The last year we lived in Massachusetts, I belonged to a fantastic farm share. It was my goal to not waste anything that came in the weekly share, and nothing put this to the test like massive bunches of greens. (Also beets.) It was during this period that I discovered kale.
Now let’s back up.
The last year I lived in California, my mom got pregnant. We moved to New Jersey and one night I stayed home with our neighbor Donna while my parents went to the hospital. We watched a movie that was too scary for me, and the following day I rode a bicycle down the stairs in a desperate bid to get someone’s attention. It was during this period that I discovered my sister.
I have always suspected that if my sister Lianne wrote a blog, it would be intelligent, interesting, and probably funnier than mine. She has now launched just such an endeavor. Run Like a Girl deals mainly with (and I quote) “running. And things I do with my running club. Like running.” Today, however, she is guest-posting here on what to do with giant bunches of kale (boerenkool, if you’re Dutch):
Let me start by saying that I have never been much of a cook. I love to eat, but I typically have more beer in my fridge than food. (My apartment is somewhat of a bachelorette pad, I’ll admit.) Meghan and I grew up with tomato sauce in our veins and ate a hearty Italian diet of load-your-plate comfort meals, many of which I still make on a regular basis. (Note from Meghan: I do not.) These meals were usually paired with a green salad: a heap of lettuce or spinach topped with raw vegetables and some lemon juice or dressing. (I did not eat these.)
I had always been a big fan of spinach… until I discovered kale. My last roommate, Stefanie (who frequently contributes items in need of a copy editor), introduced me to kale, but it did not make a lasting impression on me until I stumbled upon it while looking for thyme in the Princeton Whole Foods. (This sounds kind of poetic?) A singular bunch of curly kale leaves afforded me the following simple, delectable, and totally random recipes. Enjoy!
I am constantly trying to sneak more water and greens into my day, and the Power Gulp killed two birds with one delicious stone. Notes: Substitute coconut water for water if you want to add more potassium; and, as you can tell by the photo, I prefer “chunkies” to smoothies. If you’re not a fan of pulp-loaded drinks, just blend it a little longer.
2. Miso Soup, with kale and carrots
Although it cannot usually be found in standard grocery stores, unpasteurized miso is worth seeking out. Miso can add an appealing salty flavor to many dishes and salad dressings, but in the US it’s really only known as the soup you sip before eating sushi. Miso soup boasts solid immune-boosting and energizing qualities, and is particularly satisfying this time of year.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 large kale leaves, de-stemmed and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped scallions (grow your own “lifetime” supply by checking out Lifehacker) (This is awesome.)
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1-2 tbsp miso
In a medium saucepan, sauté carrots. Add kale shortly before carrots are tender, as kale sautés much faster.
When the carrots are tender (you’ll also notice the kale has shrunken down), add the vegetable broth, and scallions, cover and simmer for about four minutes. Add miso, and dissolve. Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.
3. Kale Chips
Kale chips are incredibly simple. De-stem and chop as many leaves as you would like (keep in mind the leaves will shrink down), and lay them on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt to taste. Toss, and bake at 275 degrees F until crisp, usually about twenty minutes, turning chips halfway through.
Enjoy! Check out Run Like a Girl while you’re munching your kale chips. If you’re not a runner, be advised: Lianne’s enthusiasm is a bit contagious. And let us know if you’ve got any other takes on kale!