For a bonus, here’s a glamour shot of my workstation:
Every week at the market I buy at least a couple of bunches of kale. To make it super-dupereasy to add into any (and sometimes every) meal, my personal time saving trick is to massage the kale as soon as I get home from the market.
To do this, all you need is a large bowl and a little bit of oil. I’ve used avocado here, but use your favorite. Strip the kale greens from their stems (reserve the stems to add to stock or thinly slice and add to stir fry, scrambled eggs, etc.). Tear the leaves into roughly bite-sized pieces. Drizzle lightly with oil and massage between your hands, similarly to what you would do when making sauerkraut. When the greens have wilted and reduced by half, they’re ready to go. I massage enough kale for several meals and keep it ready in the refrigerator.
Massaging kale makes it easier to digest without cooking which means that it has an improved bioavailability, and also means that it’s ready to throw into a meal at any time. Here’s how I used up my stash this week:
Meal #1: Scrambled eggs. I sauteed some kale stems and leaves in a little bit of butter and then poured over a couple of beaten eggs for a quick breakfast that’s energizing.
Meals #2, 3, 4: Salad to go with lunch–I drizzled some lemon juice over the kale and added a handful of whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit I felt like using each day, then added some cooked chicken or beef for protein.
Meal #5: I stir fried some kale with brown rice and soy sauce. When it was pretty much perfect, I cracked an egg into the pan and cooked, stirring constantly. Voila, kale fried rice.
Meal #6: This pesto (made with Cumberland cheese instead of Parmesan) that I served over pasta after thinning it slightly with some of the pasta water.
Meal #7: Kale scrambled eggs again.
How do you like to build greens into your weekly meals?
If you’re like me, watching the Academy Awards is a wonderful time to reflect on all the movies you meant to see to help you hold your own in conversation at dinner with your more culturally with-it friends. In honor of the catching up I will try and fail to do in the next few weeks, I’m sharing my new favorite movie snack–kale chip popcorn. I love popcorn, and it’s very simple to cook on a stove top. Here the addition of homemade kale chips boosts the flavor (plus who doesn’t need more greens in their life?). Grab a bag of locally grown kernels and a bunch of kale at the market to make this much yummier alternative to the chemically microwave kind.
A note about cooking fat: For popping the corn, you want to choose a cooking fat that can withstand higher temperatures. In other words, don’t use olive oil. I’ve actually used lard that I purchased at Main Street Meats here. It adds a layer of flavor depth that is really awesome with the kale. If you’re not of the Weston A. Price Foundation persuasion and/or you prefer to keep this vegan, just use coconut oil. The taste will be different but still delicious.
Kale Chip Popcorn
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat your lard or coconut oil over medium heat. To test the pan to see if it is hot enough, place one kernel of corn in the pot and wait for it to pop. Remove the kernel and add the rest of the popcorn and cover with the lid. Shake the pot occasionally to be sure that no kernels stick to the bottom. When the popcorn has finished popping, sprinkle with salt, cover and shake well.
When the kale is done roasting, lightly crush the chips and toss with the popped corn. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, if desired and enjoy!