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3 Easy Recipes with Baby Kale

If you read this blog regularly, then you already know about my kale obsession. I unapologetically eat it nearly every day, in salads, in soups, in tacos – even in pot pies! I love all forms of it: beautiful deep blue-green Lacinto kale, Russian red kale, and the bright green (and rather chewy) curly kale that appears in salads on nearly every restaurant menu these days. But I recently discovered its delicate little sister, baby kale, and I’m hooked.

Roughly the size of baby arugula (though with less bite), you can buy it in 5-ounce bags or clamshells at the grocery, which I love to keep on hand for salads, wraps, green smoothies, or to throw into an omelet or frittata. It’s super-easy to use when you’re in a rush: no washing or chopping needed, and–given it’s already so tender–there’s no need to “massage” the leaves as you do with other forms of kale. (I just learned this trick the other day. Weird, but true!). Not only is it delicious and easy to use, but it packs a serious nutritional punch. One cup has just 33 calories, and contains well over a day’s worth of Vitamins A, C, and K! Not bad for a cup of greens.

Here are three of my favorite ways to prepare baby kale. Give these simple recipes a try – each one takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. Definitely my kind of healthy!

All photos by Signe Birck



DETOX SALAD WITH BABY KALE & AVOCADO


This is my go-to kale salad. I usually make it several times a week and add in whatever I have on hand. It’s delicious with toasted sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or pepitas. You can also add some roasted chicken or salmon if you like.

Serves 4

1 5-ounce container baby kale
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 avocado, diced
3/4 cup cooked quinoa 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Toss the kale, cabbage, carrots, avocado, and quinoa in large bowl and toss to combine. Whisk the vinegar and oil together until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad and gently toss until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings; you may want to add another splash of vinegar.


SAUTEED BABY KALE WITH EGGS OVER-EASY


I love this for breakfast, with a toasted sprouted grain English muffin.

Serves 2

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
3 to 4 cups baby kale
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cage-free eggs

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and saute for a minute or so until fragrant. Add the kale, stirring constantly. Cook for for 2 to 3 minutes or until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Divide onto two plates.

Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Heat the oil for a minute or so and crack the two eggs into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook for a couple of minutes until the whites begin to harden. Add a few tablespoonfuls of water to the pan, so the eggs begin to steam a bit. Continue to cook until the yolks just begin to set. (If you want the egg yolks firmer, cook longer.)

Place one egg on top of each pile of greens; serve immediately!


BABY KALE SMOOTHIE WITH CUCUMBER & PEAR


One of my breakfast favorites, this is a quick version of the other green smoothie I have on the blog. The other one has 8 ingredients and uses a larger variety of kale that has to be washed and chopped; this one has half the ingredients and takes half the time to make! Plus, the baby kale blends beautifully.

Serves 2

1 small English cucumber, chopped
1 pear, cored and diced
1 small lemon, juiced
3 cups baby kale

Pulse the cucumber, pear, and lemon juice until smooth. Add the kale and blend until smooth. Add a little water if needed to loosen up.

Pour into glasses and drink immediately.



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  • Wisco2pdx

    These look great! We just got a huge bag of kale in our CSA and I was trying to figure out what to do with all if it. Thanks for the yummy recipes, think I’ll try the sautéed kale with eggs for breakfast tomorrow!

    • annabwatson

      Thanks so much :)

  • Caecgirl

    I think baby kale goes rather well with spinach.

    • annabwatson

      I agree!! Spinach and baby kale are delicious together, and I usually put both in green smoothies!

  • Katie

    Just had the eggs and sauteed kale for breakfast, and it was delish! Just curious…on the juice recipes, do you peel the pears, apples and English cukes?? Thanks!

    • annabwatson

      Hi Katie, Glad you liked the eggs and kale! For the green smoothie, I actually don’t peel the apples, pears, and cucumbers, as so many of the nutrients are found in the skin. Give it a try–-you can’t even tell the skin is in the mix once you blend it all together.

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My name is Anna Watson Carl. In a word, I love food, I love France, and I love throwing dinner parties. Over the years, I've worked as a personal chef, taught cooking classes, edited cookbooks, written for magazines, tested and styled recipes, and traveled whenever opportunity has arisen. But at heart, there's nothing I love more than sharing a meal with friends around the yellow table.

For me, cooking has always been a way of life. As a (mildly precocious) ten-year old, I planned and prepared a four-course Valentine's dinner for my parents, birthing a lifelong passion for dinner parties. That was just the beginning. I've been cooking ever since, whipping up souffles at a chateau in Burgundy, searing filet mignon for a wealthy client's dog (bizarre, but true), butchering ducks for confit de canard in Paris, baking the night shift in Nashville, and bathing the floor of my NYC apartment in turkey brine...the story continues.

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