Smoky Sautéed Kale & Mushrooms

February 11, 2010

Before last night, I had never had kale. I know, I know. What kind of person-who-strives-to-eat-healthy am I? No kale?
It wasn’t because I’m against eating kale, or greens for that matter. I love spinach and romaine, but in the past darker leafy greens received nothing but a brief glance as I sought out the best looking produce at our market.
In fact, my only experience with greens has been with collard greens, and oddly enough, not even in the somewhat southern US where I’m living. (I say that because many people consider Kentucky the south, but when looking at a map I’ve never really considered Kentucky the true south of the US. I’ll save that for another post.)
Anyway, I actually had my first collards in Brazil, couve. They were finely sliced fresh and put into salads, eaten with the plentiful amounts of red meat so common there. When I was in the north of Brazil I had them prepared in a way similar to how they are eaten in the southern US.
My thoughts? Collards are okay. A little bitter for my taste whether fresh or cooked.
A couple weeks ago Michelle at Find Your Balance challenged her readers to try a new green. I didn’t meet the one week deadline, but I’ve had discovering new greens on my mind ever since. At the supermarket last week, it was settled, I had to give kale a try.
In just a cup of kale you’ll get a major dose of vitamins K, A and C. Not to mention the fact that you simply feel healthy eating it. Not scientific of course, but it’s like those vitamins go straight to blood perking you up a bit. You are what you eat, as it goes.
And you know what? Greens are pretty darn inexpensive especially when compared to other produce out and about this time of year. I have since learned that the season for kale is, well, right now – the middle of winter.
You’ll be hard pressed to find something easier to cook as well. I got a batch of great tasting kale finished in the amount of time it would take to go through a drive through. That includes cooking the salmon and quinoa I served it with.
I found several recipes for kale online. Between the flavors and the cooking methods I pretty much meshed them all together. The two that gave me the most inspiration was this Sautéed Kale and this Sautéed Kale with Smoked Paprika. I threw in a few more spices and veggies and this is what I got.

Smoky Sautéed Kale & Mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil
¼ of a large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Large bunch of kale, about 1 to 1 ½ lbs
½ cup chicken stock
5-6 white mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook about 1 to 2 minutes. Place the kale in the skillet and use tongs to turn and coat it with the oil. Pour in the chicken stock and place and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the mushrooms. Continue to cook until the mushrooms shrink and darken and the remaining liquid has evaporated. Stir in the seasonings. Makes 3 to 4 small servings, 2 large.

Thanks to Michelle for the inspiration.

This post is being submitted to Side Dish Showdown at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.
Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

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  • 5 Star Foodie February 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I definitely need to try cooking with kale, it sounds like such a healthy and delicious side dish! An excellent combination with mushrooms & seasonings!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) February 11, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I have some kale in my fridge! I didn’t know what to do with it but this meal looks great!

    I love collard greens with a little bacon, so good!

  • Cinnamon-Girl♥ February 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Kale is one of my favorite greens – I don’t find it at all bitter like so many other greens that I’ve tried. This looks excellent – so full of flavor and quick to make too. I am thrilled that you submitted it for my showdown! Thanks so much!

  • janet February 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Kale is also a great source of calcium. I love kale and have been on a kale kick all week, I use it in smoothies, potato kale soup and butternut kale risotto. Now I’ll have to try your kale and mushrooms;)

  • Lori February 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

    5 Star – I’ll definitely be cooking with it more from here on out.

    Amanda – It is so easy to make. You’ll like it.

    Reeni – Glad I came across something to enter. I completely agree, it isn’t bitter at all. I really like it.

    janet – Great combos with your kale! I’ll have to try some of those. Kale does provide calcium, but it also contains oxalates. While most would agree that the oxalates don’t at all outweight the positive health benefits of kale, some studies associate oxalates with a small amount reduced calcium absorption. From what I’ve read the impact isn’t great, but I did want to mention that for my other readers. 🙂

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) February 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Holy crap Kale is my favorite green. I love it even more than spinach and chard. It stays hardy after it’s cooked unlike spinach which really just melts away almost. Soup and beans is my favorite application. This side looks looks mighty fine though!

  • Skip to Malou February 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I’ve always been intimidated trying vegies that I am not familiar of, and one of the is Kale. (I ahould have joined the challenge for new green myself) But reading your post makes me want to look at kale differently… it sounds healthy and easy to cook!

  • Joy February 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Sometimes I get SO hungry for greens! The more the better! I am going to have a go at growing kale this year I think!

  • Lori February 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Andrea – You are so right. I love the texture too.

    Malou – I’m the same way. I check something out a few times, then finally get around to buying it, and then it still takes me forever to cook it. Ha, ha! This time it was a great result though.

    Joy – You know I was just thinking about how it would do in my garden. I hear it grows well in colder climates. Do you know much about it?

  • Anna February 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I love kale and collards, my mother use to make scrambled eggs and sauteed kale, and you probably had the famous Brazilian soup “caldo verde”. But sometimes I use kale just raw, sliced very thinly with hearts of palm. I like that you mixed with mushrooms. Looks yummy.

  • Sagan February 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Sadly, I really don’t like kale. I’ve tried it all sorts of ways and it’s just too bitter for my liking. Ah well. Mushrooms, on the other hand, are very tasty!

  • my spatula February 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    i love kale and i’m looking forward to trying out your smoky version!

  • Debinhawaii February 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I have come to really love kale–it is such a great source of nutrients. Lately I have been doing a lot of raw salads with the kale shredded finely.

    I love the combination of ingredients and flavors you have here–especially the smokiness.

  • dining room table February 12, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Kale is my kind of green! It is also my source of calcium. This dish really looks so appetizing. An excellent dish!

  • Elizabeth Jarrard February 12, 2010 at 3:53 am

    I adore kale!!! try to find “dinosaur kale” its bumpy and dark green. I eat entire stalks of it-love it!

  • kat February 12, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Its one of our favorite additions to soups & stews throughout the winter. When we get a bunch in the fall we blanch & freeze it so its ready to throw in the pot

  • Lori February 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Anna – I love caldo verde. I tried making it myself once, but it didn’t turn out nearly as good as what I’d eaten out while in Brazil.

    Sagan – I have a few vegetables on my don’t like list too. 🙂

    myspatula – Hope you like it!

    Deb – I need to try eating it freshly shredded and not cooked.

    dining room – It’s quickly become one of my favorites too.

    elizabeth – I’ll have to look for that variety. I’ve heard of it, but haven’t seen it around here.

    kat – Great idea with the freezing. I’ll have to do that.

  • Tangled Noodle February 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    We discovered the joys of kale last year when I went searching for a green that would complement – FEIJOADA! It was perfect and now we consider it a favorite. Thanks for another great recipe we could use to enjoy this awesome veg!

  • OysterCulture February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Kale is a favorite and your version may be the new favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Joanne March 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    So did you like it?? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Looks like a great side dish! Kale and spinach are my favorite leafy greens but I SO don’t cook with them enough either. I love them mixed in with pasta.

  • Swapna March 5, 2010 at 5:38 am

    I love any greens… this recipe looks great…!!!