Tag Archive for Kale

Lentil Soup with Fresh Herbs

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Lentil soup with fresh herbs is the kind of thing that you eat and you think to yourself “I am eating a bowl full of health.” There is no guilt in this soup whatsoever and it is absolutely amazing. Of course, you do need to like lentils otherwise this soup isn’t for you! If you’re not into kale or leafy greens, just don’t add that ingredient…the soup will still be delicious without it! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 1 hour


1 T. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. fresh tarragon, chopped

1 T. fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp. sweet paprika

5 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

7 c. vegetable broth

2 c. lentils

2 bay leaves

2 c. kale, torn into bite sized pieces (or other leafy green of your choice)

 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Fresh ground pepper

Preparing Lentil Soup with Fresh Herbs:

Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add oil.

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Sauté the onion and carrots for about 8-10 minutes or until onions have browned. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, oregano and paprika.  Sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in kale until it wilts. 

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Important Tips:

Fresh herbs really are the key to this soup. It will be good, but not amazing with dried ones. 

Kale Citrus Salad

For the holidays, I typically make a salad that has craisins, glazed pecans and feta cheese with a champagne vinaigrette. This year, however, I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe in the Thanksgiving 2014 issue of Southern Living and thought I’d give it a try. I thought it was fantastic, but I love every ingredient in this salad. If you aren’t a red onion fan, use less than what the recipe calls for. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 20 minutes


3 large oranges

2 Ruby Red Grapefruit

3 T. orange juice

2 T. white wine vinegar

2 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 5 oz. package baby kale

1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Preparing Kale Citrus Salad:

1. Peel oranges and grapefruit; cut away bitter white pith. Cut each orange into 1/4 in. thick rounds. Holding 1 peeled grapefruit in the palm of your hand, slice between membranes and gently remove whole segments. Repeat with remaining grapefruit.

2. Whisk together orange juice and next 6 ingredients. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Toss together kale, onion and 1/2 c. dressing in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top salad with citrus and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining dressing. 

Kale Citrus Salad

Meal Ideas:

This salad is such a great compliment to any meal. However, if you add a simple piece of grilled chicken or salmon, it would be a great meal all on its own!

Got Leftovers?:

Not everyone likes leftover salad. However, the kale doesn’t wilt like typical lettuce does. I thought it was fantastic the next day! 

Pasta, Power Greens and Bean Soup

Pasta, Power Greens and White Bean Soup

Pasta, power greens and bean soup sounds incredibly healthy doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is. I like to think that the health benefits of the power greens cancel out the bacon that is in there. I have never cooked with bacon in my soup since I tend to prefer the “healthier” varieties. However, the bacon really does make this soup a complete bowl full of deliciousness.  

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30-40 minutes

Ingredients (enough for several meals and to share):

6 slices of bacon, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

6 baby carrots, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T. tomato paste

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt and pepper

12 c. chicken broth 

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese (divided)

2 1/2 c. small pasta

2 15 oz. cans of white beans, drained and rinsed

3 c. fresh power greens, chopped

Preparing Pasta, Power Greens and Bean Soup:

Cook the bacon pieces in a large pot over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp (about 4-6 minutes). Add the onions and cook about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add carrots, garlic, tomato paste and thyme. Stir well. Add 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes, or until carrots soften. Add chicken broth and turn the temperature up to high. Cover and bring to a boil. 

Add the pasta and beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the power greens. Simmer, uncovered until the soup thickens slightly, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in half of the parmesan cheese. Ladle soup in the bowls and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 

Got Leftovers?:

This soup heats up nicely for leftovers. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add some more chicken broth or water. 


Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

We all know that kale is the latest rage and is now considered a “superfood”. The first place I ever had a kale salad was at Houston’s. A friend of mine who doesn’t typically eat “leafy greens” said it was fantastic and recommended it to me. She wasn’t kidding! Ever since then, I have typically ordered a kale salad when I have gone out to eat. I was at Marlow’s Tavern recently and ordered their kale caesar salad with grilled chicken. It was outstanding! It came with chopped boiled eggs. Interesting twist, I thought. A few days later, I was eating with some friends at Garrisons. I ordered their caesar salad and it came with delicious polenta croutons. My brain went into overdrive and I decided to try to combine the concepts of these three salads into one. What I came up with is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 45  min. plus an hour to cool


For the salad:

kale ( I use the mix from Costco)

hard boiled eggs, chopped

Caesar dressing (I use Girard’s Light Caesar)

Shredded parmesan


Tomato, chopped

For the Polenta:

3 c. water

1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. salt

2. tsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

1/3 c. shredded parmesan

Preparing Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons:

Before you make the salad, you need to make the polenta. Here’s how: Put water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring often until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the cayenne pepper, salt, olive oil and pepper. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the polenta into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let cool. (After it is no longer warm to the touch, I put it in the refrigerator from about 15 minutes).

Polenta Croutons

Preheat oven to 450 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove polenta from refrigerator and cut into small squares. Place the squares on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the polenta and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until polenta is crisp and evenly brown on all sides. 

Polenta Croutons

Once the polenta croutons are ready, grab a bowl and put in desired amounts of kale, eggs, and dressing. Mix well and plate the salad. Add tomato, avocado, cheese and croutons!

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Important Tips:

Make sure your polenta is really cool before cutting and baking it. 

Meal Ideas:

Add a piece of grilled chicken if you’re wanting to add some protein!


Kale Salad with Apples and Feta

kale salad with poppy seed dressing

My husband and I attended a show called Capitol Steps at the Rialto Theater here in Atlanta. That was side-splitting funny!! Regardless of your political affiliation, there is lots to laugh about.

Anyway, there was a reception prior to the event and they served this delicious kale salad with apples and blue cheese. It got me to thinking because I love the kale salad at Houston’s Restaurant, which I make my version of at home, but this was different and so I decided to recreate it at home with some minor tweaks. Delicious, healthy, yumminess!!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15min; Rest Time – 30 min

Ingredients for 4:

1 bunch of flat leaf kale

6 oz broccoli slaw (sold in 12 oz packages in most produce sections of the grocery store)

6 oz poppy seed dressing (no-fat)(I used one from Panera Bread in the refrigerated section of my grocery store)

3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 granny smith apple

How to make kale salad with apples and feta:

kale salad with poppy seed dressing

Cut the stems out of the kale. If you don’t know how or want an idea, you can check this post out. The example is for collards but it’s the same.

Once you’ve removed the stems, stack a few of the leaves, roll them up together like a cigar and then slice into thin strips (called a chiffonade). This will help the salad be more tender, thus chewable.

Add about 1/2 of a bag of broccoli slaw. I find this in the produce section with pre-packaged cole slaws and broccoli. It is julienned broccoli and carrots and adds great texture and flavor to the salad.

Take half of an apple (I used granny smith but another crisp apple would work), slice it thinly and then dice it. Toss it in.

Toss the salad with the dressing and let rest for a bit while you make the rest of dinner or enjoy a glass of wine (or two). When ready to serve, toss in the feta. I had this with blue cheese which was great also but not everyone loves blue cheese.

Important Tips:

I think letting it rest a bit was good because the dressing helped soften the kale a bit.

Got Leftovers?:

I never save leftover salad but since this was almost like a cole slaw, I decided to save it. It was delicious for lunch the next day.


My family as a whole does not have the sophisticated palate that Melissa’s does. This would be a salad for one at my house! -Denise


Blah, blah, blah! I’ve seen your family eat salad, tomatoes, your awesome Sensation Salad. Give them credit! If not, well, then you get leftovers. At least your not stuck with all the purple potatoes! ~Melissa

Sauteed Kale with Coconut Oil

recipes with coconut oil

I know Melissa is going to lose it when she reads “bag of fresh, pre-washed kale”. The day that this sautéed kale with coconut oil was on the menu, was a day that I had meetings most of the day and had virtually no time to get a labor intensive meal together before leaving at 5:00 to take my son to lacrosse practice. I basically got everything prepared and left my daughter to actually cook it. It was much easier for me to tell her to “use half a bag” of kale, or “whatever looks like a good amount,” than to wash, cut, trim, and chop fresh kale and deal with any leftovers. It just wasn’t happening that day. Anyway, she made the sautéed kale with coconut oil with absolutely no problems and it turned out to be delicious. The coconut oil makes the difference! If a 12 year old can do it, so can you!

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 1 min; Cook Time – 5-10 min


1 bag of fresh, pre-washed kale

2 – 3 T. coconut oil

salt and pepper

Preparing Sauteed Kale with Coconut Oil:

Put coconut oil in a large skillet and turn to medium high. Add kale, in batches, sautéing until it begins to wilt. Keep adding more kale in batches until you have made your desired amount. Season with salt and pepper.

recipes with coconut oil

Seriously?! You’ve got it so wrong. I often use ‘bags of pre-washed and cut’ greens. They are beyond convenient. BUT, sometimes, you need to cut it your own way and need to start with the whole leaf. I’m not that annoying, am I??? ~Melissa

Sauteed kale with fresh coconut

Kale is all the craze these days! You hardly ever heard anyone eating it just a few years back. It was that green thing restaurants put on your plate to make it ‘pretty’. Well, not any more. Now that everyone knows it is another superfood, everyone wants to eat it.

There are so many ways to cook it but this sautéed kale with fresh coconut has got to be in the top few. This sautéed kale with fresh coconut is yet another great recipe idea Denise and I received from our time with Asha Gomez, chef/owner at Cardamom Hill restaurant in Atlanta. Before you say, “no way, not going to eat it, I hate coconut,” you may just have to try it. The key is FRESH coconut…. not dried, processed, sweetened, or whatever else is done with coconut.

Trust me, I’m no coconut fan but this is really good!

sauteed greens

Level of Difficulty: Easy Time Required: Prep Time – 5min; Cook Time – 10min


4T coconut oil (I found this in my local grocer in the oil section, you may have to go to a speciality food store to get it. It’s thick.)

1 green chili, diced

2 cloves garlic, coarse chop

1t mustard seeds

1lb kale

3-4ozs fresh coconut (found in freezer section), defrosted

salt and pepper to taste

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Coconut oil (no shortage of brands on Amazon to choose from)

Preparing sautéed kale with fresh coconut:

Place coconut oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced peppers and garlic and give a quick stir. Add the kale and stir. It will reduce down quickly. If your skillet cannot hold all the kale at one time, you can add the next bit after the first batch has reduced. Reduce heat to medium. Once that is reduced, add the fresh coconut and stir. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Important Tips:

FRESH coconut is the only way to go and sautéing it in the coconut oil is great. The coconut flavor is very subtle, not at all what you think of when you think about the coconut flavor you are probably used to.


If not kale, any dark leafy green will work just as well.

Here is a link to the coriander spiced chicken we served with this too. Delicious. http://mcnackskitchen.com/2013/07/11/roasted-chicken-coriander/