Is there any more beloved vegetable right now than dark, leafy kale? It's the star of one of the signature dishes at Napa Valley Grille, the kale chopped salad. Host Brandi Milloy goes behind the scenes with the restaurant's executive chef, Taylor Boudreaux, to find out what goes into this guest and celebrity favorite. Spoiler: it's shockingly fast and simple! Watch how it's made, then print out the recipe.
We could practically write an ode to kale chips — the snack that stole our nation's heart — but won't, as you may already be familiar with the crispy-crunchy (yet utterly guilt-free) qualities that make them a snacking staple. That said, we will share five of our favorite ways to cook them up to perfection. Keep reading, and get to it!
I'm a sucker for any salad that includes the powerhouse duo kale and quinoa. Both are jam-packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K (kale) and healthy fats, protein, and fiber (quinoa), making the combination a healthy and filling lunch option.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy this superfood salad combination is from a local eatery by our San Francisco office, Urban Picnic. Its kale and quinoa salad gets an Asian twist with sesame soy ginger dressing and sliced nori. Blueberries, tomatoes, and carrots add a bit of sweetness, while sliced almonds give it a satisfying crunch. I love the salad so much I set about to re-create it at home; read on for the recipe to make your own!
Think you've seen (and devoured) kale chips every which way? Think again. Slathered in smoky-savory bacon drippings and tossed with maple sugar, these snappy snacks are far from conventional in a good — nay, great — way. Sure, it may seem a bit counterintuitive to dress the hearty and oh-so-wholesome green with slightly naughty ingredients, but these still remain a glimmer of virtue, while tasting pretty darn close to candied bacon. So, get over any misguided reservations you may have and try out the recipe yourself.
Throwing some leafy greens into your smoothie is a great way to trick your taste buds into getting added fiber and calcium — it purees so well with the sweeter ingredients that you can't even taste it. I usually add whatever I have in the fridge — like baby spinach leaves or chopped kale — but does one offer bigger nutrition bang for your buck? Check out the chart below to see how these two veggies compare.
As you can see, they both offer the same amount of fiber and protein, but for fewer calories, spinach offers more folate, which is necessary for pregnant or nursing moms. Spinach is also higher in iron, which your body needs to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It offers more magnesium — a mineral that if you're deficient in can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and chronic fatigue. You'll also appreciate the higher levels of manganese needed to keep your blood sugar levels and thyroid functions normal. And who couldn't use a little extra potassium? This valuable mineral helps with bone growth and may reduce high blood pressure.
| 28 grams Spinach
(1 loosely packed cup) (%RDI)
| 28 grams Kale
(1 loosely packed cup) (%RDI)
|Total fat (g)||0||0|
|Sodium (mg)||22 (1%)||12 (1%)|
|Calcium (g)||27.7 (3%)||37.8 (4%)|
|Folate (mcg)||54.3 (14%)||8.1 (2%)|
|Iron (mg)||.8 (4%)||.5 (3 %)|
|Magnesium (mg)||22.1 (6%)||9.5 (2%)|
|Manganese (mg)||.3 (13%)||.2 (11%)|
|Potassium (g)||156 (4%)||125 (4%)|
|Vitamin A (g)||2,625 (53%)||4,305 (86%)|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||.1 (3%)||.1 (3%)|
|Vitamin C (mg)||7.9 (13%)||33.6 (56%)|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||135 (169%)||229 (286%)|
Keep reading to find out why you might want to choose kale.
St. Patrick's Day is 'round the corner, therefore we're giving Irish cuisine a gander. While I can only claim to be Irish-ish, I do know a thing or two about marrying potatoes and butter.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that is basically mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage, green onion, and Irish bacon, which is similar to Canadian bacon. Colcannon is a revered dish in Ireland; there are even songs written about it! While I'm not likely to write a song about my colcannon rendition, I will sing its praises. In addition to kale and green onions, this dish contains pancetta, because I like thin, crispy, bacon-like bits in my mashed potatoes. Who knew kale could taste so good, enveloped in fluffy mashed potatoes and salty pieces of pancetta?
My most-made recipe of all time would have to be VeganYumYum's Hurry Up Alfredo, a vegan cheese sauce made with cashews and nutritional yeast. One day, I had the inspired idea to use this beloved recipe as the base for a cheesy kale chip. But how would the unlikely list of ingredients (including coconut oil and soy sauce) translate into a cheesy topping for a vegetable chip? To my amazement, it was like bread on butter; this cheesy sauce belongs on a kale chip.
Slow cooking the chips in a low-heat oven is like baking them in a dehydrator. They retain their beautiful green hue while crisping up into Cheetos that nature intended. Vegans and nonvegans alike can attest to the absolutely addictive flavor of the cheese sauce, which as it turns out, tastes remarkably umami and salty, like Parmesan cheese or aged gouda.
Enjoy the crisps immediately out of the oven, off of the baking sheet itself . . . maybe while hovering over your stovetop. You'll discover it's near impossible to transfer these kale chips to a proper serving vessel. Many kale chip fanatics unabashedly confess to eating the whole batch before the chips have even cooled! See the recipe for cheesy vegan kale chips.
Do you believe in love at first sight? I do! Maybe not romantically, but rather in the case of what will please my palate. Specifically, I knew that I was destined to enter a whirlwind romance with this tart and tangy shredded kale and brussels sprouts salad as soon as I set my eyes upon it. In this case, my woman's intuition was spot-on; perfect in its original iteration (it's a favorite amongst our whole team), this salad-slaw hybrid is even better — at least better catered to my proclivities — with a few minor tweaks and additions (reflected in the recipe below).
Now, before you fear that this is all bluster, I've been so smitten that I've already made it three times in the past month — a rarity for someone whose job is to test recipes . . . So as the title says, I seriously urge you to get on board, and make this salad right now!
I know what you're probably thinking: kale chips are so two years ago. And sure, they've been done before (we even have a handful of enticing options in our archives), but I'd argue that their ubiquity is simply a testament to how dang delicious these virtuous snacks can be.
So no, I'm not exactly reinventing the wheel here; rather, consider this a tune-up. These salty, tangy, and dangerously snackable crisps are more akin to a fresh set of tires for the kale chips "wheel." Heavy-handed with both salt and vinegar to mimic the addictive flavor of salt and vinegar chips (minus the fryer), these chips are hands-down my favorite kale snack I've tried to date (and I really like kale).