Cooking with Kale and Chard

Reader Contribution by Carole Coates

Kale packs a powerful nutritional punch to meals. Photo by Carole Coates

Cooking with either kale or Swiss chard is as easy as filling a pot with a little water and a lot of greens and placing it on a heated stove burner. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, there are lots more easy and interesting ways to eat these two vegetable powerhouses.

Preparation

Both vegetables should be washed thoroughly to get rid of any lingering garden soil, then chopped. The easiest way to cut kale is to fold it in half lengthwise and use a sharp knife to trim along the edge of the tough stem. Then give the leaves a few crosswise chops. (You can toss the stems into a freezer container and use them to make a healthy stock later.) Chard is ever so much easier to prepare since the stems are tender and tasty. Just pile a few chard leaves, stems and all, one atop the other and give the whole thing a few rough chops in both directions.

Basic Cooking

Personally, I like sautéed greens. Just add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to a skillet, turn the burner to medium, fill the pan with greens, cover, and cook until they begin to wilt. The big mistake people make when cooking greens is to overcook them. To add more flavor complexity, cook with a couple of garlic cloves or some chopped onions. Add other seasonings to taste.

Go Deeper

Cook more than you need for one meal and refrigerate the extra portions for the next day. Cooked chard can be added to a stir fry or an omelet. It’s also an excellent bed for scrambled eggs, adding lots of vitamins and minerals to your breakfast menu. Both vegetables make a nice addition to quiche. Here’s my favorite recipe. It’s so easy.

Kale cooked with potatoes makes for a hearty dish. Boil as many potatoes as your family typically eats. Then cube them. Meanwhile, sauté a couple of minced garlic cloves and/or a half-cup or so of chopped onion (measurements aren’t important here) in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add the cubed potatoes and let them cook on medium to medium-low heat until their edges brown a bit. Add a good-sized bunch of chopped kale, cover, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Served with my award-winning cornbread and you have a meal.

You can find a number of kale salad recipes on the internet, but this one is my favorite. It’s easy to make, keeps for days in the fridge, and gets more tender and tasty with each passing day. You can prepare a big batch and have kale salad for lunch all week. Trust me, you won’t get tired of it. If you long for crunchiness, add a side of tortilla chips.

Here’s a toast to happy, healthy, easy eating.

Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, modern homesteader. You can follow her Mother Earth News blog posts by following this link. You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal where she shares her take on life, including modern homesteading, food preparation and preservation, and travel as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography.All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.