7 Yummy Kale Recipes — Yes, It's Possible!

UPDATE: This story was originally published on March 12.
When it comes to eating smart, you know greens are the way to go. Sure, it's great for your body (major vitamin infusion!), but oftentimes, those fibrous veggies can leave us craving more — in taste and content.
Well, we're giving healthy eating an image makeover, with seven recipes where kale is king, courtesy of Chicago's best food bloggers. From a creamy side to a light-as-air salad, you'll never look at this hardy cabbage the same way again.
1 of 7
Rachel Loftspring, Chewables Chicago: Not-So-Nasty Kale Chips

Forget spuds. This yummy (and EASY) alternative will satisfy your crunchy/salty craving sans the carbs!

Ingredients:
8 large kale leaves, washed and dried
3 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
1. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick stem from the kale and discard.
3. Cut the leaves into two- to three-inch pieces. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and toss well.
4. Arrange the kale in a single layer (no overlapping) on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy and slightly dark on the edges.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photo: Courtesy of Chewables Chicago
2 of 7
Rachel Adams; Lucy Hewett, Dinner Was Delicious: Breakfast Skillet With Kale

When you don’t want to go kale crazy, sneak a little of the green stuff into this sinful breakfast skillet!

Ingredients:
4 slices thick cut bacon (or 4 tbsp oil)
1 large yellow onion
1 lb red skinned potatoes
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled
2 cups kale, torn into bite size pieces
1 bell pepper
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère or cheddar cheese
Eggs — however many you want to eat, but at least four

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice bacon into lardons and render until crispy and awesome in your largest, heaviest oven-safe skillet pan.
3. While the bacon browns, wash and cut the potatoes into thin, even slices. Roughly chop the onion, pepper, and garlic.
4. Once the bacon turns into, you know, bacon, set it aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
5. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat until just hardly softened. Add all of the potatoes, turn up the heat to a medium, and cook for about 15 minutes, only stirring when absolutely necessary. If the pan seems dry, feel free to add some olive oil.
6. After the 15 minutes are up, add garlic and bell peppers, and give everything a thorough stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your preference.
7. Lay the kale on top of everything, cover with a lid or cookie sheet, and let the other ingredients steam it for about five minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
8. Top with the cheese and slide it into the oven to brown while you cook your eggs.
9. Serve immediately either plain (which is delicious), or with your favorite hot sauce.

Photo: Courtesy of Lucy Hewett
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3 of 7
Jody Emer, Healthy Tasty With Chef Jody: Creamed Kale (With A Healthy Twist!)

A lighter version of this sinful, creamy classic that is practically guilt free!

Ingredients:
1 tbs unsalted butter
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 large shallots, chopped finely
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
16 oz fresh kale
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Preparation:
1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cook the shallots until tender, approximately five minutes.
3. Raise the heat up and add half of the kale. Toss and stir as it cooks.
4. As the kale cooks down, add the remaining raw kale and continue to cook until it is tender — about four minutes.
5. Sprinkle the corn starch over the kale and stir until the liquid in pan has thickened a bit.
6. Remove the pan from heat and gently add the Greek yogurt to liberally coat the kale
7. Season with salt and pepper, serve, and enjoy!

Photo: Courtesy of Healthy Recipes
4 of 7
Eva Daiberl, Miss Renaissance: Kale And White Bean Soup

It’s still chilly enough outside for a comforting bowl of soup. This dish is bound to keep you satisfied — and healthy!

Ingredients: 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3x2-inch) piece Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
Accompaniment: provolone toasts

Preparation:
1. Cover beans with water by two inches in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, one hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
3. Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, four to five minutes.
4. Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute. Add beans, broth, one quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
5. Stir carrots into soup and simmer five minutes. Stir in kale and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
6. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Photo: Courtesy of Miss Renaissance
5 of 7
Tony Bailey, Simply Awesome: Red Kale With Garlic And Ginger

A super-simple side that could easily stand-alone as a yummy snack or lighter main.

Ingredients:
2 bunches of hearty Red Kale, rinsed thoroughly and torn into small pieces
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs minced ginger
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs Tamari (or low sodium soy sauce) (mix this into the stock to give it a little umami meatiness and match the garlic/ginger)

Preparation:
1. Over medium high heat, add small handfuls of the greens into the pan and begin stirring them.
2. As the steam subsides from the first batch, add a small amount of stock to keep the greens moist. Continue adding as necessary while the greens cook.
3. After five to seven minutes, the greens should be fully wilted. Add in the garlic and ginger, stirring well. Reduce the heat to medium.
4. You should only need two to three minutes more to integrate the flavors and finish cooking.

Photo: Courtesy of Simply Awesome
6 of 7
Diana, Veggie Next Door: Sesame Kale And Kraut Bowl

The flavor combination might sound a little out of the box — but that’s exactly what we think you’ll love about this alternative dish!

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 large bunch of kale
1 cup sauerkraut
3 tbs sesame oil
1 bunch cilantro (optional)
3 tsp Gomasio (optional: can substitute sesame seeds & salt to taste)
Pinch of salt

Optional Ingredients:
1/2 head of cauliflower, in bite-sized pieces
1 large leek, sliced and sautéed
Sliced or slivered almonds
Sprouts (any kind)

Instructions:
1. Set up a steamer basket in a large pot with a lid. Fill pot with one inch of water and place over medium-high heat.
2. Remove the kale leaves from their stems, tear into bite-size pieces and wash thoroughly.
3. Place the kale into the steamer basket, and toss it with a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and cook until tender (four to five minutes), tossing the kale periodically for even cooking.
4. If using cauliflower, steam it next. Cauliflower florets steam in four to six minutes.

Assemble your Bowls:
1. In each bowl, toss together one cup brown rice, 1/3 of the steamed veggies, one tablespoon of sesame oil, and one teaspoon of Gomasio.
2. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro and any other toppings you choose!

Photo: Courtesy of Veggie Next Door
7 of 7
Nikki Way, Because You Kale: Zucchini “Pasta” With Kale

Vibrant of color and full of flavor, it’s a perfect dish for spring! And, it’s another carb- free find.

Ingredients:
4 zucchini, julienned
1 bunch of kale, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces and blanched in boiling water for about two to three minutes
1 lb ground meat (optional for vegetarians)
Pasta sauce (I often use 1 can of Bertolli Organic pasta sauce because it is a big time- saver)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tbs thyme
1 tsp each salt, pepper, rosemary

Instructions:
1. Throw your meat in a frying pan and cook it until golden brown. Make sure to drain the excess grease.
2. In the same pan, combine sauce, spices, onion, mushrooms and kale. Heat on low and cover for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Julienne your zucchini into a big family-sized bowl.
4. Once the sauce is done, combine it one cup at a time into your bowl of zucchini pasta, mixing well.

Photo: Courtesy of Because You Kale
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