Saturday, April 28, 2012

Three Cheers for Kale!

        After returning from an indulgent weekend in Austin, all I could think about was cooking for myself. We could have eaten worse but after eating out a few times, I begin to crave my own kitchen.   Monday, I went straight to the market and picked up a TON of fresh produce. Beets, kale, spinach, avocados, grapefruit, fresh carrots, radishes, green beans... the list went on.
        Only last year did I venture to eat kale.  Since then I've made kale chips, tossed into a smoothie & added kale into pasta. But still it was minimal amounts. I've been really wanting to try some new and made-up kale recipes and now was the time.   Got myself fresh curly kale from the farmer's market & went to work.

First cheer!

Strawberry-Kale Smoothie
(serves 1)

1 cup almond milk
1-2 kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup frozen/fresh strawberries
1/2 banana
1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more ice if you like your smoothies thick, or leave without ice for more of a juice-like consistency. I like to trick myself that I am drinking a milkshake, so I usually use frozen bananas also. A quick & easy way to incorporate more greens into your diet.

You wouldn't even know there was kale in here!

Second Cheer!!

Kale Grapefruit Salad
(serves 2)

2-3 kale leaves, stems removed
1 grapefruit, segmented (How to Supreme/Segment Grapefruit)
1 avocado
Sliced almonds
Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Rinse kale leaves & tear from stems, pat dry with towel.  Drizzle a little Apple Cider Vinaigrette on kale leave and massage onto leaves.  Let leaves rest in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes, kale will become soft in hands and less stiff. While leaves are resting, cut grapefruit segments and avocado into chunks. Once ready, toss kale, avocado, grapefruit and sliced almonds together.  The grapefruit and avocado complement each other so well, while balancing the kale.  I have made it three more times this week, once with apples and once with mangoes. I think its a new favorite!

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp agave or honey
Salt & Pepper

Blend or shake up in a jar and enjoy a light & refreshing dressing. I've had mine in the fridge all week and have been using it on more kale salads, chopped beets and tossed with cold pasta even.

Third Cheer!!!

Kale and Goat Cheese Pizza

1 lb pizza dough  @ room temperature (homemade or I used Trader Joe's whole wheat)
1 bunch of kale, leaves removed from stems
3 T extra virgin olive oil (1 T reserved for kale)
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Fresh ground pepper

optional additions:
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes

So this option might not be the healthiest use of kale but hey, if I am going to eat pizza... I should add something good to it right?  I made a tasty but dried out goat cheese pizza last week and wanted to give it a shot again.  This time, I added a little more EVOO into the veggies and kept the same amount on the dough.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

With your dough at room temperature, use hands or rolling pin to stretch it out to desired thickness (about 1/4 inch).  Spread 1 T evoo onto dough and cook in ready oven 3-4 minutes just to get the crust set and a little bubbly.

Slice onions and chop garlic, carmelize both in 1/2 T evoo in a pan to get nice and juicy! I found this created great moisture, whereas sometimes a raw onion on no-sauce pizza is just dry.

While the onions are getting down and funky, pour 1/2 T EVOO onto torn kale leaves and massage the oil until all leaves are covered and soft.

Drop dollops of 2 oz goat cheese on browned pizza dough, while trying not to lick your fingers. Lovingly scatter onions, garlic, kale and spinach around dough surface.

Place heaps of the last 2 oz of goat cheese across greens.   Now, my pizza was supposed to end there. But I was feeling like more cheese so I added on mozzarella & parmesan.

    Bake in oven 8-10 minutes or until greens are crispy & cheese is melty.

Then take a big ol' slice and smile as you bite into your new favorite pizza!

Three ways to incorporate kale into your eating.  Hooray! Hoorah! Hoorale! Three Cheers for Kale!   
(yes it's late, my brain is fried on witty rhymes)


  1. All this from the child who had the same turkey sandwich on dry sourdough for 12 years of schooling !!!

    1. and I still love that turkey sandwich! <3

    2. If our school had a refrigerator and microwave back then, things may have been different :)