The weekend has just begun, and I’m already thinking about Meatless Monday! Temperatures here in Texas have climbed way too high for the beginning of June, so I definitely won’t want to use the oven. Simmering a covered pot on top of the stove seems like a good option.
Did you eat kale as a kid? I never did, even though my father was a prolific vegetable gardener. Maybe it doesn’t grow well in Michigan? Not sure. After buying a bag of the green stuff a while back, I then had to figure out what to do with it. I settled on a vegetable gumbo that worked with other ingredients I had on hand, and it turned out quite tasty! My kale was the curly type, but I’m sure that tender baby kale would also work well and cook even more quickly. The texture of the end result would just be a bit different.
If you don’t know much about kale or haven’t tried it lately, you might want to consider some important health implications. This NPR article (also available on the site as a podcast) tells us that people who eat leafy green vegetables every day (like spinach, kale and collard greens) appear to have slower cognitive decline rates. That’s good news, and now we just need to come up with more interesting ways to eat them! Try the following recipe, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Make it as spicy or mild as you like:
INGREDIENTS (amounts are up to the cook:)
- Kale (chopped)
- Red bell peppers and/or tomatoes (diced)
- Okra (sliced)
- Celery, onions and/or garlic (chopped/diced)
- Bean choices – black, red, or even garbanzo
- Corn, if desired
- Vegetable bouillon cube or stock
- Spice choices – pepper (black and/or cayenne), celery salt, paprika, thyme, oregano
- Water and/or stock to cover veggies
- Rice (optional)
Cook on high until the mixture starts to bubble, and then turn to low and simmer until the kale is tender. Add more water or stock during cooking if needed.
Serve over cooked rice…or not!
If you’re cooking for kids and haven’t yet convinced them about the wonders of kale, you might also try making roasted kale chips as a fun family activity. There are many recipes to choose from on the Internet!