Cooking with Kale: It’s Tastier Than You Think


After a month of sheltering in place, I really miss grocery shopping. I love shopping for groceries more than I love shopping for clothes and shoes (and that’s saying something!). Whenever I travel to a new place, be it domestic or international, I always fit in a local grocery run.

Since I have returned to work, we now shop just once a week, versus the twice a week that maternity leave had afforded. Fresh vegetables have been abundant during this time, but they also spoil quickly (which I found out when I uncovered melting asparagus from a week ago). To avoid wasting food, we’ve had to be more strategic about the kind of produce we buy. Now is not the time for experimenting with time-consuming artichokes or durian fruit, nor is it the time for short-living produce like raspberries or mushrooms unless we intend to eat them the same day we buy them. Produce needs to be hardy and tasty in multiple dishes and applications.  My “superfood” during this quarantine has been the leafy kale.

Kale? Yes, kale. I didn’t start eating kale until I was an adult. I have always seen it in the stores and vaguely recognized it as something that looked like parsley. Two weeks ago, my husband bought a five-pound bag of kale at our neighborhood Safeway. He believed that it could be our vegetable for the week. A cooking challenge for me! How many dishes could I make with kale? As it turns out, plenty. 

Our daughter Ilse tried and disliked kale, but she did eat kale when it was hidden in a smoothie. (Hint, hint). There are plenty of recipes online, so I won’t bog you down with a list of links. Think of kale like an edgier spinach and substitute it in for when a recipe calls for spinach, (just save the stem bits for another use). I love recipes from Bon Appetit and Food and Wine. Below are ten kale dishes my husband and I enjoyed.

  • Sauteed Kale
  • Roasted Kale
  • Kale & Berry smoothies
  • Kale Salad with almonds
  • Kale & Potato Soup
  • Kale & Sausage Lasagna
  • Kale Chips
  • Kale Fried Rice
  • Kale &  Meat Stir Fry
  • Kale Pesto

A few final comments on kale: First, kale is almost indestructible. The vegetable lasts at least a week in the fridge. Second, we prefer the bagged kale. It’s pre-chopped, stemmed, and cleaned, which is a necessity for weeknight dinners. Lastly, it freezes well. I’ve frozen leftover bagged kale with success. So it’s not only a “superfood” because it’s good for us, but it also lasts through wear and tear. In the middle of a Shelter-in-Place order, I call that a win!


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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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