Kale gets a bad rap. Thoughts of kale tend to evoke images of undressed, unloved salads or the green smoothies we pretend to like because the internet promises that they are good for us. Often grouped in with pumpkin spice lattes and Pure Barre, kale has become a scapegoat for our aversion to being basic.
These recipes came to be after a bag of kale — which I aspirationally bought last week at Trader Joe’s — threatened to go bad. Trying to break the cycle of my own lack of creativity, I set out to think differently about how kale could be used.
Turmeric kale rice with coconut was the first recipe I made, and it did not disappoint. Taking three of the most polarizing ingredients — turmeric, kale and coconut — and forcing them together in this easy dish seemed risky, but it’s now my go-to recipe for rushed weeknight dinners. This recipe is based on an original iteration from Naturally Ella.
Coconut Kale Turmeric Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Ingredients for the rice:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger — I also add a bit of whole ginger root to the broth in order to infuse the ginger flavor into the rice
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the kale:
1 bunch, or 3 handfuls kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
Salt to taste
Toasted coconut flakes, for topping
1. Heat a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for four to five minutes, until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the ginger and cook for one minute.
2. Next, add in the rice and turmeric and toast for one more minute. Measure in 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 35 to 40 minutes until the majority of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
3. In a saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the garlic, cooking for roughly a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat with the garlic. Add in half a cup vegetable broth, cover and let kale cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the kale and the coconut milk to the rice and cook over medium high heat until most of the liquid has absorbed, roughly three to five minutes more.
5. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
This next recipe makes for the perfect fall meal that is warm and indulgent. This kale artichoke dip is not only delicious, but it also debunks the idea that kale is only a health food. This recipe has been taken and modified from the Food Network.
Kale Artichoke Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
2 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups raw kale
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup thawed and roughly chopped frozen artichoke hearts, about 2 ounces
1/2 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
4 ounces plain Greek yogurt
Large pinch cayenne pepper
Parmesan cheese to top
Tortilla chips for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a saute pan, heat two teaspoons olive oil. Add in the garlic, and cook for roughly a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat with the garlic.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the kale, artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, skim milk, parmesan, Greek yogurt, cayenne and a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Transfer to a one-quart baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese until top is coated. Bake until bubbly and lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Let set for five minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
Kale can also be delicious without any fuss. These parmesan garlic kale chips are the perfect afternoon snack, which can be made in bulk and eaten later.
Parmesan Garlic Kale Chips
3 cups kale, washed and cut
1/2 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, two tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
3. On a baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil, spread the kale and drizzle with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the parmesan mixture and — with your hands or with two forks — toss the kale vigorously until evenly coated.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the kale is crispy.
Bottom line? Dressing up kale doesn’t have to be hard. I hope you enjoy these recipes, especially because you can reap all of the health benefits of kale without having to sacrifice on flavor.