Tips for Cooking Kale and Other Greens

Kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard and collard greens have been elevated to superstar status lately, and rightfully so.  But many cooks are intimidated to try to cook them at home because they don’t understand how to get the most flavor out of them.

Kale is the king of the mountain and the most misunderstood by many cooks.  This hearty leaf is available year round.  I’ll admit that when I was young, our restaurant chain used it as a garnish on our salad bars.  Loaded with antioxidants, calcium and fiber, its made it off the sidelines and onto the plate!  There are endless varieties of kale.  All score an A for having around 33 calories, 21 mcg of folate and 329 mg of potassium per 1 cup serving. Choose a crisp bunch, free of tears.  Leaves become bitter as they age so keep them wrapped in a dampened paper towel in your fridge’s crisper for no more than 3-4 days.

To prepare, give them a quick rinse, then rip the stems and inner veins from the leaves by hand and discard.  You can serve sauteed in a pan with a touch of flavored olive oil or flavored vinegar.  Another option is just to serve them raw mixed in a salad.  A handful of chopped kale tossed into a breakfast frittata or soup is also a delicious choice.  One of my favorites is making kale chips. Use a denser variety, spray with olive oil from an optimizer, sprinkle with salt, work the seasoning into the leaves and bake at 300 degrees  for 7 minutes or until crisp.

If you want to cook spinach, greens or swiss chard, clean the leaves thoroughly, cook tender but still slightly crisp.  Great add ins, depending on your taste, include:

  • sliced cremini or shitake mushroooms
  • garlic
  • fresh tomatoes
  • sauteed onions
  • fresh parmesan
  • sauteed in grapeseed, sesame, extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 coconut oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • fresh ginger
  • sesame seeds
  • sake

Make it your own creation!

Introducing more greens into your daily food plan will boost your nutritional intake and help to reduce your overall calorie intake when paired with other whole, healthy foods.

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