But this leafy green is way more versatile than even we give it credit for sometimes; there's plenty those antioxidant-packed leaves can do.
Spinach and Kale Turnovers:
Although turnovers are traditionally filled with fruit and served for dessert, this savory recipe will leave just about anyone hankering for more greens. Loaded with feta cheese (but not too much!), these are a great option for a Meatless Monday meal when served up with a bowl of soup or salad. Time-saving tip: make them in advance and you can store in the freezer for up to two months for a quick heat-and-eat meal on busy nights.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 cups chopped kale (about 1 small bunch)
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 (11.3-ounce) can refrigerated dinner roll dough (such as Pillsbury) Cooking spray
2 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add kale and spinach; sauté 8 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in pepper, salt, and nutmeg. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in feta.
Separate dough into 8 pieces. Roll each dough piece into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/3 cup kale mixture on half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over kale mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.
Place turnovers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat turnovers with cooking spray; sprinkle each turnover with about 1 teaspoon Parmesan. Bake at 375° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving; serve warm or at room temperature.
Kale-Wrapped Dates with Almonds:
This all-natural appetizer may sound a little strange, but the recipe is actually quite delicious. The sweetness of the dates cuts through the bitterness of the kale; the crunchy almonds give it a satisfying texture. Plus, with just three ingredients, you're likely to not forget them at the grocery store.
1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded
1 pound dates
1 cup whole roasted unsalted almonds
Tear each kale leaf into two halves.
Split the dates in half, removing the pit. Place an almond in each date half in the space left by the pit. Wrap each date half in a kale leaf half; pierce each with a toothpick to keep wrapped.
Lavash Pizza with Greens, Baby Broccoli and Mushrooms: Kale on pizza? Why not? This recipe for lavash pizza—which is made from the eponymous, thin flatbread (and also a better version of thin-crust pizza!)—is full of flavor and is also filling thanks to the fiber-rich kale and baby broccoli, along with olive oil, herbs and Gruyere cheese. Hot tip: Blanching the greens before using them to top the pizza makes 'em tender while preserving their bright green color.
1/2 pound sturdy greens (kale or collards, or a mix)
1/4 pound baby broccoli tops
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (optional)
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup, tightly packed (2 ounces) grated Gruyère or fontina cheese
1 9-by-12-inch lavash
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the greens and the broccoli tops. Blanch for three minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and chop. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably with a pizza stone in it. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy nonstick pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring or shaking often in the pan, for two minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the greens, stir together for a minute and remove from the heat. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the lavash on a baking sheet, and sprinkle on the cheese in an even layer. Top with the greens. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil, and place the pizza in the oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the lavash are crisp and browned. Remove from the heat, cut in half or into squares and serve.