Want to ‘Eat More Kale’? We’ve Got 6 Recipes Waiting for You

Considering its health profile as a nutritional powerhouse, there’s always a reason to eat more kale — but with news out that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Bo Muller-Moore a trademark for his “Eat More Kale,” it seems like a great time to dig up some kale dishes to celebrate.

In case you need a refresher or you missed the three-year battle, Muller-Moore tells the story in his 2012 TED talk, shown here. In 2005 and again in 2012, fast food giant Chick-Fil-A tried to shut Muller-Moore down, claiming that his “Eat More Kale” design infringed the trademark of their “Eat Mor Chikn” slogan and ad campaign. The legal battle turned a trademark dispute into a banner for supporting small businesses over corporations and small, local farmers over large factory farms.

Eating more of this leafy green is always on our healthy eating to-do list, and if you want to “Eat More Kale”, too, here are 6 recipes capitalizing on local, hardy, and always-in-season kale.

cocktail with cucumber, drink

Source: iStock

1. Drink More Kale: Kale Collins

If you want to celebrate this version of David v. Goliath, it seems right to raise a glass of something green and a little strong. This Tom Collins recipe from Serious Eats is fresh and verdant, using about ¾ pound of kale, juiced, to create. If you can’t find lovage, a leafy herb that tastes a bit like celery, trim the leafy tops off your celery and muddle those, instead.

Ingredients:

  • 9 lovage leaves
  • 3 (¼-inch) cucumber slices
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • ¾ ounce kale juice
  • 2 ounces chilled seltzer
  • Garnish: Lovage leaf and thin cucumber slice

Directions: Muddle lovage leaves with cucumber slices in a Collins glass or mason jar.

Add simple syrup, gin, lemon juice, and kale juice. Stir to combine. Fill glass with ice, top with seltzer, and stir gently. Garnish with lovage leaf and thin cucumber slice.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Kale Salad with Chicken

In the spirit of friendship and good-natured neighborliness often found in Vermont, we decided it was appropriate to eat more kale and more chicken with this salad from Food & Wine. Kale, being particularly hardy, can really stand up to a strong dressing like Caesar — unlike most greens, kale won’t wilt under the slightly acidic, heavy weight of the dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 4 (4-by-½-inch) slices of bread
  • 2 garlic cloves — 1 peeled, 1 minced
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 anchovies, minced
  • 3 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ pound Tuscan kale — stems trimmed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  • Two (3-ounce) jars cocktail onions, drained and halved
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until crisp. Rub the hot toast with the peeled garlic clove, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the cheese browns. Let cool, then break into 1-inch croutons.

In a small bowl, whisk the anchovies, minced garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Whisk in the oil; season the dressing with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the kale with 6 tablespoons of the dressing. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add the onions, chicken, croutons and remaining dressing. Toss and serve.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Vegan Kale and Chickpea Sandwich

This sandwich from Serious Eats gets a little sour kick from red onions seasoned with sumac, a spice found at most grocery stores or online. It’s best served on thin, toasted sandwich bread to really let the kale, chickpeas, and onions shine.

Ingredients:

Onions

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • kosher salt

Kale and Chickpeas

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch kale, stiff stalks discarded, roughly shredded by hand
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, with liquid
  • freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 4 slices pizza bianca, split and lightly toasted, or 8 slices of thin sandwich bread, lightly toasted
  • vegan mayo, to taste (optional)

Directions: Place onions in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Rinse in several changes of water then carefully dry with a salad spinner lined with paper towels. Combine onions with sumac and sesame seeds. Season to taste with salt. Set aside while braising kale.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale leaves and stir to coat with oil. Cook until lightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and their liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until kale is fully tender and liquid has reduced to a thick sauce-like consistency, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assemble sandwiches by dividing kale and chickpeas evenly among four sandwiches. Top with sumac onions and vegan mayo. Serve warm.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

4. Pan-fried Kale

The Pioneer Woman declares this quick, garlicky, half steamed/half pan-fried, slightly al dente but still slightly crisp kale dish the one that will convince you to eat more kale if you haven’t yet become obsessed. Having a hot skillet and quick, confident movements are essential to this dish, as is having everything prepped and ready. If the garlic is in the pan too long without its leafy counterpart, it will burn terribly fast. No one likes burnt garlic. Everyone likes garlicky kale.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole large bunch of kale or 2 regular bunches
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ lemon, optional

Directions: Thoroughly rinse the kale in cold water, soaking if necessary to remove grit. Tear the kale into chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and quickly stir it around to avoid burning.

Throw in the kale and use tongs to move it around the skillet. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and continue cooking until slightly wilted but still crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the kale to a plate and serve.

Option: Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Winter Pasta: Kale Pesto

A great way to get through a lot of kale and to pack your pasta with extra nutrients, this pesto from 101 Cookbooks  is made from sturdy, par-boiled kale instead of flimsy, out-of-season basil. Par-boiling the kale removes a bit of the brassica-family bitterness, for those who are particularly sensitive.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 small shallots, peeled
  • 1 small bunch of kale, stalks removed, washed well
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup goat cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
  • fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 12 ounces dried pasta
  • fresh thyme

Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another 10 seconds, being careful to not overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor to purée the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out. Season with a touch of salt and a fair bit of black pepper, tasting as you season. Depending on your goat cheese, you may need to add a bit of lemon to brighten the pesto. If so, add fresh lemon juice to taste. Set aside.

Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the pesto. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled goat cheese.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Kale Chips with Lemon and Parmesan

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a recipe for kale chips, and this one from Once Upon a Chef is particularly munch-worthy. Topped with salt, Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon, these aren’t your plain old kale chips. They’re addicting. If there’s one surefire way to ensure you eat more kale, this has got to be it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound curly kale, leaves removed from tough stems and torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Lemon
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, toss the kale leaves with the olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until leaves are completely crisp but not browned.
While the chips are still warm, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and a squeeze of lemon. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a platter and serve.

More from Life Cheat Sheet: