Cooking with Fresh Produce: Three Simple Recipes using Kale

Cooking with Fresh Produce: Three simple recipes using Kale

Since joining Papa Spud's at-home produce delivery service, I've been cooking with a lot of greens, especially kale. I seem to order kale and spinach more often than collards and swiss chard. Before joining Papa Spud's in January of this year, I rarely ate fresh kale and definitely didn't cook with it much.

Personally, I like all greens so adding kale to my diet and recipes has actually been easy for me. It's kind of ironic that before I joined Papa Spud's, greens and other winter vegetables caused me to be hesitant about joining the service. I was scared that I would not know what to with the foods when they arrived. I feared that I would get all of these funky vegetables that would make me panic on how to prepare them. That was just plain silly thinking because there are tons of recipes available that can help one cook with fresh vegetables. Also, Papa Spud's lets me customize my box each week so I can plan exactly what will be delivered to my home. If I don't want collards then I don't have to order collards.

kale is rich in many vitamins. It is a power food with many health benefits

My husband is not as in "love" with all greens as much as I am so he always gets this very "non-excited look" on his face when I tell him that I'm preparing a meal with kale for dinner. His favorite green is spinach. I do add that leafy green on my delivery in addition to kale because my son loves to eat raw spinach. We're still trying to win over my five-year-old on any leafy green in a garden. If we're lucky, she may eat one raw spinach leaf, and perhaps kale, if it is roasted to her liking.

Despite Will's lack of love for power greens, he's being a great sport and eats what I place in front of him these days We have found a few winning recipes that I'm going to share with you today. I have personally tested these recipes. You may want to follow two of my Pinterest boards if you have an interest in cooking with fresh produce in your kitchen: Leigh is Cooking with Farm Fresh Produce and Eating Healthier.

Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes and Kale 

Roasted kale is easy to cook along with roasting chicken legs and thighs
Sometimes I use thighs and chicken legs. You can purchase organic chicken through Papa Spud's. 

This particular chicken and kale recipe from Food and is the best recipe I have found since beginning my quest to cook healthier. Everyone in my family seems to like this one. I have also prepared this recipe using just kale and no potatoes. I think this is one recipe that I found that is a true recipe staple for my family now. It gets four thumbs up from my family.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup with Kale

Soup recipe with kale as ingredient
Photo from Martha Stewart Living

This soup recipe enabled me to use sweet potatoes this winter and kale, both of which have been plentiful weekly on Papa Spud's order form. The kids ate pasta on the night I made this. They are not big soup eaters, but I thought this was great during our snow days. This soup recipe using kale is a Martha Stewart recipe. It is very simple. I also used healthy carb pasta in the soup rather than plain. However, Will and I thought this soup needed a little kick. I used a chicken sausage that was pretty mild in taste. We recommend adding a half of a jalapeno pepper to the soup, or definitely use spicy sausage when preparing.

Sautéed Kale with Cannellini Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, and Cherry Tomatoes 

Kale Power Lunch
Kale Power Lunch 

This last recipe is something I do during the day for my lunch. In the winter, I like to eat a hot lunch instead of a cold salad. This dish really does not have a recipe. I sauté the onions and mushrooms in garlic and olive oil. I add the kale and continue sautéing until the kale is wilted. I also add salt and pepper to the pan for seasoning. I add a few cherry tomatoes then I add a half a cup of cannellini beans. Once the beans are warm, it's ready to serve. No one eats this in my family, but me. I really like it.

The Benefits of Kale 

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is a members of the mustard greens family. It is filled with the essential vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. A cup of fresh kale has only about 33 calories ,but packs almost 3 grams of protein.
I enjoy reading about health so it's not uncommon for Will to joke that I have my own WebMD since I'm always looking up diseases.  This article on WebMD is actually a great resource about the health benefits of adding kale to your diet.

Disclosure: Papa Spud's is sponsoring this conversation today. Papa Spud's is a local produce delivery service in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Read my introduction post on why I became a customer, and if you want to sign up for the service, please use my referral link. I have been a paying Papa Spud's customer since January 2015, and I love the service. Opinions about the service are my own. 

This post is linked up with Small Victories Sunday

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