I have to give credit where credit is due: I am totally not the ad wizard behind this recipe. Honestly, I never really ate cooked greens until I dated Eric. No, thats a lie, I guess I sometimes ate them… because I cooked spinach for THIS recipe… and I ate that quite often. So yeah, Eric made collards for me once or twice. They were a bit different and very spicy, but either way… he never showed me how, or gave me a recipe… but he is quite a chatterbox and explained here and there what he used and added when he cooked the greens. Well, I have no idea why, but one day I thought: “Let me attempt cooked kale!” Well, they came out fantastic. And since Marlowe just kept shoveling them in her mouth they became a pretty regular menu item for Marlowe and I. I think you’ll be pretty pleased with this recipe. It’s incredibly easy and while the greens cook for about forty-five minutes to an hour, the actual total hands-on cooking and prep time is only about fifteen minutes. It’s pretty much fat-free (there is olive oil) and it’s loaded in: fiber, vitamin A, C, and K, and calcium! And come on…. look at Marlowe, how could you not at least attempt to make this for yourself or your kids after seeing an adorable 14(ish) month old devouring kale. You gotta try it for yourself!
one bunch kale
one small onion
few cloves of garlic
water or vegetable stock
apple cider vinegar
tomatoes (any kind will do. I always have cherry/grape on hand)
something smokey (choose one of the three: smoked salt *recommended, liquid smoke, sweet smoked paprika)
wash kale and tear off stems. then: either rip or chop kale into smaller chunks/strips. smaller pieces will make this much easier for baby mouths and possibly, digestion.
small-chop onion. add to olive oil and saute until translucent and soft.
(optional: add chili flake. mine is bordering on bland, so be cautious for kiddos if yours is a bit stronger)
slice garlic, add to pot, saute for a few minutes. do not burn.
add kale. saute.
it will go from: filling the pot, to cooking down, to almost nothing fairly quickly.
once kale is cooked down, add vegetable stock— enough to cover kale (about three to four cups).
add about three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Alright, so… this is the part where I like to season the greens. My favorite way to do this is to use smoked salt instead of regular salt. It brings a very excellent smokiness to the dish without having to add pork stock or bacon. Well, I ran out of smoked salt about two weeks ago and it’s not exactly one of those things you can just *pick up at the store*, so an excellent substitution is liquid smoke. I picked this one up at whole foods a while back and all you need is a few drops added to any dish and BAM, you got smokiness. Another pretty good (but not as good) substitute would be a teaspoon of smoked paprika. If you’re not using the smoked salt, be sure to still add a few pinches of sea salt. Also: freshly ground pepper. Again, smokiness is totally optional.
Bring stock to simmer and cover. Let it simmer for about forty minutes or until kale is tender.
While simmering here are a few (optional) suggestions: chop up a little bit of tomatoes, clean up, do the dishes, entertain a baby, give your dog some much needed attention, come back to this post and comment about how excited you are, a pedicure.
Once forty minutes has passed (or if you’re impatient, thirty), open lid, stir in tomatoes, and check on greens. The kale should be pretty tender, and the stock should have reduced a fair amount.
Leave uncovered and continue to let the kale (and tomatoes) simmer. You want to reduce the stock to almost nothing. It will be a deep golden yellowy brown and taste salty, smokey, and fantastic. If you want to reduce the sodium content a bit for your little ones, then only reduce the stock a little bit– enough time for your tomatoes to cook in, and strain the rest of the stock and save it for something else (soup, your own greens, a spoon and your mouth).
And that’s it! Now you’ve got cooked greens a baby could love!
And to further prove my point…
this is the face of Marlowe when I am attempting to photograph the kale and I tell her “No” as she reaches her hand into the bowl. She loves it that much.
Happy kale eating!
*Marlowe got the kale about two minutes later after it was cool enough for her to eat. A burnt baby mouth is not a happy mouth.