Ugh, kale. Like starting our 401k, getting yearly physicals, and reading CNN, we know deep down that it’s good for us, but actually getting to it sucks. It’s bland, it’s blah, and whoever eats it plain and steamed is seriously disturbed. Kale crept into our psyche several years ago, and since then it’s been assaulting us with its dark green leafy-ness and ability to be in everything from our smoothies to our salads. It probably has something to do with the insane amount of nutrients in this shit—one cup contains about 33 calories, 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and several nutrients that are proven to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Plus it has calcium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus, so it’s a fucking nerd overachiever all around.
In the interest of being responsible (told you, mom) we rounded up five easy ways to cook kale this shit without driving yourself insane—so embrace the kale in all its rubbery goodness and be healthy for like, at least this afternoon.
1. Add It To Your Smoothie
If you aren’t already doing this, fucking duh. Blend together ½ banana, ½ cup chopped kale, ½ cup blueberries. ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, and ½ tsp cinnamon. You can like, add protein powder if you’re that kind of person, too.
2. Make An Egg And Kale Scramble
In a bowl, whisk 2 eggs, salt, pepper, and ½ tbsp. of water. In a medium skillet sprayed with nonstick, add half a chopped shallot and stir until golden, then throw in about 1 ¾ cup chopped kale leaves and cook until it’s wilty and shit. Add in the whisked egg mixture and ¼ cup cheddar cheese, then mix until the eggs have set. I assume you’ve made fucking scrambled eggs before.
3. Make It Into A Healthier Pesto
Grab your handy-dandy food processor and combine 1 ½ cups packed torn kale leaves, ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Process until totally smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Use this shit on pasta, as a pizza base, on garlic bread, drizzled over a salad—the possibilities are fucking endless.
4. Use It Instead Of Rice For Your Stir Fry
Yes, you can. Just steam or sauté the kale in a skillet with salt, pepper, and possibly a bit of broth and seasoning, and spoon whatever stir fry you were planning to make over top. This also works with stews and curries. Look at you, bein’ all low carb. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the kale being bland, because the taste is literally going to be covered up by whatever delicious dish you’re making.
5. Make Chips
Sigh, I know. But it really is stupid easy and healthier for you. Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash a bunch of kale and pat it dry, then break the leaves into bite sized pieces. Toss with about 2 tbsps olive oil, salt, and parmesan cheese then spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes or until kale is crispy and slightly brown.