“You’re feeding me kale again!” Yes, I’ll admit I’m doing my best to get some healthy vegetables into our meals…and kale is one of those superfoods we’re supposed to be eating if we want to be healthy. Nutrient dense and calorie light. Lots of fiber and extra health benefits. One problem: not everyone likes kale, especially the giant, coarse leaves that need to be chopped or pureed before they can be added to a recipe.
This week kale took a giant leap forward as an acceptable vegetable in our house. Some beautiful little baby kale arrived in the mail from OrganicGirl , a big box of 100% baby kale, so fresh that it might have come directly out of a garden hours before. This is a brand new product for OrganicGirl, and I was eager to taste the tender young leaves.
Each leaf was soft, like a lettuce leaf, unlike the coarse kale leaves I had tried before. I tasted some of the raw leaves, recognized the full flavor of kale but without the bitterness I had come to expect. The family size package will last us several days…enough for smoothies, salads, and some special recipes! I love that the leaves are triple-washed, clean and dry, ready to use.
I decided to make an Italian meat sauce using turkey sausage, adding the baby kale the same way I might use baby spinach. I served the sauce on tortellini, but it would be delicious in lasagna, or any other pasta dish. The sauce was so good that we had hardly any leftovers…a pretty good indication that the baby kale addition was a success! I love serving meals that have vegetables already included in the recipe. I’m so glad to discover that I can use tender baby kale, instead of the tough mature kale that is so hard to enjoy when it’s raw, and still get the same nutrient value!
Italian Meat Sauce with Baby Kale
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. mild Italian turkey sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups of baby kale leaves (stems removed)
28 oz can of crushed tomato (mine included roasted garlic)
1/4 cup red wine
Brown the beef and turkey sausage in a skillet. Stir in the chopped onions and the baby kale, allowing the kale to wilt. Pour in the tomatoes and red wine and stir gently. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve over pasta.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing this post, but accepted one package of 100% baby kale as a gift from OrganicGirl. All opinions are my own.