In all honesty – I had not eaten Kale until just a few short months ago… like maybe 5. Really – I have been missing this wonderfully nutritious veggie all this time!
My daughters have each been making and eating Kale chips for a couple years now I think… so it was always one of those things I wanted to try.
The first time I cooked it was when my daughter was still here – I just sautéed it in olive oil and sprinkled parmesan cheese on it and served it as a side dish. Yum!
Since then I’ve been cooking it up with other veggies and adding a Serrano Chile Honey Balsamic Vinegar at the end… ooooh what a lovely sweet hot kick that adds to the dish. Add some chicken and serve it over rice or pasta…. mmmmm, mmmm, good.
I’ll sauté some onions, red peppers and kale and add to my scrambled eggs for breakfast. I’ve used it in quiche as well instead of either broccoli or spinach.
But one of my favorite uses this chilly spring has been in soup. I make about 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock, add in some Costco Meatballs and a bunch of cut up Kale. I’ve been known to shred up a zucchini and throw that in as well – I don’t think there are any right or wrong additions (my daughter added garbanzo beans when she made it). Heat it up and serve it with brown rice or even pasta if you have it…
My daughter and grand kids called last week and wanted to “Facetime” with me while the kids were all sitting down to their lunch (helps to keep them in their seats for a few minutes). I was heating up my lunch as well – so we all had lunch together. They wanted to know what Granny’s soup was and since they had liked other soups I had made while they lived here they pestered their Mom to make them some of Granny’s Kale Soup later in the week.
What I’ve been doing the past couple weeks is buying a couple bunches of Organic Kale at a time, steam blanching it, and freezing it so that I always have some on hand. I buy ‘organic’ because Kale is listed on the “Dirty Dozen” list because of high pesticide residue… doesn’t seem to make much sense to eat healthy and then have that healthy food be loaded with toxins!
Wash the leaves
Pull leaves off the stems
Steam for 3 minutes
Ice water bath to stop the cooking
Spin the excess water out with salad spinner
Pack in plastic containers for freezer
I packed one 1.5 pint and two 1 pint containers.
I always wondered why people had to blanch produce before freezing it… well the short answer as I understand it is that briefly heating it stops the growing enzyme action and your product last longer. Since this was a leafy item I figured steam was suitable – other denser items would need to be blanched in a pot of boiling water.
For dinner I’m going to use some of this to sauté with zucchini and onion to eat with a few leftover ravioli…