Posts Tagged With: Kale

Spicy Kale, Sweet Potato and Cashew Stew

I based this stew on Happy Herbivore’s African Kale and Yam Soup, but I wanted to add a nut butter, a hearty protein, use the ingredients I had on hand and make a larger batch so I made a few minor adaptations. Here’s the modified version:


  • 1 red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 leek, top parts removed, cleaned and diced (or, just use another onion)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cleaned and diced (I skin them as well)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1+ tsp vegetarian bullion paste
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1.5 tbsp yellow miso paste*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 tbsp nut butter (peanut or cashew) (optional)
  • handful+ cashews (optional)
  • bread to serve on the side
  • salt and pepper to taste


Follow the original instructions at this link, but with the following two changes:

  1. I don’t use prepared vegetable broth because it takes up a lot of space and goes bad within 7-10 days. Instead, I use this “better than bullion” broth base. To get it to dissolve, I warm water in a pyrex measuring class in the microwave, then once it is warm, stir in the vegetable bullion base.

After the kale has wilted down, add the chickpeas, nut butter and cashews.

Serve with toasted bread.

*Miso is the Japanese term for fermented soybean paste. It is a staple of Japanese and other Asian cuisines, so do not be scared of it! It is salty and so adds good flavor to dishes. It also adds a creaminess to dishes. I like to add miso paste to mashed potatoes. Here is a picture of white miso paste. There is also red miso paste, which is stronger in flavor and taste.

Categories: Dinner, Soup/Stews | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Food Prep Tip: Cleaning Kale (and other greens)

Bagged, chopped and pre-washed kale have been flooding the supermarket. My local organic market has it and so does Trader Joe’s. While this kale is a lot easier to use, I really don’t think it tastes as good. So I stick with buying kale in bunches and cleaning it myself.

With the kale that is especially dirty, a general rule of thumb (from where I’m not sure) is that you should wash it three times. Here is my technique for washing it, especially when I find little bugs, like this one, even after I take it out of the fridge.

Step 1. Fill a large bowl with water. Tear of kale pieces from the stem and drop them into the bowl of water. With clean hands, fully emerge and stir the kale to loosen up the dirt.

Step 2. Using a large colander, take big handfuls of kale out of the bowl of water and drop it into the colander until no kale is left in the bowl of water. You’ll see bits of dirt in the remaining water. This is supposedly the best way to separate the dirt from the kale.

Step 3. Dump out the bowl of water. (Ideally, dump it into your garden and use it to water your plants so as to not waste the water). Then repeat the process until you don’t see any (or at least not much) dirt in the leftover water, or about 3 times.

Step 4. Enjoy! in recipes such as…


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Simple Steamed Greens

There are several vegan advocates who also advocate for a low-fat, largely oil-free diet, such as Happy Herbivore, the folks at Forks Over Knives, and Engine2 Diet. While I have not tried to cut out oil completely, I have played around with eliminating it from some dishes and realized it is surprisingly easy. Matt complains that sauteing onions in water instead of oil smells bad, but he hasn’t said that it affects the taste at all. And I haven’t been able to tell the difference in either smell or taste.

My primary way of making greens used to be sauteed. Here is a way to saute the greens in water — which is basically like steaming them but with less dishes. Don’t expect to enjoy these greens by themselves; they will be too bland. Serve them under a high flavor dish such as roasted delicata squash, roasted vegetables, chili or other stew, a curried dish, etc.


  • 1/2-1 lbs mixed greens such as kale, chard, spinach and arugula (or, just one type of green — although arugula by itself may be too strong), torn/chopped and rinsed clean
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped or minced garlic (approximate – a few cloves would work fine)
  • 2-3 teaspoons capers (optional – it adds a nice salty flavor)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water
  • pinch of chili powder (optional)
  • salt/pepper to taste


  1. Using a medium to large saucepan or saute pan that has a lid, heat the water at medium-high heat (A little higher heat than you heat olive oil or other saute oil)
  2. Add the garlic and capers, stir and cook for a couple minutes
  3. Add the greens, stir around (using tongs, ideally), then cover with the lid. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. This is important for getting rid of the bitterness in greens like kale.
  4. Uncover and season with salt, pepper and chili powder if using. Cook for about 3-5 minutes more, or longer, until only a little water is left in the pan.
  5. Serve by mixing with a high flavor dish such as roasted delicata squash, roasted vegetables, chili or other stew, a curried dish, etc.


Categories: Easy | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Kale and Tofu Quinoa with Walnut Pesto

This recipe is from the cookbook, Color Me Vegan. It makes a huge amount of food. Enough for three people to eat dinner and three lunches after that. So, six full servings.

First you make the walnut pesto in the food processor, using fresh basil, chopped walnuts, garlic, oil and lemon juice.

Meanwhile, cook two cups of quinoa, saute the tofu, then saute 1 bunch of kale separately. Mix together, add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, then stir in the pesto.

Categories: Dinner, Potlucks Tailgates and Road Trips | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Sauteed Kale with Yellow Pepper, Avocado and Rice

I made up tonight’s kale dish using leftovers in our fridge and served it next to marinaded, grilled tempeh.

I made it up as I went along, so these ingredient measurements are approximates.


  • oil or water for sauteing
  • a few shakes of cumin, garam masala, and turmeric
  • 1 small or medium red onion, sliced in half moons
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, slices
  • 1/2 large yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 bag chopped kale, rinsed (approx 1 bunch, de-stemmed and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • about 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • balsamic vinegar (a few shakes)
  • lemon juice (a few drops, maybe 1 tsp)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 avocado


  1. Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add spices and stir into oil for about 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender
  2. Add yellow pepper and saute a few more minutes
  3. Add kale and water, stir and cover. Steam for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the cover, add the rice, and cook for a few more minutes until most of the water is gone, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn off heat, add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in the 1/2 avocado and serve

Yield: Side dish of 2-4 servings

Categories: Dinner, Easy, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

My Favorite Recipes for Kale and Chard

I had to cook two batches of greens — one chard, one kale — tonight because they had been in our fridge for far too long without being eaten. I figured this is a good time to use my two favorite recipes for each of those superhealthy greens.

My favorite simple kale recipe is based on Bobby Flay’s recipe at this link. Start by sauteing garlic and yellow onion (onion is optional) in oil or water. I add curry-like spices such as cumin, coriander and garam masala at this time, but that is also optional. Then add the kale with some water or vegetable broth. Cover and steam for 5 minutes (this is important to get out the bitterness), then uncover and cook until the liquid is about gone. Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and salt/pepper to taste.

My favorite simple chard recipe is from the cookbook, Color Me Vegan by the Compassionate Cook, Colleen Patrick-Goudrea. It involves mixing curry paste with non dairy milk. The creaminess is delicious and low-fat. Check it out in the picture below:

Categories: Easy, Sides | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Kale Chips

Kale chips are a fad right now. And there’s a good reason for that. They’re good! I haven’t bought them in the store before, but I’ve played around with different homemade recipes. My favorite is from Color Me Vegan. As the author says, it is surprising how little oil and salt you need to make these things taste good!

Admittedly it is annoying to clean the kale, although I noticed that Trader Joe’s now carries bagged kale, which would make that much easier. I don’t know if it would sacrifice taste though, I haven’t tried the TJ’s bagged kale.

Ingredients include only olive oil, salt, chili powder and nutritional yeast (and kale of course).

Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes, and they shrink into crunchy chip-like bits:

(In case you noticed, there’s broccoli in there too. I had 1/4  of  a head that was about to go bad, so I threw it in with the kale).

Kale chips can be hit or miss, so don’t get discouraged if you the first few times you try it, they don’t come out right.

Here’s an up-close shot:


Categories: Sides | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Cashew Kale

Kale is a superfood.

Here are my 3 tips re: Kale:

1. It lasts many days (a week+) in the fridge, unlike many other greens (like spinach), which is great.

2. The biggest pain about kale is cleaning it. I rip the pieces of the stem, put the pieces in a bowl full of water, then pick up handfulls and put it in a strainer so that all the dirt is remaining in the water. Repeat until water is clean.

3. Very important: once you put kale in the saute pan, cover it and let it steam for at least 5 minutes. This gets rid of some of the bitterness.

(NOTE: there are sauteed onions, red bell peppers and chickpeas underneath all that kale).

This recipe from FatFree Vegan called for blending soaked cashews with water, garlic and bullion to make a sauce. That’s the white specks that you see in the picture below. It adds a different, creamy but light flavor.

This is a side dish by itself, or an entree if you eat 1/2 of it on top of a hearty grain like rice or quinoa.

Categories: Sides | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Split Pea Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Kale (Bean Bread on the Side)

I’ve been trying out split peas lately and have been wanting to try this stew, based on a recipe in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Color Me Vegan (my favorite cookbook, btw).


The original recipe called for yellow split peas, but I used green instead. It called for collards, but I used kale instead. It is oil free and soy free.


Split peas take an hour to cook, so with prep time, this whole thing takes about an hour and a half. That’s a long time, and is why I waited until a day I wasn’t working to make it. I also took advantage of my extra time on a holiday to made a side of bean bread (from Vegetarian Soups for all Seasons cookbook).


Have you ever asked me where do I get my protein? Just one serving of the stew plus the bread provide 18 grams of protein (and only 5 grams of fat.)

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