How to Cook Kale: Everything Trick You Need to Know

The benefits of eating kale are countless, but to start, this leafy green is antioxidant rich, allowing you spice up any meal with superb nutrition and unaccounted for taste just like that. So why is it that so many people are scared of this green? Why are there so many nay-sayers and opinions out there that point more towards distrust than fruitfulness of essential vitamins?

When kale first stepped foot on the scene, most of us had no idea what to do with this harsh, dark, leafy green. Do you eat it in a salad? Should you sauté it the same way you do with spinach? How about eating it raw like celery or carrots? Let’s face it: we were all seemingly clueless at the bitter beginning.

Luckily times have changed, and the revolution of kale has taken off in full force. Whether you choose to sauté it with olive oil over medium-high eat on the stove top, or mixed in a casserole; the limit simply does not exist with what you can and can’t do with kale.

What to Use

This depends heavily on what you’re intending to make. There is no shame, and honestly fewer better options, than to sauté your kale and use it as a side to your protein and vegetable-dense dinner dish you’ve cooked up for the family. Heck, maybe you just cooked it up for yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

To do this, you’ll want to use a large saucepan to fit all of the raw kale in. Like spinach, kale will shrink down so it’s best to have all of the space for your raw kale.

You’ll want to heat your olive oil prior to adding the kale to the pan on medium heat, then drizzle the kale with more olive oil. Let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as too much olive oil. The main takeaway here is that you’re utilizing the appropriate pan size for the sautéeing.

For a kale salad, all you need is salad washer to prep that antioxidant rich kale you have, as to clean off anything that may have made its way onto your precious kale from farm to table.

For kale chips, you simply need an oven baking tray, and potentially parchment paper or aluminum foil, some olive oil and spices of your choice to drizzle over the kale leaves you’ve laid out. Salt and pepper will become your best friends in this part of the process—you’re welcome.

When baking kale chips in the oven, the perfect temperature to roast them at is around 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows them to crisp right up without getting burnt, and who would want that? We like to follow Minimalist Baker’s perfect kale chip recipe.

What to Make

After spending countless hours scrolling through Facebook and Twitter looking for the perfect way to spruce up something so plain as kale, your eyes, mind and tummy can easily get tired. Sure, it can be a daunting and difficult task to twitter-mine for a way to make kale taste, well . . . less like kale.

You see all the videos on Facebook utilizing kale in the most unconventional ways, yet when you try to execute what you see, you end up dazed, lost and confused in a world of kale leaves, olive oil and high heat, which is one heck of a predicament in itself.

Kale makes a wintry floral display #merrychristmas #berkeleybowl #creamedkale

A post shared by Brian Wong (@on_brians_plate) on

There are a multitude of recipes and variations to bland, yet antioxidant-rich kale. You can craft up a kale stir fry to add some protein and good-for-you carbohydrates into the mix.

We like this recipe, that adds eggs and brown rice into your stir fry, keeping cravings at bay while heating up that olive oil on medium heat for all of the above. Rice, garlic kale and eggs. Can you say, “Yum”?

If you’re not much for delving into the healthy side of kale recipes, fret not: there are a multitude of recipes for you. Take creamed kale, for instance. This is a twist on a classic and the secret that makes it oh-so-good is cream cheese. Yep, that’s right—good ole’ cream cheese.

Though there may be little to no health benefits in this yummy goodness, it adds flavor and a rich texture that cannot be beat. Take things to the next level and season accordingly. We like things such as garlic, salt, pepper, and even cajun seasoning for extra zest.

For the fresher side of kale, try sprucing up a regular kale leaf salad with one simple ingredient: lemon juice. Though it may not seem like a lot, the juice in the lemon overpowers the bitter taste of the kale, making it a perfect spring and summertime meal.

To make this salad, it just takes the right amount of seasoning (garlic and kale, y’all), the addition of your favorite toppings, and of course—lemon juice.

The next time you’re struggling through Facebook and Twitter looking for the perfect Kale recipe, don’t forget your dear friends at Wide Open Eats who have all things kale, all for you. Now can we get a kale yeah!?

Read More: How to Bake with Kale + 3 Wholesomely Tasty Cookie Recipes