Six Creative Ways To Eat Kale

There are two kinds of people in this world:  kale people and non-kale people.  It’s a weirdly divisive vegetable.  It’s not one of those approachable leafy greens like spinach, which everyone can get on board with because spinach and artichoke dip is the best, or arugula, which goes on fancy delicious burgers.  Kale isn’t like that.  You can’t just smother it in cheese or throw it on a sandwich, you have to de-stem it and massage it and maybe roast it or saute it.  Kale is going to make you work for it.  With an attitude like this, it’s easy to understand why a lot of people aren’t that into kale.  I used to be one of them.  And then I met a particular kale salad, and it changed everything.

1.  Crispy Kale Salad

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I was in this salad for the stuff that went on it, but then it turned out one of the best parts was the crispy kale.  Everyone’s eating kale salads or kale chips, this combines the best of both worlds, with bonus super nutritious stuff like sweet potato and pomegranate, and awesome stuff like bacon and goat cheese.  It’s a win-win-win.  This salad is like a gateway drug, except instead of drugs it is kale, which is good for you.  From here, things can only get better.

2.  Kale with Pecan Parmesan

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Everyone’s making kale salads with Parmesan.  Snooze.  Plus, for people who don’t eat dairy, that’s not really an option.  Enter kale salad with pecan Parmesan.  You blend toasted pecans and nutritional yeast and I know this is making me sound like a weird hippie, but this salad is awesome.

3.  Kale with Chutney Dressing

Image via Rachael Ray Magazine

I made this for my family at Christmas and didn’t tell them what was in it, because they are non-kale people.  Everyone took seconds.  The dressing is what takes this way above your average kale salad – the mango chutney gives an awesome spicy-sweet flavor, and the sunflower oil is light enough that things don’t get bogged down and soggy.  (Do not do what I did the first time I made this at home and try to substitute olive oil, it was way too heavy and the results were not good.)

I promise you the above salads are on this list because they’re actually amazing and you should eat them.  If you’re still rolling your eyes at kale (“Kale? In a salad?  Groundbreaking.”), here are some different takes on kale:

4.  Kale Tostadas

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One wouldn’t initially peg kale as going into any sort of Mexican food, but give these kale and white bean tostadas a shot if you’re bored with standard iceberg lettuce and black beans.

5.  Kale Grilled Cheese

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I have weirdly reached the point in my life where I actually prefer my meals to include at least on vegetable, so plain old grilled cheese fails to meet this requirement.  Enter grilled cheese with kale and caramelized onions.  You’re mixing things that are delicious and things that are healthy, which is how I believe kale is best consumed.

6.  Kale Brownies

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Do you have some nagging sense you should be eating more vegetables but don’t actually want to know it’s happening?  Then perhaps kale brownies are for you.  As far as I can tell, these are just regular brownies with some kale thrown in.  You won’t taste it, and you’ll get more vitamins and minerals than you would in a regular brownie.  You can eat these and people won’t even know you’re secretly a kale person now.

Feautured image via ShutterStock