Cooking with Kale

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.

leafy greens cookbook

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.

dad's greens garden

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.

row of kale

He says this year they are all doing really well, as you can see.

kale close up

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.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Sauteed Kale
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Simple Sauteed Kale
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Variations: drizzle the kale with lemon juice instead of vinegar. Scatter toasted nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, overtop.


sauteed kale

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.

kale chips recipe

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.

raw kale

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.

olive oil

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.

olive oil kale chips

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.

oven kale chips

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.

kale chips

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.  Smile

Are you eating kale these days?

- Rhoda


  1. Not much into greens but I am adding them to my *also having a hard time with healthy* smoothies. That I can handle but just cooked up and mushy is too much. The chippy way might be a good idea. 😉
    I know they are good for you and…I try.


  2. I’ve only eaten kale twice that I can remember. Once I added them to a Portuguese bean soup recipe, and they were good, but I’m not really sure they were needed. I didn’t notice them enhancing the soup at all. The next time I tried a sample of kale salad at my grocery store. Hated it! And the idea that you “massage” the kale with your hands to make a salad kind of grosses me out. Even with supposedly clean hands, you are still going to have lingering germs and natural oils from your hands getting on the greens. The greens I really love are collard greens.

  3. Love Kale! Just made an easy soup with chic sausage, broth, can of tomatoes and kale (lots). I’ve sautéed, used in smoothies, made chips and chopped fine to put in meatballs! My Italian mom gave me a “look” when I told her :). It’s all good! That cookbook looks interesting. I’ve been Paleo for about a year.

  4. I swooned when I saw all those beautiful greens…..that must be one lovely site to behold in person. I’ve told you before that my dad used to do the same thing. His garden was his life. He lived to 92 eating all that good stuff from the land. I even just now said to my husband, after seeing this, that we need to buy a half acre of land somewhere and get to gardening. We have a lovely home on a lake…but TOTAL shade abounds. There’s nowhere near enough sun for a garden. Rats! A garden needs SUN. Your sweet daddy just might inspire us to get to buying, and get to gardening.

    I’ve not yet eaten any kale, need to try it. But, I had some fabulous turnip greens today. BTW, I know you must have meant Extra “Virgin” Olive Oil. There ain’t no Extra “Version”….not that I’m aware of. HA!

    • Hey, Kathy, thanks for catching my typo, it’s fixed now! I love hearing that about your daddy too. I’m totally convinced that is one reason my parents are in such good health, eating these greens for so many years.

  5. We love kale and and have also started eating more spinach.

  6. Yum! Eager to sauté! We use kale in our juice smoothies (kale, frozen berries, bananas),. Thanks for the recipe, Rhoda!

  7. We love fresh greens, and I have been eating kale since I was a young child. I haven’t made kale chips yet, but I know they are delicious. Thanks for sharing, Rhoda.

  8. I’m so envious, look at all those lovely vegetables you have access too. I don’t eat processed foods either and enjoy fresh vegetables. I love the Kale chips, recently discovered them too. The sauteed kale looks easy and delicious. I’m printing out and trying thta recipe for sure. Looks like a great cookbook.

  9. Rhoda, we have mustard greens and collard greens growing in our garden but not kale! We must remedy that in early spring. In the meantime, I just have to find some kale and try your recipes! And I do believe that your parents are in good health because they have eaten fresh veggies all their lives! If you can pass along a name to that publishing company, I’d be glad to review that book too!

  10. I LOVE kale! As a matter-of-fact, I love ALL greens and almost all veggies. However, I haven’t cooked a full meal since my husband died (seven months ago) and I’m SURE I’m not eating enough of the “good stuff.” I usually just steam my greens and put a little lemon juice on them, but I’m definitely going to saute some kale in the next few days. I’m not sure if or when I’ll try the crisps, but I’m sure they are delicious.

  11. Can someone say DELISH? I just started eating Paleo last week. It was time. The muffin top appearing above every pair of pants was not attractive to say the least. I can say that after one week I already feel better. Thanks for sharing a recipe that I will be sure to try!

  12. I’m so totally going to make the Kale chips cause that’s one kind of chip I can have! lol Love your daddy’s garden!


  13. I love Kale and eat it all the time. I have to get this book! 🙂

  14. My daughter and I made some kale chips and they were delicious! Satisfied that crunchy salty craving without the guilt of a potato chip.

  15. I love kale, and I would give my eye teeth for that beautiful garden! Absolutely gorgeous Fall produce!

  16. cathy claus says:

    i love your blog! i have been eating kale for a couple of years now…and one way to do the chips is throw into a bowl and drizzle a tablespoon or 2 of EVOO and sprinkle montreal steak seasoning (they have low sodium version now too!). roast as mentioned. DELISH! broccoli is to die for made this way too! enjoy! : )

  17. I love kale and kale chips too, what I’m curious about is the steak gravy you had with it on your Facebook post? Is that gluten free, by chance? I can not eat gluten either and it looked good, as does everything you make.

  18. Saute some red onion and lots of garlic in some olive oil. Add some portobello mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add your cleaned kale, lots of it because it will wilt down. Cook until it mostly wilted and then add your choice of meat (already cooked), chicken, italian sausage, etc. Season it with some soy sauce and some sriracha sauce. We like a vegan brand of italian sausage in it. We also serve this up with cornbread made with green chilies and corn in it. Yum, Yum.

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+Rhoda Southern Hospitality