a bit off topic: kale recipes

NHBabs(4b-5aNH)October 25, 2013

I am growing kale for the first time, and would love tried and true recipes if anyone has suggestions to share. I have memories of Portuguese kale soup, but don't have a recipe for that. I know I can do a web search, but I'd rather have ones someone recommends.


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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Babs, We use a lot of Kale at our house. I became interested in finding ways to add more raw vegetables to our diet and especially dark leafy greens. Kale, to me, is the mildest and most likable of all the dark leafy greens. We use the food processor and make 'green smoothies'. Our current favorite recipe is Kale, Celery, Avocado and Blueberries. The blueberries are frozen and go in last, so it makes it nice and cold and I barely pulse it after I put in a lot of blueberries, so they don't get chopped much at all.

Another smoothie recipe, we liked...Kale, Celery, Frozen Banana, Kiwi.

And I've persuaded DH to join me, but he's still not loving it. I actually do enjoy it. The green smoothie recipe with the banana, kiwi, he does like. I switched to the avocado/blueberry recipe trying to reduce carbs.

I also add Kale to a Minestrone Soup. We do have a Sausage & Spinach Soup recipe that I often substitute kale for the spinach, that is mildly spicy. I can find the recipe if you are interested.

Then there is the cocoa recipe that we add chopped up kale to....just kidding. (g)

I could use some new recipes myself, we're kind of in a rut. :-)

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Fri, Oct 25, 13 at 15:37

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 3:35PM
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I make an Italian kale soup every week or so, all winter long, that everyone in my family loves. Not sure I can actually supply a recipe,but I'll do my best to describe it - it's more or less a Ribollita.

The recipe varies every week, but it always starts with slowly sauteing finely chopped onion, carrot, celery (and sometimes a little diced pancetta or ham) in a little olive oil, with garlic. After those have started to caramelize a bit, add water (or chicken stock), canned tomatoes, kale (chopped stems go in first), sometimes some chopped savoy cabbage or bok choi, lots of parsley (and/or whatever other fresh herbs are at hand). I often add farro (or wheat berries) and sometimes white beans. If you have a heel of parmesan that's too hard to use, that should go in with the first liquid, especially good if you're using water instead of stock. You can also add small pasta instead of the wheat, although I love the added flavor of farro.

The timing varies depending on the type of wheat, the pre-treatment of the beans (sometimes they're from a can, sometimes quick soaked, and sometimes there are none), the size of the other vegetables, and how hungry we are.

There are a lot of these recipes on line; some neglect to tell you to saute the carrots and celery, but this is a traditional Italian method (soffritto) that really helps the flavor. I started with a basic recipe from Ina Garten, who insists on the slow saute, but I've added some of the ingredients over the last couple of years.

We live on this soup in the winter - I'm not a big sausage fan and my DH can't eat potatoes, so Portuguese Kale soup isn't an option. Otherwise, that's an awesome dish, too.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Yum . . .

I don't require strict recipes - your description is just fine, DTD. I do wonder about how much kale is added per serving, just in the ballpark (1/4 cup or 1 cup?)

The smoothies sound like they have potential as well, PM2. I think they would make good lunch material, much healthier than the too-sweet yogurt that I am currently eating. If it's not too much trouble to list the ingredients of the sausage-spinach/kale soup, that sounds good as well.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 9:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Babs, your comment on the 'photo' thread, about no holes in my Kale....I had other Kale starts in 2 different beds that were eaten down to stems. Not sure why the Kale in the photo was unmolested.

As for the Smoothies, we usually have it for breakfast a few days a week, especially on busy days and a substitute for lunch is a great idea too.

Anyway...The Sausage Soup recipe, is a take on the soup you can order at Bertucci's. DH really liked their soup so we tried to find a recipe and found one that is a healthy version of it.

Bertucci's-style Sausage Soup

1 cup raw Brown Rice
3 links Italian turkey sausage, sweet or hot, casings removed
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups low-sodium, fat free chicken broth
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
6 oz. baby spinach leaves, washed, dried and torn or chopped coarsely (substitute Kale)
1 Tb. minced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. fresh coarsely-ground black pepper (or to taste)
8 Tb. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the brown rice according to package directions but omit the butter, use extra water and cook it for only 25 minutes on the stovetop or only 17 minutes in the microwave. Not all of the water will have been absorbed, so drain the rice.

When the rice is about halfway through its cooking time, heat a stock pot with as small an amt of olive oil as you can get away with. Crumble the turkey sausage meat into the preheated pot, add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the turkey loses its pink color.

Add the minced garlic. Continue to cook and stir for another 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stir in the partially cooked rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until the rice is cooked to your desired doneness.

Add the spinach (or Kale), basil, and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, just until the spinach starts to wilt. (You want the spinach to be wilted, not cooked.) (We cook the Kale to soft and tender)

Serve with 1 Tbsp. of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese per serving.

Makes 8 servings

Nutrition Info: Calories: 209.0, Fat: 6.8g, Carbohydrates: 23.6g, Protein: 13.5g

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:57AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

DtD, that recipe sounds very good! ThatâÂÂs the first time IâÂÂve heard of a recipe using wheat berries. I buy wheat berries to make âÂÂhot socksâ all the time, but havenâÂÂt tried them in cooking. IâÂÂll have to try that with my Minestrone Soup that is a lot like yours with a few changes.

WeâÂÂve never tried adding ham, or sautéing the carrots with the onions and garlic, weâÂÂll have to try that. We add celery and at the end we add string beans and peas, Kale, Parsley, sometimes a lot of peppers. We use kidney beans instead of white beans. No potatoes, pasta or rice or corn and easy on the carrots, and increase the amount of beans and veggies. The goal being a soup that has no high carb ingredients. We donâÂÂt normally use cabbage or bok choi either. WeâÂÂll have to try your version, it sounds good.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Thanks, PM2. I can see that from these two recipes, I'll be making some good soups this fall, much different ones than I usually make.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Here's Ina Garten's recipe, in case anyone wants it.

It's great just as written here and in her cookbook. I vary it because a) sometimes I have other ingredients I'd like to use, b) we eat it so often I don't want to get bored with it and c) I was never very good at coloring inside the lines (or strictly following recipes).

Here is a link that might be useful: basic Italina kale soup, ribollita

This post was edited by diggingthedirt on Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 13:33

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:32PM
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What kind of kale did you grow? I started with Lacinato and added Russion Red kale but my husband doesn't care for it. A friend gave me this recipe but I haven't tried it yet:

1 LB Kale
1 LB Potatoes (I used red skinned)
1 LB Italian Turkey Sausage Links (HOT)
1 Cup Chopped Onions
1 Cup Sliced Carrots
2 Tsp Chopped Garlic
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Tbl Butter
2 Quarts of Chicken Stock
1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes
1 ý Cups cooked Kidney Beans

Strip Kale leaves and slice diagonally. Wash and Peel potatoes and keep in cold water. Cook sausage.

In large Dutch Oven, sauté onions, carrots and garlic in the Olive Oil and Butter until soft. Add potatoes and chicken stock. Boil and then simmer partially covered in Chicken Broth for 15 ��" 20 minutes. Mash potatoes against side of pot. Stir in tomatoes and kidney beans. Add Sausage and Kale and cook 5 ��" 10 minutes.

I haven't found a favorite kale salad yet just that "massaged kale" seems to work best. The flavor of the oil gets into the leaves and all the flavors seemed to blend better.

I am trying to make better use of seasonal produce and getting more out of my garden as I can.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 4:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Defrost, I like the sound of your recipe too. YouâÂÂve given me the idea to try beans in my sausage/kale soup. Thanks. :-)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Hmm, that DOES look good, defrost!

And thanks for reminding me about 'massaged' kale - I saw that somewhere, but haven't tried it yet. Maybe I'll adapt your recipe, with turnips in place of potatoes, so DH can share it, just for a change of pace. I wish I knew how to cook turnips so they don't get too bitter - their flavor varies so much, but I'm not sure how to make them mild tasting. If anyone has some insight about that, can you please clue me in?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:23PM
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digging, I think the turnip variety has a lot to do with the flavor. Sometimes I have been able to find a "white turnip" at Shaw's supermarkets. I think this is sweeter. In my garden I have grown Gilfeather turnips which were developed in VT. I have only been able to find seed at Fedco. It's a white turnip/rutabaga.

But I also wonder if turnips sweeten with cold weather so buying from a local farmer might be better esp if you could ask when the turnips were harvested.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Defrost, did you not like the Lacinato kale? I just found some in the market, and it looked awfully good - really different from the usual type. I picked up one bunch, and it will go into this week's soup, as soon as the stock is ready. Just wondered if it was really different, or if that was the Russian Red that your DH didn't enjoy.

I see lots of local white turnips in my market now - I guess I'll try a small batch and see if they're bitter. When they're bad, they're REALLY bad - so astringent you can hardly eat them, and all the caramelizing in the world doesn't seem to help.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 2:10PM
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Digging, my husband unfortunately is anti-everything in the cabbage, broccoli, kale families. I have grown both lacinato and Russian Red. I like both but I think lacinato's rugged leaves are better for fresh salads.

I think the Gilfeather turnips are actually rutabagas but I'm not sure of the difference between turnips and rutabagas. There is a small salad turnip I've heard is popular hakurei? I think it might actually be rutabagas you don't like, the kind that are usually served with boiled dinners.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 10:14AM
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