2019 - the year of ? What vegetable is going to take over like kale and cauliflower have over these past few years. I’ve heard greens are where it’s at - so think dandelion greens, Swiss chard, collards - all filled with lots of vitamins and minerals, so it’s possible greens are going to be the IT vegetable. As a dietitian it warms my soul to know that a vegetable is trending. But the truth is there are some people that are slow to move with the trends and that means they are just now trying kale out for the first time. You heard me right. The first time!
I was in the grocery store just the other day buying kale and a lady asked me how I cooked it. Little did she know she was talking to a dietitian. She admitted to me she and her husband were trying to include more veggies this year and well, she heard kale was “supposed“ to be good for her. I had a quick conversation with her and told her that when raw kale is quite bitter - and while you can “massage” the olive oil into the leaves, it’s probably not the best way to try it for a first time, in my opinion. Instead I gave her this simple recipe of mine. I hope she liked it and that you do too!
When you think of kale, think of any new veggie that you may be thinking to try. Insert that veggie as I’m writing today. So for you it might be eggplant or bok choy, but I’ll be using “kale” as I write today. The key with kale is to try it many different ways. Hear me out - you have to find the way that you enjoy the way it tastes. So there may be many different trials of kale until you do find the way that you like it. And then if after you’ve tried kale chips, kale salad, sautéed kale, and didn’t like any of those versions, than you are safe to say you didn’t like kale. But I hear this way too often, that a lot times people don’t know how to cook the vegetable.
Imagine if you don’t know how to prepare kale and then that’s your first experience with kale - you aren’t going to like it. I say this all the time, you have to have a good experience with a vegetable if you’re going to want to eat that vegetable. Too many times we have a not so great experience with the vegetable and then never want to eat it again. And I’m not talking about when you were a kid and your parents forced you to eat a certain vegetable - there may be no coming back from that horrible experience. No force feeding the children please. Simply offer them many different options of the same vegetable so they can find which way they like it best. The same holds true for adults
Sure there are going to be some recipes that are winners and some that are losers, but the truth is everybody doesn’t have to like the vegetable in the same way. Have the kids get involved in finding a new way to prepare the vegetable so it’s not the same old boring steamed broccoli - think outside the box. Roasting veggies is always a tried and true no recipe needed kind of way to experiment with new veggies. And then from there “Google it”. Whether they’re broccoli bites, broccoli and cheese soup, and/or broccoli stir-fry, try as many different ways to introduce new veggies to your family. We know they’re good for us, they might as well taste good in the meantime. Oh wait, veggies DO taste delicious.
This has been my go-to kale recipe as of late. While I’ll be the first to add it to a soup and/or have it raw in a salad, I too needed to try a new way to get this nutritive vegetable into the mix more often. Enter a simple sauté. As this is so simple I don’t know if it constitutes a recipe? But I wrote down the directions just in case. And while this might not be the way you like kale the best - I challenge you if you haven’t tried kale before, that this be the first way you do. You’ll have a pleasant experience. I promise.
1 bunch kale, lacinato and/or curly
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft - you want it softened but not browned. Raise the heat to high, add the stock and kale and mix to combine. Cover and cook for 3 minutes and up to 5 minutes (if your bunch of kale is large). Remove cover and continue to cook, until all the liquid has evaporated. Add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.