Ahhh kale… I feel like society as a whole has a love/hate relationship with the superfood, but the reality is that it takes a little more effort than most greens to prepare in a way that makes eating it an enjoyable experience.
Here, I’ve laid how I personally go about making yummy dishes with this specific green. I’ve also included a combo I use regularly for people trying it out for the veggie for the first time 🙂
When you see kale at your local grocery store, it can seem overwhelming. Often times there’s more than three varieties that all have different colors and textures. What I’ve found is that the more red the leaf, the more bitter it is. If this is you’re fist time trying out making anything with kale, I’d stick to the green variety.
Once you have the kale in your possession, the first step to turning it into a yummy dish is de-stemming it. There are multiple methods that different people swear by, but it really depends on the kind of leaf you’re dealing with. Basically, as long as you get the thick, middle stem in each leaf separated from the “meat” of the leaf, you’re good to go.
The next fact to recognize is that (unless you’re buying baby kale) it’s going to be TOUGH. Basically, if you try to eat it raw, without doing anything to it, you’re going to be doing a LOT of chewing. It’ll also taste suuuuper bitter. Kale is so tough because of it’s extremely high fiber density… while this may be good for your intestines, it might not feel so great to your mouth.
To combat this little issue, it helps to massage your kale. Yes, I know, the idea of giving your future salad a rub down sounds slightly insane… but it’s SO WORTH IT!
Start by breaking up the larger kale leaves into smaller pieces and throwing them in a large bowl (You can do this by tearing with your fingers or cutting with a knife). Use whatever dressing that’s going onto the salad/dish, lemon juice, avocado, or tahini and pour it over top of the leaves. Using your fingers (yes, you read that right) rub down the leaves with whatever you put on them till they break down and become tenderized.
After you rub them down, they’ll take on a darker hue, be less rigid, less bitter, and will take on the flavor of whatever you dressed them with. All that’s left to now is adding additional veggies/fruits/nuts to the bowl, giving it a quick toss, and calling it a meal!
Here’s a favorite combo of mine that you could use as template:
- 1/2 bunch of kale (de-stemmed)
- 2 tsp tahini OR 1/3 avocado
- Lemon juice (I use 1/2 a lemon)
Massage these three together and top with:
- Toasted walnuts
- Red onion
- (Literally any veggie ever)