Friday, February 3, 2012


This spoon bread recipe is one transferred from my dianadyer blog. It was to be part of a meal where every dish incorporated some kale. I think I could summarize this meal as "a bale of kale" (actually my husband came up with that great phrase). I say 'was' because while I did try to incorporate kale into every course, and was originally successful, regretfully, our dog ate the spoonbread while it was cooling (yes, our dog ate 3/4 of the 9x13 pan!! - arghhhhh). Then we actually ate everything else before I got photos. I've learned my lessons: leave nothing on the counter to cool if I am out of view and take photos before we eat! 

Makes 12 servings.

Recipe Ingredients
1 pound kale (about 2 bunches), thick ribs and stems cut away
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch sliced green onions (white and green parts) 
1 cup white corn (about ½ of a 15 ounce can), drain and rinse off the salty liquid (freeze the rest for future use)
1/2 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar (or roast 1-2 fresh red sweet peppers, or use some that you roasted and froze yourself during the summer) 
1 garlic clove, minced (optional, depending on what else you are serving - I omitted this since the soup had garlic added as did the bread slices for the kale-bread salad I served)

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
1 teaspoon salt

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 large eggs
½ cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used ~¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes)

Recipe Direction
Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; cool. Squeeze dry. Finely chop kale (I chopped the kale in my food processor).

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, corn, red peppers, and garlic; stir 3 minutes. Mix in 1 1/2 cups kale. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350F at this point. Spray 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick spray (I use a small piece of wax paper to evenly spread the non-stick spray over the bottom and sides of my baking dish).

Whisk 2 cups water and cornmeal in bowl to blend. Bring milk and salt to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in cornmeal mixture. Stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Be VERY careful at this stage. As the mixture thickens, it will start to “pop” and a splatter of batter may just burn you! Cool slightly (I only let it cool for ~1 minute).

Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend; gradually whisk in warm cornmeal mixture. Stir in kale mixture, cheese, and hot pepper sauce. Transfer to prepared dish; smooth top. Bake until set and golden, about 35 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the middle of the dish. Serve warm.

Trust me! This spoonbread is BEAUTIFUL and delicious, if unusual!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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