It’s January, and many fresh foods are out of season. This means that the offerings at your local grocer are tired and wilted looking because they’ve been shipped halfway around the world. And they come at a dear price. Not so kale. Kale thrives in cool weather, and store shelves are full of beautiful fresh bunches of kale.
Kale is just about one of my favorite green vegetables. It is chock full of good stuff: vitamins, minerals, and flavor. Sometimes my clients will tell me “I don’t eat kale.” “Why not?” I ask. They tell me they don’t know how to cook it. Well, I can clear that up right now. This recipe can be used for kale, collards, chard, and mustard greens. It is an easy recipe that can be made quickly on a work night.
1 large bunch of kale
2-3 tablespoons of a healthy cooking fat (choose: avocado oil, coconut oil, or pasture-raised lard**)
1/2 medium purple onion, diced
1/2 cup water
dash of tabasco sauce
1/4 cup chopped canned roasted red pepper (optional)
sea salt to taste
Remove the stems from the kale and tear into bitesized pieces. In a large skillet, heat the healthy cooking fat. Add the kale pieces; stir and sauté until the kale is bright green. Add 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let it simmer on lowest heat for 5-10 minutes, adding a bit more water if it gets too dry. At the end of the cooking time there should be very little water in the pan. Stir in the tabasco sauce, roasted red pepper and a bit of sea salt, and it’s ready to eat.
**By the way, if you think “lard” and “healthy” are oxymorons, think again. Our brains and our cell walls need saturated fats. And saturated fats are more stable for cooking, which means that they don’t break down in the cooking process. As always, source matters. The lard you get from a farm that serves the healthiest diet for their pigs and allows them to forage is very (VERY!!) different from cheap and inflammation-causing lard from factory farmed pigs. Locally you can get pasture-raised lard at Three Rivers Market and Mother Earth Meats. There may be other places as well – ask for it at your nearest healthy-foods grocer. Look for “Pork Leaf Lard” in the refrigerated section.