I love kale! Considered as a superfood, cooked kale provides more iron than beef. It is jampacked with vitamins, antioxidants, and excellent for your digestive health, too. Kale contains zero calories and provides 120 mg of Omega-3 fatty acid per cup. Data shows that drinking kale juice may improve your cholesterol profile. With all these fantastic benefits, who wouldn’t want to add kale in their weekly menu, right?
Raw kale can be chewy and bitter. It has a tough texture unless you use baby kale for salad. Having it for salad and smoothies are fine, but I prefer kale recipes that go beyond the usual. My favorite recipes have three main characteristics: first, they should be easy to prepare. No laborious kitchen prep and I should be done cooking in one-hour tops. Second, the recipe should not require exotic or super fancy ingredients that can’t be easily substituted with something I have in my pantry. And lastly, it should be delicious, of course! If it tastes weird, no matter how healthy it claims to be, I’ll probably pass.
Without further ado, here are my top three fave kale recipes:
1. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Lots of Kale
I love pasta. I love kale. Combine them and I’m instantly sent to food heaven. You might think that there’s an absurd amount of kale in this recipe but don’t worry. It will shrink a ton when cooked and you can ensure some kale goodness in every bite.
Kosher salt to taste
3 or 4 bunches of kale
5 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces spaghetti (or any pasta of your choice)
Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes (for serving)
1. Cook your pasta but undercook it by 2-3 minutes less than package direction. Keep 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid for later.
2. Strip kale leaves from ribs and stems, and tear leaves into 2 inches pieces. Cook kale in boiling water for about 2 minutes until soft. Transfer kale to a colander, rinse in cold water and remove excess liquid from leaves.
3. In a pan, heat the olive oil and toss the garlic until lightly brown.
4. Add kale to pan, stirring often until the leaves darkened in color, and very soft, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add pasta to cooked kale, together with the reserved 1 cup pasta juice. Continue tossing until sauce lightly coats pasta, about 2-3 minutes.
6. Serve pasta with parmesan cheese, black pepper, and salt.
2. Kale and mushroom toast
I prefer savory breakfast rather than cereals or muffins, anytime. I suggest adding ricotta cheese if you have it available.
Mushroom of your choice, preferably portobello or button
Chili flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Toss chopped garlic and mushroom. Stir until brown and crisp.
2. Add torn kale leaves and chili flakes until kale is wilted.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spoon mushroom-kale mixture onto toasted bread and add ricotta cheese if you have any.
3. Kale and Avocado Tacos
The good thing about this recipe is you can easily toss some protein in it to make it a better meal. Chicken, pulled pork, whatever you fancy. Amazing and versatile, isn’t it?
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 cups kale
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
4 corn tortillas
1 avocado, thinly sliced
¼ cup sour cream
1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Toss the garlic until brown.
2. Add kale until it is wilted and tender about 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Add lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To prepare, warm up the tortillas and then topped with cooked kale, sliced avocado, and sour cream.