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Kale (r) feat. its pal, Basil (l)

Nothing quite makes one want to hide in a corner with a heaping plateful of healthy greens like seeing an ad for nacho cheese-drowned Cheetos on a gas station window right after yoga class. But maybe that’s just me.

Either way, you’re getting a post jam-packed with leafy goodness.

I’m sure most people have gotten on the kale train by now, but if you’re still intimidated by it, I’m here to hold your hand. Not literally…that would be weird. Instead, I will share/remind you of some recipes I’ve posted in which kale is featured, but isn’t the tough, bitter thing that haunts you in your sleep. But you really don’t have nightmares about it, right?

TropiKale Smoothie

I might recommend a smoothie to those most freaked out by kale, which may be ironic since green drinks could potentially seem the most repulsive. But you can’t even taste it in this TropiKale Smoothie, I promise! Just pretend it’s green from the kiwi.

Kale Chips!

Kale Chips are quite popular with first-timers as they’re very similar to potato chips, though with a delicate crispness that is pretty addictive. (I tell you how to make them at the end of the linked post.)

Kale and Leek White Bean Soup

If you’d like to try something a little more substantial, Kale and Leek White Bean Soup is a good way to utilize those leeks and the bunch of kale in your CSA box right now. Spiced with cumin, the beans are great for protein and the orzo helps make it more filling.

Farfalle with Braised Kale

It’s getting a little warm for soup here, but a light, lemony pasta sounds perfect! Say yes to bowties and make Farfalle with Braised Kale. Braising makes the kale tender while it absorbs all the yummy flavors from the onion and garlic.

Speaking of pasta, you can make a great pesto with kale! If you use basil in it like I did, it tastes like regular pesto, but it’s packed with way more goodness.


Kale Basil Cashew Pesto
adapted from Epicurious

I bought similarly-sized bunches of basil and kale at the farmers’ market, so naturally my mind wanted to toss them in a food processor.  Cashews are cheaper than pine nuts (wait…right?), but you really can use any kind of nut. I’ve got some super weird pesto ideas in my head after this venture…

4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted cashews
2 ounces Parmesan cheese (it’s going in a food processor – no need to grate!)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
about 3 cups of kale and basil leaves (I had a little more kale than basil)
juice of half a lemon
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, cashews, cheese, salt, and pepper until finely chopped. Add the kale, basil, and lemon juice and pulse until finely chopped again. With the processor running, pour in the olive oil in a slow stream.

So, now what?

I made a pizza!

Kale-Basil-Cashew-Pesto Pizza with Leeks and Tomatoes

After I thawed and rolled out my frozen left over pizza dough, I spread on a layer of pesto, sprinkled it with freshly-grated mozzarella, then finished it off with chopped sauteed leeks (also from the farmers’ market) and campari tomato slices. So very delicious!

I had some pesto left over and so later that week I tossed it with capellini and tomatoes which was also tasty.  There may have been a day when this happened:


Oops. But there’s kale all over the place!

What are some of your favorite recipes involving kale and other greens? I need help unseeing that Cheetos catastrophe.