with curry powder to desired seasoning.  Cook until remaining coconut milk is thick.

Serve.

Oh nom. Nom. Nom. Nom.


Ignite: The Recap (and a present for you!)

I came. I saw. I spoke. I made a crack about the host wearing my t shirt in front of a waiter named Kale.

It was awesome.

In case you missed it, here is the replay of my presentation:

Performing my first spark was awesome, more challenging than I thought (if you want to give it a shot, talk to people who have made them before, 5 minutes and 20 auto advancing slides is hard!) but in the end super rewarding and super fun.  I look forward to doing it again, we’ll see if it will be about kale or a new obsession!

Several people have asked me about my shirt.  If you are dying to get some Eat More Kale apparel of your very own, be sure to check out their site (that’s right, I didn’t make it, I bought it) here.  Oh yeah, there are more people out there as obsessed with kale as I am.  Rock.

Backsides love kale too.

Just for fun, I had my friends over at StickerGiant make up some stickers for my Ignite pals, and passed them out.  I have a few left over, and I’d love to share them with anyone who wants one.  If you’d like a sticker, leave me a comment and I’ll make sure to get you one, or a few.  Out of town?  Even better, let me know and I’ll mail you a few, in exchange for a photo of you posting that sticker somewhere awesome.

And if anyone is wondering how Battle of the Burners was, don’t worry, I’m going to fill you in….soon.  Easily the best meal of my life.  Those folks over at Beet Street throw one hell of an awesome party.

I also grabbed some gorgeous Red Winter Kale from Native Hill Farm this weekend, and I’m planning to make something great with it this week.  Look for the recipe Thursday.


Big Week: Ignite Fort Collins, Beet Street’s Battle of the Burners, and Spring Creek Gardens Harvest Festival

This week I’m super excited to be part of 2 awesome local events here in Fort Collins.

First up, tonight (9.22.10) I’ll be doing my first “Spark” at Ignite Fort Collins.  Never been to an Ignite?  You can learn more about it here.  My topic:  How Kale Can Save the World.  No big surprise, I know.

Then this Saturday (9.25.2010), I’ve had the honor incredible fortune and dumb luck of being asked to participate as a judge in Beet Street’s inaugural Battle of the Burners.

6 local chefs will be competing in an Iron Chef style event, where myself and several others (including the lovely Kristin from Feasting Fort Collins), will be judging to decide who’s cuisine reigns supreme.  It’s going to be a great night out and there are still tickets available here.  I’ll be doing my best to refrain from yelling out “needs more kale” on regular intervals.  But who knows, maybe they’ll be into that sort of thing.

Lastly, I want to mention also this Saturday is the Gardens on Spring Creek’s Harvest Festival.  Admission is cheap (Suggested donation only $4!) and they have a great selection of workshops, contests, and fun activities happening for the entire family.  More details are available here.   The Gardens do incredible work in our community, have big plans for the future, and just opened a spectacular new outdoor  kitchen.  Stop by and support them!

Do you know of something awesome happening soon?  Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it on!


Kale with Apples and Walnuts


1 Small onion, diced

2 Apples, cored and cubed

1 Bunch kale, cleaned and chiffonaded

1 T Olive Oil

1/2 c water

1 T Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

2 T Walnuts, crushed

Over medium high heat, carmelize onions and apples.  Add kale and water.  Cover and cook until water is absorbed (approximately 5 minutes).  Top with walnuts and serve.

Sometimes I will confess to people that I do regularly eat kale for breakfast.  This recipe has been a staple of late, serving it up as a side with some pumpkin oatmeal or a few farm fresh eggs.  I don’t understand why we don’t eat more vegetables at breakfast, for me, it’s a great way to set an intention to eat healthy and fresh for the whole day.  Not to mention it sure tastes good.


Hearty Minestrone

1/4 lb Ground Sausage, I like sweet Italian
1 Red Onion, diced
1 Zucchini, diced
1 Summer Squash, diced
1 Eggplant, diced
1 Bunch Kale, chopped
2 c Diced Tomatoes
6 c Vegetable Broth
Fresh Basil
Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan to taste

Clean and cut all vegetables per ingredient list. Brown the sausage in a large stockpot over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the onion.  Sautee for an additional 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, squash and eggplant, sauteeing for another 5 minutes.  Add the kale and tomatoes, sautee for 2-3 minutes.  Add stock (use more or less as needed, my rule of thumb is about an inch over the vegetables). Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add chopped herbs and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve with fresh grated parmesan.

All we need now is a delicious, hearty bread.  Happy Fall!


Oven Baked Kale Chips

Kale Chips

3-4 Stalks Kale (6-8 if using Tuscan/Dinosaur kale)
2 T. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T. Olive Oil
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I use aluminum foil sometimes too).

Wash, dry, and tear the kale into small pieces, about the size of the palm of your hand is a good guide.

Place the kale in a bowl.  Add the vinegar and olive oil.  Sprinkle salt over the top.  (A good guide on the amount of salt is to add the salt as you would season popcorn).

Mix together using your hands making sure the leaves are evenly coated.

Lay the kale pieces out on the foil in a single layer.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  You will know they are done when the puff up and are crispy.  Try to not allow them to brown.

Enjoy!!!

Great for snacks, with a sandwich, or as an introduction to kale, these chips don’t last long.  The chips will stay nice in a sealed container for 3-4 days.