The gardens are brimming with local produce this time of year. Maybe you have a garden, or some planters and are enjoying the fruits of your labours. In years past I have had a small but full veggie garden, but this year I am enjoying the farmers market and CSA bounty. Whether you grow your own or get the local farmers produce, you may be looking for new ways to enjoy these local goods. Kale is an excellent example. A super food, that grows super well in our climate. What can you do with it other than adding it to your smoothie? Here is a roundup of some great plant based recipes to make the most of your kale harvest:
Kale chips are baked, or dehydrated pieces of torn kale. You can serve them naked (dressed only in olive oil and salt) or all-dressed (seasoned with your favourite flavour combination). These savoury chips definitely satisfy your salty-snack cravings with the added bonus of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Below is my go-to, hands-down favourite way to make kale chips and links to a couple other recipes that kick the flavour for kale chips up a notch.
Plantiful Plates Kale Chips
- 1 head of kale
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300F. Wash and and dry the kale then tear into bite-sized pieces. Place on two baking sheets and divide the oil, salt and nutritional yeast between the two sheets. Massage the kale with the other ingredients to soften the kale and coat each piece. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, checking often to prevent burning.
Some spicier recipes for kale chips:
Sour Cream and Onion Free Kale Chips, by Meghan Telpher
Indian Spiced Baked Kale Chips, by Eat Healthy, Eat Happy
Kale is a great green to use in a salad, it is hearty so it can take a bold dressing and gets better with a little time in the fridge. The key to using kale in a salad is to massage the kale. Rubbing the chopped kale for 3-5 minutes before assembling the salad makes the kale more tender, easier to chew and reduces the bitterness. You an do this before you dress the kale or with a little oil and salt.
Kale, Mango and Avocado Salad
- 1 head of green kale, de-stemmed, torn, washed and spun dry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1 mango, diced
- 2 tablespoons raw pipitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
In a large bowl, massage the kale for 3 minutes with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and chili flakes. Toss the avocado, mango, pipitas into the kale and dress with the vinaigrette.
Other delicious kale salads:
Simple Kale Tahini Salad, by the Healthy Maven
Thai Kale Salad with Cashew Dressing, by The Minimalist Baker
Main Course Kale Dishes
Kale is a hearty green which can make for a great main course addition. Here are some of the ways I love to cook with kale (recipes will be posted soon):
- Steamed and dressed with tamari and sesame seeds
- Sautéed with garlic and used top a roasted sweet potato
- Tossed in a quinoa salad (steamed or raw)
- In hearty bean soups like minestrone or white bean and kale soup
I hope this gives you all a little inspiration to put more kale on your plate (and keep adding it to your smoothies).