We all know kale is super-duper healthy for you, making it a staple in most vegan kitchens and the star of many a vegan recipe. As much as I’ve wanted to like it, though, it took me some time and a lot of trial and error to find the best way to enjoy kale.
Raw (i.e., kale salad) is yummy but you need a really good dressing (like this one–my all-time fave) to effectively soften those tough leaves and cut the bitter flavor, and I just don’t always have the energy to both make the dressing and then clean my food processor. I do like raw kale in smoothies, but I’m not someone who can have a smoothie at dinner and feel that I’ve eaten the evening meal, know what I mean?
Sauteed with garlic and olive oil, which is my go-to for spinach and softer greens, seems to result in kale that is slightly dry and unevenly cooked. I have also had limited success with kale chips, finding that it’s far too easy for them to become dried-out or slightly (or even majorly!) burnt.
BUT I think I have finally nailed it. Trust me, this super-quick steamed side dish is your perfect kale. Even my husband, who is no big lover of leafy greens, will eat it without complaint, and dare I say, with some enjoyment? (Though I’ll let him weigh in on that one himself.)
- Wash and chop kale.
- Bring a tiny bit of salted water (maybe 1/4″ of water) to a boil in a medium saucepan. The water will not take long to boil so be ready!
- Add kale, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until bright green and slightly wilted.
- Drain and add salt (or garlic salt!), pepper (or lemon pepper!), and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Toss to make sure it’s evenly coated.
That’s it–you’re done! You can also apply this exact method for collards or any other hardy, thick-stemmed greens.
Not counting the time it takes to wash and chop the kale (which is like, what, 2 minutes?), this side dish is ready in less than 5 minutes. Huge win in my book. I love being able to add a big nutritional boost to my dinner with minimal prep or cleanup.