Finding Grace in the Food We Serve: Featuring Kale

We’re linking up with Grace Laced Monday again this week.  I hope you were able to find a little bit of grace in your everyday last week.

Grace Laced Mondays

You know and I know that in the humdrum and to-ing and fro-ing of the everyday that sometimes it’s hard to both give and receive grace.  But when we stop and observe the seemingly minor details of our everyday lives, there is much grace to be found.  In last week’s “grace” post, Ours to Borrow, I defined the term.  One of those definitions was

the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

Do you know that we can even be considerate and thoughtful in our cooking?  In fact, we should be!  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are days when we all serve our family a bowl of cereal for dinner.  In fact, one day last week, I told my family that they were going to have to fend for themselves the next night because I wasn’t too pleased with the turned up noses of that night’s meal.  (It wasn’t very grace-filled of me, I know.  And I did end up making a delicious, highly-approved dinner the next night.)

We should strive to make our attitudes toward cooking considerate and thoughtful — it often makes for a more pleasant evening for everyone.  But at the same time, we should be considerate and thoughtful about what we serve, not only how.  Of course, if the meals you serve are geared toward food allergies, you must be considerate and thoughtful.

I want to help you find grace in the food you serve, so I’m going to feature various foods over the next weeks.  But I won’t leave you to wonder what to do with that food. I will also share our favorite recipes with that food.  Today, the food feature is

Kale

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables that you can eat.  It is high in iron, beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, lutein, calcium.  It also contains sulforaphane, which is a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.

And you’re in luck…winter is the best growing time for Kale, so it’s currently an in-season vegetable.  You should be able to find it for a good price right now in your grocery store.

We had never had kale until a couple of years ago.  We were a bit curious, but thought we should try it out.  One of our standard and easiest uses of kale is in place of spinach in my Sauteed Spinach recipe.  You’ll have to come back on Thursday to get that recipe…sorry that I’m dragging this out.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “Michelle, what are you doing to us? You’ve had us making bok choy, cabbage salads, and heart of palm.  So now you want us to try kale too?”

My reply: “Yes, absolutely!”

You have to go with me on this.   Here is a link to one of our favorite kale dishes, Two-Bean Soup with Kale.  This would be a great soup for a vegetarian night, or it is also delicious with sausage (any kind will do) or chicken.  I shared this soup with a friend last year who had never tried kale before.  She said her entire family loved it, and she has small children.

Do you enjoy kale? Do you have a favorite kale recipe to share with us? If you have never had kale, will you give it a try soon?

I hope that you are able to find grace — being considerate and thoughtful — in the meals you serve this week…or at least one!

You can read up more on Kale at Wikipedia.

Also shared at Monday Mania, Real Food 101, and Homestead Barn Hop.

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23 Responses to Finding Grace in the Food We Serve: Featuring Kale

  1. Jennie Rader says:

    Oh how I love Kale! My kids love Kale chips, but its only recent that we’ve found some raw kale recipes we like! Thanks for adding a few more great recipes to our repertoire!

  2. Jennie Rader says:

    Yes! I chop the kale, discarding the thick veins and stems and toss it in olive oil and sea salt. I bake at 300 degrees for about 30 min, or until crispy. You have to turn them midway too and watch to make sure they dont burn:)

  3. Lynette says:

    Kale is our new favorite green, we eat it in soups alot but we also use it as a substitute for spinach- which both are very good for you. Kale chips? That sounds interesting!

  4. Pam Moore says:

    Kale is my family’s favorite green. We love kale chips. We also loved it cooked up as good ol’ southern greens, in soups and in pasta dishes. I even put it in smoothies. We go through the stuff like crazy.

    • Cook says:

      Pam, Good to know about the smoothies. My SIL asked about that. I rarely make smoothies so I haven’t tried the spinach or kale version. I’ll pass the info along to her. Thanks!

  5. Heather says:

    We too love kale chips. We try to make sure the leaves are dry when we put them in the oven and in one layer and baking doesn’t take too long. Even my picky eater loves these. I think because they are called “chips” and they have salt. 🙂 I’ve never been a big fan of cooked greens though. I have learned to like raw spinach and include other greens in things such as potato soup, frittata and lasagna. The bean soup sounds promising too, as does the smoothie. Even though kale isn’t quite as sweet as spinach, I’m sure we can sneak some into a smoothie. Before long, you’ll find me grazing in the yard on dandelion greens like my grandma used to. 🙂

    • Cook says:

      Thanks for the tip on the kale chips. I used to not like cooked greens either until I started sauteing them. I will post that recipe on Thursday. It can be used with either spinach or kale. My kids LOVE it! You should give it a try.

  6. Kristen says:

    THis is too funny….even before reading this I was planning to make the Kale soup recipe tonight that you gave me last winter 🙂

  7. Jenny says:

    there’s a yummy recipe for kale chips on Gracelaced! I love kale and how it keeps it’s textural integrity in cooking…thanks for reminding me to add more to my cooking. 🙂

    • Cook says:

      You know, now that you mention it, I think I remember Ruth posting a kale chip recipe sometime within the last year or so. Thanks for the reminder to check her recipe!

  8. I love Kale! I’ll definitely have to try the recipe soon. We like to bake ours into chips. I tear it up really small and lay it out as flat as possible. I sprinkle a little olive oil, kosher salt and lemon juice on them and bake them until crispy and have to walk away to make sure I don’t eat half of them as soon as they come out of the oven! I found the recipe originally on allrecipes.com.
    Great idea for finding grace in meals. I don’t like to cook, so I’m hoping to get a little more “in the spirit” as I read your entries!

    • Cook says:

      Well, that’s why I said to try to find grace in at least 1 meal this week 🙂 Cooking isn’t for everyone! I bet you like to clean though….we could switch jobs! 🙂

  9. Kale is one of my favorite vegetables-a powerhouse of nutrition and delicious in many recipes. I have never grown kale, but now you have me pondering that idea!

    • Cook says:

      Good idea to try growing it yourself! I’m new to the whole gardening thing. We had container tomato plants, basil, and cucumber this last summer as our first gardening trial. It went okay, but we’d like to expand this year. I’ll have to look into kale myself. I bet it’s pretty easy. And since it’s a winter vegetable, it might be something that grows well indoors???

  10. Gracie says:

    Kale is my favorite green.

    I especially like it as part of breakfast. Add a good amount of your favorite fat to your skillet. I generally use bacon fat. Heat to almost the smoke point. Add chopped kale to the fat and fry. Your fat should be hot enough that you get crispy kale. I always salt it in the pan and add garlic or fermented chile sauce or both. Serve with eggs for a savory and filling breakfast.

    • Cook says:

      Gracie,

      That’s a new one. I never considered it for breakfast, but why not? It would even work fantastic in a quiche that traditionally calls for spinach. Thanks for helping me think outside the box!

      Michelle

  11. Pingback: Recipe: Sauteed Balsamic Kale | The Willing Cook

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