Simple Sauteed Kale, Two Ways.

About a week or two ago, Kelly bought two huge bunches of curly kale with the intention of making kale chips. She made one batch using a quarter bunch of kale and promptly forgot about the rest. I decided that it was in her best interest that I take the kale into my own hands. That way, she wouldn’t waste any money. Or produce. Watching fresh produce go to waste is a huge pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand to see the ever-wilting display of brownish iceberg in our fridge. So I make salads for everyone and urge them to eat. I place fresh, tasty nourishment right in front of their faces! Even so, at least half of what I make will go uneaten in favor of a second helping of mac n’ cheese or a buttered roll. Sigh. Stepping off the pedestal now.

For the first bunch of kale, I decided to go with an Asian flair. I wanted to use the mushrooms and shallots that I had leftover from my quiche and a saute seemed like a simple solution. To make a simple sauteed sesame kale, you will need:

1 bunch of curly kale, washed with the stems removed
2 large shallots
5-10 cremini mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 tbs. grated ginger
1-2 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. sesame seeds
1 tbs. olive oil
water as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash, de-stem and chop the kale into bite size pieces. Set aside in a bowl. Chop the ginger, garlic, shallots and mushrooms and set aside in another bowl. Heat a cast-iron skillet and add the olive oil. Next, add the ginger, garlic, shallots and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until the shallots are translucent and the entire pan is fragrant. Add the kale  and sesame oil to the pan and stir, making sure that all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle with desired amounts of salt and pepper. Add water if the mixture looks like it’s drying out. Saute on medium-low heat until the kale is bright green. Place the sauteed kale mixture into a bowl and top with sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

For the second bunch of kale, I initially intended to recreate the above recipe and incorporate it into a noodle stirfry.  However, at 8:00 pm last night when I finally arrived home, I wasn’t in the mood to make something extensive. I had a sweet potato in the fridge that needed to be used and my Grandmom had just given me some blue cheese crumbles…A sauteed side dish was necessary.

To make a simple sauteed pecan and blue cheese kale , you will need:

1 bunch of curly kale, washed with the stems removed
2 large shallots
5-10 cremini mushrooms
1 clove garlic
2 tbs. raw pecans
1-2 tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
water as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

The method of preparation is essentially the same as the above sesame kale; throw all the ingredients together, saute, and top with blue cheese crumbles. I ate two bowls of this as I waited for my sweet potato to bake.

The great thing about these dishes is that they can be used as a healthy meal base. Just top with your favorite protein and grains and you’re set. I’ve been topping these kale mixtures with quinoa and eggs for a hearty, delicious meal. If you add enough blue cheese (like I do) you don’t even have to add additional protein!

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