Kale. It’s what’s for dinner. More and more people are trying to incorporate this deep green leaf into their everyday eating. And that’s a good thing. Kale is high in iron, Vitamin K, C and A and has antioxidants that can help prevent various cancers.

Getting kale into your diet is a great way to boost your health. However, if you’re used to seeing kale as that tough little green next to your burger at the diner, then you need to look over these recipes and get some fresh ideas.

1. Sweet Pepper Pasta with Kale

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Nothing boosts traditional pasta like peppers and kale. Tossed with a little olive oil, you can turn pasta on its head and make this nutritious, vegetarian dish. If you don’t want it vegetarian, add your favorite sausage or some chicken. This makes a wonderful, healthy, potluck meal too.

2. Sauteed Kale

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Sauteed kale is pretty traditional, but also pretty delicious. Bobby Flay uses only the baby kale leaves in this recipe and tosses it with a little olive oil and vinegar for a truly spring-like dish. Put this next to your favorite fish dish or try it with a steak. You can even throw in other vegetables you like and saute them with the kale to add texture and flavor.

3. Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios

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Pistachios and sesame seeds give this salad a nutty kick and the vinegary miso dressing adds its own appeal.

4. Chicken and Kale Casserole

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Comfort food and health food all in one. Martha definitely knows how to bake it right—with ricotta and parmesan cheeses, this chicken and kale casserole is a delightful twist on traditional Italian pasta bakes.

5. Panfried Kale

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As the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond says, “Kale is best when prepared simply.” And this pan fried kale is simple, yummy and easy to make. A little olive oil and garlic in the skillet keeps this kale bright green and super tasty.

6. Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad

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Kale, apples and bacon-y pancetta? What’s not to love? This salad is an excellent replacement for slaw at a barbecue or an upscale side dish at a dinner party. Make sure the kale is nicely shredded and the apples thinly sliced for super presentation and ease of eating!

7. Shrimp with Kale and Shiitakes

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Shrimp, kale, shiitake mushrooms all contribute to a smoky flavored, distinctive side dish. This is the perfect way to say goodbye to winter vegetables while watching the trees finally turn green outside.

8. Smoky Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Kale

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Comforting, creamy, healthy and soulful, this soup has it all. It’s also vegan for those who might need a recipe, and a great soup to bring to a sick friend or one who’s feeling low. How wonderful to eat this soup on a rainy day knowing you’re being nourished at the same time.

9. Lemony Kale Caesar Salad

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Keep it simple with a lemon fresh kale salad that works with any protein, especially seafood, chicken or a fantastic steak.

10. Garlic-y Mushrooms and Kale

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For someone, like me, who adores both mushrooms and garlic, putting them in with the kale and making a side dish of all of it is just perfect. Poach an egg and put in on top of the kale or serve with a side of creamy polenta for a truly comforting kale experience.

 

Explore different ideas with kale and other greens as well. As you get used to having greens around, incorporate them into a variety of dishes. Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens (which add a little spice) and others all work well in most of these recipes. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something new—and then let us know what you came up with.

Featured photo credit: Jennifer via flickr.com

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