Braised Kale (three variations)

December 13, 2011 in Categories: , by

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Who knew?  I LOVE kale!  I remember eating it as a kid because it grew wild in our garden and we were quite poor.  But now, as an adult, I actually choose to eat kale.  It’s also a super food, the highest nutrient content per calorie of any vegetable.  My favorite method to cook it is braised, combined with a sweeter vegetable to balance the natural bitterness of kale (when it’s in season, red kale is not as bitter and tastes great on its own).  Here are three variations that work very well.

Ingredients (Variation 1):

  • 5 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced ¼” thick
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or other cooking fat
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

1.    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat (cast iron is my preference here).  Add coconut oil and celery.
2.    Cook celery until starting to soften, stirring frequently, approximately 8-10 minutes.
3.    Add kale and red pepper with 1 Tbsp water.
4.    Cook, stirring frequently, until kale is dark green and soft, another 8-10 minutes.  Add an extra 1 Tbsp of water every time kale starts to stick.  When kale is done, let any water in the pan evaporate prior to serving (i.e., serve just as kale is starting to stick the last time).

Ingredients (Variation 2):

  • 5 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • ½ lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups beet tops and stems (or red chard), chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil or other cooking fat
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

1.    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat (cast iron is my preference here).  Add coconut oil and mushrooms.
2.    Cook mushrooms until starting to shrink and look glossy, stirring frequently, approximately 4-5 minutes.
3.    Add kale, beet tops and stems with 1 Tbsp water.
4.    Cook, stirring frequently, until kale and beet tops are dark green and soft, another 8-10 minutes.  Add an extra 1 Tbsp of water if kale starts to stick (might not be necessary depending on the water content of your mushrooms and how many beet stems you have).  When kale is done, let any water in the pan evaporate prior to serving (i.e., serve just as kale is starting to stick the last time).

Ingredients (Variation 3):

  • 2-3 small beets, quartered and then sliced into ¼” thick slices
  • 5 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or other cooking fat
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

1.    Add beets to a pot with 1” boiling water.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook until beets are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
2.    Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat (cast iron is my preference here).  Add coconut oil and kale with 1 Tbsp water.
3.    Cook kale, stirring frequently, until dark green and soft, approximately 8-10 minutes.  Add an extra 1 Tbsp of water if kale starts to stick.  Drain beets then add to kale in skillet.  Let any water in the pan evaporate prior to serving (i.e., serve just as kale is starting to stick the last time).

Comments

Made variation three as I had just bought beets and kale at my farmers market this weekend.
Very quick and tasty. My husband,who swears he’s never had kale before, (wink), said he’d eat that again!

I love kale, too. I find it so easy to toss in the pressure cooker while I’m using the stove to make the rest of the meal. 8-9 minutes on high pressure and I have a giant pot of it that I can eat in different meals for a few days. I have made it as a side to roasts for company and it always gets raves. I only wish I could get my husband to eat it but he’s worse than most small children when it comes to vegetables…especially cooked greens. I will have to try some of your combinations as they look delicious. I usually just add some sliced onion, garlic, and maybe carrots to mine and it gets boring. :-)

I LOVE kale, however recently found out that it impedes Thyroid function and should be avoided by those of us who are Hypothyroid and/or Hashimoto’s. Do you have any data about his otherwise? Thank you1

Brilliant! I just made a version with sweet onions and carrots since those were the only sweet veggies I had on hand. I also used cicken stock instead of water. I was leary, not gonna lie, but it tastes awesome! Super easy, super nutritious. Love it!

Hi. I love your recipes…use them all the time. I have a bag of kale that needs to be cooked; however, I don’t have red peppers to balance how the bitterness of the kale as in version/ recipe 1. I have a big jar of sundried tomatoes. Would they work just as well? If not, do you have other suggestions?
Thanks so much!

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