Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11:00-Noon on News Radio 830 WCCO!
Who’s in the mood to eat healthy? I’m just about wrapping up my Christmas ham leftovers, so: Me. One of the great innovations in my freezer in the last year has been the new availability of bags of frozen kale. If you haven’t noticed them, look! They’re probably in your grocery store’s freezer aisle, just a 10 ounce frozen bag of chopped, washed, kale, ready to go. But what to do with it? Here’s what. First, defrost it. I dump the whole thing in a microwave-safe bowl, and put it in there with no lid on high for five minutes. The lack of lid allows some of the water to evaporate, and I’ve never had it explode. Now you’ve got warm, wet kale and it just needs to get seasoned. Here are my favorite ways to do it!
Roasted Kale, Golden Raisins, and Garlic
What I do is just thinly slice some garlic, heat it in a skillet in a film of oil till it’s just starting to brown and turn golden, then I flip the garlic slices, dump kale on top, and start tossing the whole thing with a little more oil, salt, and pepper. Martha Stewart adds golden raisins and you can definitely do that too.
Kale with Peanut Sauce
On a weeknight, just dump some peanut sauce out of a jar on top of your warm kale: It’s warm kale, Thai style! I like the one from Ginger People. If you want to make your own, it’s easy-peasy, I like this recipe from Ginger People.
This is a stove top recipe, which assumes you have some leftover Christmas ham. So, take your frozen 10 ounce bag of kale, put it in a pot with a lid, and add a handful of ham scraps. (A half cup will do if you don’t have a handful!) Cover, and cook for an hour or so. Serve beside meat, fish, or rice and beans with a jar of Louisiana-style vinegar-based hot sauce like Tabasco or Crystal. Here’s a simple recipe from Simply Recipes to help!
Mexican Kale Taco Filling or Side Dish
I know this sounds crazy, but work with me, it’s really good. All you do is cook onions and garlic in a pan, add green salsa, then a bunch of kale and cook it down till it’s thick enough to dish into tortillas or live as a side dish, top with a little cotija cheese and add grilled mushroom slices if you’ve got them.
Portuguese Kale Soup (Caldo Verde)
They call Portuguese kale soup the Portuguese penicillin because it’s got all the good vitamins of kale and it’s just rib-sticking and fixes you right up. I love the super-easy New England version, which is basically linguica or kielbasa sausage cut up and cooked with a can of tomatoes, a can of beans, water or stock, onions and garlic and lots of kale—very easy to do, make it in the slow cooker and let it go all day for something very satisfying. Here’s a link to Bon Appetit’s version!