Last year I found myself cooking with Kale twice and really enjoyed it. Both times I was using the Kale in soups, and I was really curious what else I could do with this green. I’ve had Kale chips baked in the oven at my mom’s house, and was excited when I came across some fun recipes on Pinterest (of course)!
If you’re not familiar with Kale, it’s time to get acquainted. Kale is sold in bunches and is a leafy green that has a nutty taste and is pretty hearty. It holds up well when cooking it and can add great flavor and texture to a dish. Kale is also great for you. According to whfoods.com, it lowers cholesterol and it helps lower the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate cancer. Pretty cool, right?! And that is just the beginning of the benefits of kale.
One of my favorite soups I made last year is a great Kale Tortellini Soup that is fabulously spicy. Here are a few more recipes featuring kale that I’ve added to my arsenal:
Recipe #1: Lemon-Garlic Kale Pasta
This recipe comes from The Cilantropist website, and it’s so yummy. Let me expand on that a bit…Along with kale, garlic and lemon flavors the dish to make it really light and a perfect dish for this time of year.
One thing I got to do with this dish was make my own lemon and garlic-infused olive oil, which was really delicious. I also chose some fun campanelle pasta to cook with, so pick your favorite. Lemon juice, lemon zest, and the infused olive oil helps to balance the slightly nutty taste of the kale. Then I topped the pasta with a few toasted pine nuts to add a little crunch.
Seriously my friends, I must say that this was a ridiculously tasty pasta and was very easy to make. Sadly I just finished off the leftovers, so I am pretty sure I know what I’ll be making again with my leftover kale.
Click here for this tasty recipe and step by step instructions…you know you want to!
Recipe #2: Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Garlic
If you know me well, you know I have a weakness for mashed potatoes. Not just any mashed potatoes will do, though. I can’t stomach whipped potatoes. They cannot be completely mashed and thinned out. I need for my mashed potatoes to have some structure and texture to them. And then it’s pretty amazing how many mashed potatoes my sister and I can inhale when served with a tasty gravy.
Typically my mashed potatoes are pretty standard with some milk, butter, and salt and pepper. So when I saw this recipe from the site A Couple Cooks that incorporated kale, I knew I just had to expand my mashed potato horizons. So away I went to the grocery store to get the ingredients I needed.
These were not my normal mashed potatoes but they were darned good. And don’t judge me that I made a meal of them. I actually really liked the texture of the potatoes (skins on) with the sauteed kale. Plus the addition of Parmesan cheese and scallions added a nice saltiness to the potatoes. What a great way to make mashed potatoes a little healthier and give them some texture too. Plus they are totally channeling my Irish roots as this is a favorite dish there also known as Colcannon.
Overall both recipes were fabulous representations of how versatile kale can be. For the mashed potato recipe and step by step instructions, click here.
What I was cooking up a year ago: Homemade Pesto…Oh the Varieties!
Making my own pesto had never crossed my mind before last year. So I tried out 3 different types of pesto for 3 recipes. Hands down the one that I continue thinking about is the Spaghetti with Citrus Pesto by Giada De Laurentiis that has lemons and oranges in it, so stop everything and check it out now…so freaking yummy!