Sunday, November 14, 2010


Kale is an extremely nutritious vegetable. It has powerful antioxidants, and is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamins K & C, and calcium. It is also believed to have anti-cancer properties. But Kale scares a lot of people. If it is not cooked properly, it can taste very bitter and unpleasant. For this reason, I NEVER tried to cook kale. I just kept hearing too many negative comments about this misunderstood vegetable.

But then....I learned the secret to kale. Really, this is the secret to many green vegetables. For a while, I prided myself on being one of the few people who can make a "mean kale dish"! People would say "Oh my goodness, this actually tastes good. I've never had kale that tasted good! What's you secret?" Well, now I'm going to stop being so stingy and share my secret with you all.

ACID....specifically for this ingredient, fresh lemon juice. I do not know the "scientifical" reason as to why lemon can take a bitter green vegetable and turn it into something beautiful. But it works, so I'm rolling with it.

Actually when you think about it, we use acid in a lot of our green vegetables. When you cook collard greens, turnips, or mustard greens....don't you add a little vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) to the cooking liquid?? Most people I know do. But we probably never knew why we added it. My mom put vinegar in her collards because her mom did, so now I put vinegar in my greens.

Well, now I know it's not just because of the nice "apple cidery" flavor it adds to the greens. It's also because it takes the bitterness out of dark leafy green vegetables and turns it into a healthy side dish that you actually want to eat. I also squeeze fresh lemon juice in my sauteed broccoli, and sometimes when I'm cooking fresh green beans.

I'm going to share a kale recipe I made the other day. You can make it in about 10 minutes.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tilapia filet
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you can't find smoked)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (if you can't find this, it'll still taste good without it)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock (or veg stock, or water if you don't have either)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lemon, cut in half

Rub the oil all over the tilapia. Season with curry, coriander, paprika, garam masala, salt & pepper. Heat pan on medium heat. When pan is very hot, add tilapia and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, or until it is fully cooked.

While the tilapia is cooking, heat another skillet on medium-low heat. Add oil and garlic and cook about 30 seconds, do not let it brown. Add kale, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Using tongs, turn the kale in the pan, so that all of it gets coated with the oil and seasonings (the kale will start to wilt at this point). Add chicken stock, cover and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. When kale is cooked, squeeze fresh lemon juice and toss. Serve with the tilapia.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear. I tried kale and was one of those failure side dishes. My kids didn't even hide their distaste. I wanted so much to serve this beautiful green and healthy side with meals. I'll have to think about trying this again. I saw loads of it yesterday at the market. Thanks for the positive reinforcement in this story!



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