I never know what new cookbook will be offered to me, so when I got the chance to review this one, I decided yes, I’d love to see what they have to offer. I haven’t gotten all the way through this one yet, but we did try two of the recipes and they both were really good.
My roommate, Rhonda, eats gluten-free and Paleo most of the time, so I do sometimes as well, since we do cook together pretty often. It’s not that hard to eat Paleo (gluten-free is much harder to me and I do eat gluten), but really meat and lots of veggies go a long way towards a Paleo lifestyle. I’m definitely not Paleo all the way, since they don’t do sugar and I haven’t figured out a way to cut sugar out of my diet completely. My sweet tooth demands some sugar and I subscribe to the “everything in moderation” theory. It’s been working for me for a long time.
So, I do try to eat healthy most of the time and eating real food and not processed food is what I try to concentrate on most days. My dad is growing kale in his garden and has been for the last couple of years. We have been hearing about the huge health benefits of eating kale, so he planted it a few years ago, alongside his turnip, collard, and mustard greens. Greens are really good for you and I’ve known that my whole life, since my dad has been growing these healthy greens for as long as I can remember. I didn’t love them as a youngster, but I’ve learned to appreciate them as I’ve gotten older, since the health benefits are so huge. My favorite greens to eat the Southern way are mustard greens. My mom cooks them up and we add pepper sauce to them and scarf them up.
So, when this greens cookbook was offered to me for review, The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook, I said sure, why not! I like to eat leafy green veggies and incorporate more of them into my meals and kale is a good one to do that with. I’m even putting kale in smoothies. I’ll tell you about that later too.
As you can see, this has 67 types of leafy greens and 250 recipes included. I can’t wait to check out more of them to try.
Since my dad grows plenty of greens during these cooler fall months, we have an abundance of kale right now and I can get as much as I want of these beautiful leafy green veggies. Rows of turnips, collards, mustard, and kale in my dad’s garden are a beautiful sight.
He says this year they are all doing really well, as you can see.
Big beautiful leafy green kale leaves. There are several varieties of kale and I’m not sure what this one is called, but it is the more common variety, the curly leaf green one. I’ve been bringing home bags of it to cook with and trying to find lot of different ways to use it.
- 1 Bunch Kale (1 lb)
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp. kosher or coarse sea salt
- ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup vegetable stock or water
- Dash Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- Using a sharp knife, trim kale, separating leaves from stems and center ribs. Discard parts of stem wider than ¼ inch. Coarsely chop leaves and tender stems, placing them in separate piles.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until shimmery. Add kale stems and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for about 1 minute, until softened. Stir in salt and pepper. Add kale leaves. Cook, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes, until coated and slightly wilted. Pour in stock. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until kale is tender-crisp and stock has evaporated. Drizzle with vinegar to taste. Serve warm.
- Variations: drizzle the kale with lemon juice instead of vinegar. Scatter toasted nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, overtop.
Using this cookbook, I made sauteed kale and it is really delicious. I had a similar recipe at a fancy restaurant in Nashville, so kale is a trendy thing to eat right now.
I keep hearing about kale chips and have heard you can buy them in the stores now, but have never tried them. With the abundance of fresh kale available right now, I decided to try the homemade version.
Freshly washed kale ready to use. It says to cut out the tough stems from the middle. I simple tore off the large leafy green parts and discarded the middle stems, tearing them into bite sized pieces.
Add extra virgin olive oil to a bowl and simply put the kale in there and rub in all around in the olive oil until the leaves are coated. You pretty much have to do this with your hands and touch each leaf.
It doesn’t take long though to rub olive oil on each leaf and spread them out on a baking sheet. Then sprinkle with sea salt. I heard others comment on my Facebook page to add Parmesan cheese and other condiments and I imagine that you could do all sorts of things to these chips to make them tasty.
This is a really bad pic, but after 15 min. in a 350* oven, they looked like this. When I first opened the oven door and saw this, my first thought was, OH NO, these all turned to mush and they looked ruined. I didn’t think they were crispy at all, but once I touched them they just slid right off the cookie sheet all intact and VERY crispy.
I placed them on a plate to take this pic, but they really are tasty and fun to eat. I loved the light, crisp flavor and the sea salt really enhances them. I’ve always loved potato chips, so these could be a fun alternative. They were so light they practically melt in your mouth. I’ll definitely be making more batches of kale chips now. I wondered how easy they are to make and they really are. These took less than 30 min. to make and I loved the taste.
Just be aware that when you eat these, you’ll be picking black specks of kale out of your teeth for awhile.
Are you eating kale these days?