Tag Archive: Kale

Sautéed Kale with Pecans

Sautéed Kale with Pecans

Kale is one of those foods that it takes effort for me to enjoy. I never jumped on the kale chip bandwagon and steamed kale just tastes too bland. Add some butter, maple syrup, and pecans though and now we’re talking.

I like this because it’s a simple, fast and delicious side dish. The less you wilt the kale the more vibrant the flavor and texture of it will be.

Sautéed Kale with Pecans Pan

I like pecans to add a nice crunch factor but you could really swap in any nuts or even croutons.

Sautéed Kale with Pecans

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups loose leaf cut kale
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped pecans

Sautéed Kale with Pecans pecans


  1. Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add in the kale and toss it in the melted butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the kale turns a deeper green and begins to wilt.
  3. Add in the salt, nutmeg, maple syrup, and pecans and toss together until mixed.
  4. Return to the stove for 20-30 seconds to heat. Serve hot.

Sautéed Kale with Pecans serving

Suddenly eating your vegetables isn’t so hard.

Tangy Kale and Carrot Quinoa


If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living off meal plan in a dorm room, it’s how to get savvy with the foods and cooking tools available. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I made a meal on an actual stove the past few months, and I can’t wait to move back to somewhere where that’s more convenient.

I haven’t had a chance to run to the store and the day I made this it was pouring outside, so this was truly a winging-it meal made with whatever I had lying around. Quinoa’s a great pantry staple and cooks perfectly in any rice cooker(which is what I cooked this in, although I wrote the recipe for a stove since I figured that’s more common). Add some vegetables and a source of protein and you’ve got a meal.


Another example of ingenuity? The eggs I ate this with were baked, not boiled! I picked that up from this post I found on Pinterest. If you ask me I’d much rather toss eggs in an oven for 30 minutes and get other stuff done than stand over a stove waiting for water to boil. You could also serve this with baked tofu, tempeh, or chicken on top and it’d be just as good. 

Tangy Kale and Carrot Quinoa

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water*
  • 2 cup kale
  • 2 large carrots, shaved into thin strips
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

*This is the ratio with water I usually cook my quinoa in. If the brand you’re using tells you to do differently, follow the box’s cooking instructions.



  1. Rinse the quinoa and then combine it with the water in a small pot. Cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the kale and carrot strips into the pot. Cover with a lid for 5 minutes until the kale and carrots have steamed.
  3. Add in the agave, mustard, and salt and mix everything together. Serve while still hot.


The agave and mustard aren’t too strong or overpowering but give this just the right amount of flavor to be light and refreshing. Next time I might add toasted cashews and eat this all on its own.

10-Minute Chickenless, Noodleless Soup


After weeks of unseasonably warm weather, Winter is hitting and it’s hitting hard. It’s rained the past few days; and the temperature has dipped into the 30 and 40s. It’s no wonder I was craving chicken noodle soup recently.

I was thinking of just riding out the craving, since it’s not the easiest thing to satisfy for someone who’s vegetarian and gluten-free. Then I realized I had enough food lying around to make a decent meat-free, gluten-free soup that hit all the right notes.


I loved how flavorful this was, especially for something that was so simple. It was exactly like any good soup I’ve ever had, with a deep and savory broth. The quinoa and tempeh make this totally satisfying, as well. If gluten’s not an issue, I bet the texture of seitan would work great in this soup, too, in place of the tempeh.

10-Minute Chickenless, Noodleless Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 side servings or 2 entrée servings):

  • 2 cups precooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup chopped kale, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 block of tempeh, cubed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste



  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot
  2. Bring the water to a boil. Make sure to mix well enough that the bouillon cube dissolves completely into the broth.
  3. Once heated through, remove from the stove and serve hot.


And then I ate this with 2 clementines because I’m paranoid about getting sick during finals period. Nobody sneeze on me, please.

My Favorite Comfort Food


I think you can tell a lot about people based on what they love to eat: If they go to bed dreaming of bagels slathered in cream cheese, or wait each year until grilling season for authentic BBQ, or haunt the same local restaurant week after week for all-you-can-eat sushi.

A few years ago if you asked what my favorite comfort food meal was—the dinner I couldn’t get enough of—I’d say buffalo wings and pizza. It was the same thing we got every Tuesday night from a downtown restaurant where the pizza was particularly doughy and greasy and the wings drenched in batter and hot sauce. It wasn’t a particularly gourmet(or even good) meal but just the sight of it was familiar and inviting.


A lot’s changed since then. Having to stop eating gluten and becoming a vegetarian have opened my eyes up to a whole new set of foods. Most of all it’s shown me that there are healthier options than greasy pizza and fried chicken that can be just as familiar and comforting at the end of a long day.

When I was little I spent most of my Summer at my grandparent’s apartment since both my parents worked and they lived 1.5 miles away. My grandmother knew how to cook a few things, one of them being scrambled eggs that she cooked with a large wooden spoon and served with buttered toast. Now whenever I need that taste of home I go straight for the scrambled eggs—occasionally made with a wooden spoon—and served next to buttered home fries and a bed of steamed kale for color.


A lot of people will tell you the secret to good scrambled eggs is adding milk to the batter. I don’t think that’s it. The key to making good eggs is to take them off the heat before they’re finished cooking—when they’re mostly cooked but still have a glossy, wet shine on top. Eggs, like any protein, continue to cook even when they’re cooling; if you cook them fully on the stove, they’ll dry out as soon as you take them out of the pan.

And the secret to good potatoes? Time. Time in the oven, and then time on a hot pan on each side to get a brown crust. Oil, butter, and sliced onions never hurt either. 


And of course there’s nothing more comforting than the whole plate covered in tangy, salty-sweet ketchup, coarse sea salt and fresh black pepper.

What’s the one meal that feels like home to you?

Green Vegetable Quinoa


My diet has definitely been changing with the season. As far as vegetables go, I want very little to do with them. That’s strange for me since over the Summer I can never get enough produce. But now it’s carbs, carbs, carbs and the only vegetables I do want are potatoes and squash—not much of a variety.


This dish is an exception. And it has about every green vegetable in my refrigerator in it, so it must be healthy, right? The kale is a good source of vitamins, the peas high in plant-based protein, and the avocado a source of healthy fat. More importantly it’s the only green thing that appeals to me anymore(although a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream wouldn’t be bad either).

Green Vegetable Quinoa

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(For 2 servings):

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup chopped kale, steamed
  • Salt to taste



  1. Remove the skin and the pit from the avocado and mash it into a smooth puree.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and fold until completely mixed. The avocado should act as a binder and as it mixes it will hold together more.
  3. Serve at room temperature. Store in a refrigerator for no more than a day as the avocado will brown over time.


I make this with frozen and thawed kale and frozen peas. Not only is it cheaper than buying the fresh ingredients, their nutrients are locked in and they’re available all through Winter, so you can bet I’ll be having this again.

Fava Bean Salad


Fava beans are one of my favorite beans; they’re also probably the most underrated. It doesn’t help their reputation that they’re best known from Hannibal Lecter’s line in Silence of the Lambs where he boasts eating them alongside human liver and chianti. I promise this recipe has no liver or chianti. Well, you can add chianti if you’d like. But not liver. Not human at least.


Fava beans have a much meatier texture and flavor to them than most other beans. Because of this I think they’d be more appealing to meat eaters than a chickpea or cannellini bean. They’re also able to hold their own against the boldness of kale, olives, and capers in a way that most other beans wouldn’t. 

Fava Bean Salad

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 can cooked fava beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 3 Tablespoons capers
  • 2 cups kale, wilted
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil(optional)



  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients together. Salt to taste if necessary. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Since olives and capers are traditionally brined, you don’t need to season the salad with salt or vinegar and still have a flavorful dish with just 4 or 5 ingredients.

Stovetop Kale And Mushroom Frittata


This school year I’m doing something different. For the first time, I’m completely off of meal plan. That means I’m making every meal for myself, 3(who am I kidding? 5) times a day.

I did enjoy dropping into the cafeteria and piling up options from the salad bar from time to time, or bumping into friends to have dinner with. But this undoubtedly feels better for me. I feel comfortable grocery shopping and making meals for myself, even if half of those meals are made in a microwave and completely unphotogenic. And it’s still easy to eat meals with friends, just at different places.


There are times, however, when it’s inconvenient. Tuesday and Thursdays I have class all day. There’s simply no time to cook. Because of that, I usually make meals like this frittata the day before to heat up and serve when I’m in a rush—a much better option than fast food. While a traditional frittata is baked, this one is made entirely on the stovetop; it’s for no reason other than I hate moving things around, and this is easy enough that anyone can do it. . 

Stovetop Kale And Mushroom Frittata

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 3 or 4 servings):

  • 12 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • Salt to taste



  1. In a large bowl, crack and beat the eggs. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a 9 or 10-inch frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Sauté the onions and mushrooms until both are cooked. Remove these from the pan briefly.
  3. Put the pan back on the stove and pour in the beaten eggs. After 10 seconds or so, evenly distribute the mushrooms and onions throughout the batter.
  4. Gently press the kale on top into the raw egg and put the lid on the pan.
  5. Leave the frittata on the stove for 10 or 15 minutes undisturbed as it cooks. It will be ready when the egg in the center of the pan has set.
  6. When cooked, remove the pan from the stove and gently jiggle it to unstick the frittata from the bottom. Move to a plate to cut and serve.


I get about 3 meals out of one pan. Frittatas are great because they work for any meal of the day. I’d happily eat this for all 3.

How To Massage Kale


I know this is the second kale post in 3 days, but bear with me; it’s that good.

The first time I had massaged kale was at Whole Foods from the salad bar. It was so good I ended up getting it every time I went in. But after a while of paying $7.99 per pound for it I figured it had to be cheaper to make at home.

Massaging your own kale takes just a few ingredients and 5 minutes. It breaks down the kale without heating it so the nutrients all remain but the taste is less bitter and bite less sharp. It’s a great nutritious side dish or base for a salad.


It’s totally optional but dimming the lights, lighting a candle, and putting on a slow song really sets the mood. This is a massage after all. 

How To Massage Kale

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

You’ll need(for 2 side servings)…

  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale
  • 1/2 a large avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon(or lime), about 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


In a large bowl, mix the greens with the citrus juice.


Add in your avocado. Then it’s time to gently massage the avocado into the kale…


Or, if you’re like me, it’s going to look a lot more like clumsy groping than an actual massage. I guess the two are close enough; one usually leads to the other, right? Anyway, massage the kale by working it with you’re hands, incorporating the avocado and lemon juice. You’ll hear a lot of crunching noise. After about 5 minutes you’ll notice the kale turns from a muted color to a more lively green. That’s when it’s ready.


Add in the diced tomato and sea salt and gently fold all of the ingredients together. Serve at room temperature.


This method is so much cheaper than buying it from the salad bar, and much quicker than I expected, too! Whole Foods uses about twice as much avocado for this much kale. That’s probably why it tastes so much better there.

Sesame Mushroom And Kale


Last week a reader asked me to post about how I cook kale and specifically a mushroom/kale side dish I photographed. You don’t have to ask me twice to cook this dish; kale and mushrooms are two of my favorite foods when prepared properly.

This recipe cooks kale by steaming it, which gets it to that soft and tender point without removing many nutrients. Properly steamed kale should be bright green, stiff, and still have a crunch in its stalk.

As for the mushrooms, I’m a big believer in that you don’t need to buy the expensive mushrooms to bring out an expensive flavor. Mushrooms do a great job of soaking up whatever you give them, so I use oil and seasonings to make the cheapest mushrooms taste like a 5 star dish. 


I’m crazy for this sesame seasoning I got in a swag bag from a conference last month.


They do not hold back on the ginger, which I love. You can either use a seasoning like this or make the recipe with just sesame seeds and salt for a milder flavor.

Sesame Mushroom And Kale

Prep time: 0 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(makes 2 servings):

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds



  1. Heat the oil in a pan that has a lid over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the mushrooms until they’ve browned on both sides.
  3. Add the kale and cover the pan. Let it stand still for about a minute while the kale steams.
  4. When all of the kale has turned a vibrant green color, remove the pan from the heat. Add the salt and sesame seeds and toss all of the ingredients together.
  5. Serve hot.


I like to eat mine with seared tempeh, another favorite. Just toss the tempeh in the pan and cook it until it’s browned on both side. It’s delicious and one of the healthiest soy products for you. If you know anyone who refuses to eat healthy because they think healthy eating is bland, this is the dish that will change their mind.

Greens & Beans

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For a food blogger, I’m not a very adventurous eater. I eat a lot of the same things over and over again. I eat a lot of omelets. I love making raw noodles in peanut sauce. And, when in doubt, I always go back to greens and beans.

It’s not as much of a recipe as a methodology: You take some greens and some beans, sauté flavor into them and boom! It’s a meal. And it doesn’t make you think too hard, which is always nice at the end of the day.

Greens & Beans

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can beans, drained(I like cannellini)
  • 2 cups fresh OR 1 cup frozen greens, thawed(spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter(optional)

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes until the onions translucent and garlic is crispy.

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Add in the greens and beans and mix them in with the garlic and onions. Add in the lemon, salt, and pepper and cook until heated through. Serve hot.

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Sometimes I’ll add an extra clove of garlic just because I can, you know, on the days when I don’t plan on having to speak to someone face to face. I love getting bites of crispy garlic through the dish.

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And then there’s butter. I don’t eat butter often, but a pat of Smör Icelandic butter(that’s the good butter Ina Garten’s always harping on about) really hits the spot, especially after it’s melted in.