Kale and White Beans

I have the never ending bag of kale right now.  I can’t go through it fast enough!  I get a new bag of kale every week!  So, I’ve been thinking up ways to use it up and every time I try a new recipe, I fall more in love in kale.  It’s just so darn versatile!  This time I wanted to make it with some beans.

White beans have become my favorite bean.  They don’t break down during cooking and tend to keep their shape and flavor, plus they have a smooth, buttery flavor that just goes great with all kinds of vegetables.

I use dry beans but feel free to use canned beans.

With a side of avocado for a little extra oomph of protein!
Kale and White Beans
1 cup cooked white beans
3 cups kale, stem removed and torn
1 onion, halved and sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
  1. In a large skillet, add about a tablespoon of olive oil (about 1 turn around the pan).  Bring to medium high heat.
  2. Sautee onion.  When onion has started to wilt, add vegetable broth and lemon juice.  Bring broth up to a simmer and add kale.  Sprinkle cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper onto kale.  Carefully toss and cover, about 10 minutes.
  3. Let kale wilt down and stir again.
  4. Add white beans and toss.
  5. Serve.

Red "Curry" Kale

My Early Spring CSA from Brad’s Produce started and I have an endless supply of greens.  Around this time of year, my diet turns virtually vegetarian.  My favorite veggies are spring veggies:  asparagus, kale, spinach, spring lettuce, spring onion, etc.  Since we have been getting a bag full of kale every week, I’ve been eating kale in some way, shape, or form, almost every day.  One of the great things about kale is that it’s so versatile and the leaves cling to any sauce that you toss with it.

Because it’s still very chilly in MD at the moment (come on, Arizona girl here!  60s is COLD!), I thought that a nice warm curry would be awesome.  There was one catch.  I had everything in my pantry for Red Curry Kale…except the coconut milk.  I had cream and wanted to use the cream in place of coconut milk.  “But Jessica,” you say, “You can’t have curry without coconut milk!” 

I know.  I was in a conundrum.

Knowing that a lot of the flavor in curry comes from the coconut milk, I knew that I had to make up the coconut flavor somehow.  So, I used coconut oil and coconut flakes in the recipe to make up for the lack of coconut milk.  I also made rice with coconut oil and coconut flakes to help oomph the flavor of the coconut in the complete dish.

It came out really well.  Making up for the lost coconut by using coconut oil and coconut flakes really helped to add that necessary flavor to the “curry”.  Of course, if you would like to make this a REAL curry, subsitute coconut milk in the recipe.

Curry & Kale make for a yummy dinner
Red “Curry” Kale
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 Tablespoons red curry paste (I use more cuz I’m a hot head)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup cream (or coconut milk)
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Handful of cilantro, chopped
3 cups kale, torn
1 lime, divided
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and sautee.  Once the onion starts to wilt, add the garlic and the coconut flakes.  Sautee until onion, garlic, and coconut flakes are caramelized.
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons of red curry paste and sautee into the onion mixture.  Slowly pour in 1 cup vegetable broth and stir until the paste is dissolved into the broth.  Add cream (or coconut milk) and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer.
  3. Add kale, cilantro, and zest of one lime.  Cover.  Once kale begins to wilt, stir to cover the greens in the curry.  Add the juice of half a lime.  Stir.
  4. Serve with coconut rice and half a sliced lime.

Orange Pepper Pork and Kale

There are many food blogs out there that center on the romance of cooking and that’s great but the typical, average family (even single person) doesn’t have time for meals that take a lot of energy and time to cook.  Let’s face it, between all the things we are “supposed” to do, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, read to your kids, help them with homework, walk the dog twice a day, wash your face before you go to bed, get 8 hours of sleep, drink 2 liters of water, etc, etc, etc, now here I am telling you that we can’t trust our corporate food sources and we should make most everything from scratch?!  IS YOU CRAZY, WOMAN?!  WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?! 

It can be done.  During the week I rarely spend more than 25 minutes putting dinner together and most of them are one pot meals.

Who doesn’t love one pot meals?  There’s nothing like being able to throw together a quick, nutritious meal with minimal dishes.  I think if more people knew how to cook one pot meals, more people would be eating from scratch.

dried orange zest strips, a shake of pepper corn, and a pinch of sea salt

Remember the dried orange zest strips we made?  We are going to use them to make an Orange Pepper rub for thin cut pork chops.  That orange vinegar we made, we are going to use that to steam the kale.  Now go grab you your biggest pan with a lid. 

In your coffee/spice grinder (make sure it’s clean!) add 2-3 strips of dried orange zest, a shake of pepper corn, and a pinch of sea salt.  Grind that up until you have a nice spice blend.  Rub the blend on both sides of thin cut pork chops. Put these aside while you complete the rest of the preparation.

Chop 1-2 garlic cloves, half and slice an onion, and pick about a half head of kale off it’s stem. 

GREENS!  MY LOVE!  I’ve been waiting for you all winter!
Set your biggest pan with a lid over medium high heat.  We want to sear the pork chops and to get a beautiful sear we need a hot pan and warm oil.  Once the pan is hot enough to where water sizzles, add a tablespoon of olive oil and let that warm up.  Place the pork chops in the pot and sear for about a minute each side.  Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate to set aside.
Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic, let those caramelize and then add 1/4 cup of vegetable or pork broth (or wine or beer or water) and scrape up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Add a few generous splashes of orange vinegar.  Pack in the kale, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and more generous splashes of orange vinegar (I like vinegar on my greens, so I add a lot of vinegar here), top with seared pork chop, and cover.
You will steam the pork until it is cooked through and the greens are bright and wilted.  Serve with bread or any other carb that you fancy.
Orange Pepper Pork and Kale
Yield:  2 Pork Chops and 2 Servings Kale
Orange Pepper:
2-3 strips orange zest
pinch of sea salt
shake of black pepper
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
half head of kale
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or any liquid)
shakes orange vinegar
  1. In spice grinder grind up orange zest, sea salt, and black pepper.  Rub over both sides of pork chops.
  2. Chop garlic, half and slice onion, and pick kale.
  3. In a pot over medium high heat, sear pork chops over 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Remove pork.
  4. Add onion and garlic and sautee until caramelized.  Deglaze with vegetable broth and a few generous shakes of orange vinegar and cook down by half.  Add in greens, top with salt, pepper, and a few generous shakes of orange vinegar.
  5. Add pork chop on top of kale, cover, and steam until the pork is cooked through – about 10-15 minutes.