Thursday, May 2, 2013

What In The Kale Is Going On?!

I'm slowly trying to transition my menu into a healthier version of itself. I'm not going on health binge like everyone else around me, but the people I love are eating healthier, so it's important for me to be able to provide healthy meals.

My best friend cooked some kale recently for dinner and I fell in love with it. It tasted so much like mustard greens and I  LOVE mustard greens. It was her first time cooking it, so there were improvements to be made, but I decided to take my own stab at it.

ATTEMPT #1
I went to the grocery store, bought the kale and was ready to go! I was tempted to buy a bag of pre-cut kale, because it would have been much easier to just open a bag, wash it, and pour it in the pan. But the cost was what changed my mind. Buying bundles was much cheaper. So, I got home googled a recipe for how to "sauté" kale, prepped my kale, and got going. Here are the steps I followed:
  • Sauté garlic in oil until the garlic is soft
  • Add 1/2 a cup of water
  • Add the kale to the pot and coat the leaves
  • Cover the pot and let it cook for 5 to 15 minutes (I chose to let it cook for 5 minutes because I only had a small amount of kale)
I followed all the instructions so I thought everything would work out...wrong! Wrong!! Lol. I was so busy cooking the other food and washing dishes so I wouldn't have to do it later that I got distracted. I began to smell something burning. Really? Burning?!? I check the pot of kale and it had burned so badly that it was burnt black and stuck to the bottom of the pot. IT HADN'T EVEN BEEN FIVE MINUTES YET!! I think I went wrong in two places - I used a metal pot and the heat was on a medium-high setting.
 
I was going to say forget it and eat my fish and rice without the kale, but I really wanted kale that night so I gave it another try. This time I used a non-stick pot and I did not take my eyes off of it. I cooked it, but it turned out really tough and very bland BUT here's what it looked like:

Before After

Don't get me wrong. It tasted okay after I added salt, but I want to be able to cook it so that when it goes from the pot to my plate, it's a complete product.

ATTEMPT #2
I was determined to redeem my name because I think I'm a decent cook. I was not about to let kale take me out of the cooking game. This time I tried to boil it. I thought this should be simple enough. Here are the steps I took:
  • Fry bacon in the pot (for seasoning)
  • Add water
  • Add salt
  • Add kale
  • Boil

Simple enough, right?! When I googled a recipe for this, the time span was the same...about 5 to 15 minutes. I tasted it at 5 minutes and it was tough. I tasted it at 15 minutes and it tasted just like it did at 5 minutes. I was so discouraged. I let it cook for 10 more minutes and it still wasn't tender. It was past time for me to eat, so I turned the stove off and called it a night. I didn't even eat the kale with my dinner. When I reheated the leftovers, it was more tender that it was the night I cooked it. However, my goal is to get it tender the very first night I cook it.
 
I told my mom of these fiascos and she told me to try the first way again, but cook it on a lower heat setting (and I will also use a non-stick pot).
 
Please, Mi-ettes, give me some pointers you might have for cooking kale (or any type of greens - collards, mustard greens, etc.). I'm very interested to hear ways that have been successful for others.
 
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18 comments

  1. Hi!
    I'm co-hosting THE Bloglovin' collective you've linked to and I'm following you with pleasure!
    MammaNene

    SergerPepper.blogspot.it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be sure to visit you

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  2. Isn't it amazing the stuff you thought your mom taught you! I asked for the trick to my mom's "homemade" bread..she said "open the can and let it rise" --EVIL! I LOVE Kale when it is baked like a potato chip. I am on a healthy "cleaner" eating path and found that potato chips are my weaknes. Toss your kale in some EVOO and salt and bake and it is AWESOME!! I am a new follower and hosting today at http://www.frugalfitfamily.com - swing by and share if you can!

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    Replies
    1. I've tried to the chips and they were actually pretty decent. I may decide to switch it up one day and do some chips. Thanks for the recipe!

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  3. I can only do kale in a salad or a juice. I don't particularly like cooked greens... but I might give it a try.

    I'm following from the Lovely Blog Hop.

    xoxo,
    Khloe
    www.kgstyleblogs.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually like greens a lot, but I don't cook them...so there lies my dilemma!! lol. You should def try kale though. I think it's worth it. Thanks for stopping by!!

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  4. Replies
    1. It is very good! LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Hi! Newest follower here... your blog is adorable! I found you on the blog hop and was hopin' that you'd follow me back!!

    Have a great weekend!
    Sarah
    www.enjoyingtheepiphany.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, I will definitely stop by your blog.

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  6. I keep seeing kale in Trader Joe's and wanting to try it, but I imagine I would have the same experience (or worse) than you had. For now I'll just stick with my baby spinach...

    Ashley @ http://downsizingashley.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. You know what...spinach is actually one of my favorite greens to eat. Before kale, I kept telling myself that I should try cooking spinach, that will probably be my next step! Thanks for reminding me of that!!

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  7. I love kale, well greens in general. I know that if the greens are "out of their season" that they will be tougher than normal. Usually they are tender after a frost hits them, but if they're in a different season they will be tougher. Also, any greens purchased from grocery stores tend to be tougher than those purchased from farmer's markets or farms. My grandma adds a pinch of baking soda to any greens that are tough and then of course cooks this longer. I haven't tried this but she's been doing that forever. Perhaps it will help the kale too.

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    Replies
    1. That's good information Libby!! I never thought about that, but I'm sure it affects the quality of the greens. I'm going to keep at it, I definitely want to get this right!

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    2. Libby is so right, Mionna! Just had to give my two cents on this because I've had Kale from the grocery store and Kale from a local organic farmer (through Backyard Produce) and it's definitely better when bought locally. I also saw the tip about using baking soda on Kale to cut down on the toughness so let me know how it goes for you if you give it a try!!!

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    3. Well, we're just going to have to go with the grocery store greens for right now because it's what's most convenient! LOL...but I'll definitely keep that in mind. And I just may try this baking soda thing...since you ladies are so interested in it. It just might work!

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  8. I think part of the problem is that you're comparing it to collards and mustard greens. Kale is tough and you should only cook it for 5-15 minutes so you're not going to be able to completely take away it's toughness. Your second approach (saute then boil for 15 minutes) should be plenty of time. You just have to go into it with a different mindset when you're eating it!

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    Replies
    1. Nicole, you are absolutely right. I can't expect one type of green to taste like another. I'm going to probably try both of these again until I get one of them right! So we will definitely see.

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