Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What the Kale?

So far on our no-spend month we've spent about $90 on groceries and have kept up chipping away at that debt.

Having our CSA veggies and fruit pre-paid is nice and we've got an abundance of kale at the moment. Here's a typical conversation between Matt and I in the evening.

Me: So...what do you want for dinner?

Matt: Oh, I don't know.

Me: That's helpful.

Matt: How 'bout chicken?

Me: Thank you for being specific...we have a lot of kale too...

Matt: Stir fry?

Me: Sounds okay to me. Its been two whole days since we had that.
(just kidding...kinda)

Joking aside we're blessed to have access to so much produce every week and are glad we signed up...since it forces us to eat our veggies.

I was not a veggie eater as a kid.

I liked three vegetables: corn, carrots and potatoes.

Basically anything that was sweet or starchy and you could smother in butter.

But then, Julia Child smothers a whole variety of vegetables in butter and they all taste good too...braised turnips anyone?

As I got older I realized I needed to be a bit more adult and eat salads...so I smothered them in ranch dressing and choked them down.

Then I discovered what baby spinach looked like...and that I actually liked it. And then Matt brought home mushrooms one day (which I never liked since they were usually tasteless and slimy), and after a quick saute in olive oil with salt and pepper I found I was in love with mushrooms.

Our affair with veggies got progressively worse (better?) from there.

During the summer months (used to be year round but we're trying to eat with the seasons now) we would glut ourselves on zucchini and squash.

I bought an eggplant because it looked pretty and figured out how to make it taste pretty too.

I even began using *gasp* onions and tomatoes. The former I love the flavor but hate the crunch so I chop them up into itty bitty pieces. Tomatoes are the opposite...its just the flavor that I can't stand. So I mask it with curry or Italian herbs or anything else.

One time at a farmer's market I was walking with my Mom and a friend. As we passed a display of those gorgeous heritage tomatoes in a rainbow of colors, my friend tried a sample. Her face lit up and she handed it to my mom, who mmmmed as well. They handed it to me.

I don't like tomatoes.

But these are heritage tomatoes!

They still taste like tomatoes.

If you don't like these I'll actually believe you!

Just to prove to my friend I loved her I tried the tomato. And almost gagged.

I just. don't. like. tomatoes.

But I still cook with them and currently have a three foot high robust tomato in the backyard waiting for it to bloom so I can make some marinara.

Kale, admittedly, isn't my favorite vegetable.

But throw some olive oil in a sauté pan, when its medium-hot throw some garlic in. After that's smelling like heaven throw in some torn up kale, stir it around and let it wilt. Top with some salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and its actually edible.

For more ways on how to stretch your grocery dollars, read my article on Frugal Fine Dining.


  1. So glad you're getting to enjoy some fresh vegetables! I had a hard time during one no spend month when we were eating canned vegetables from the back of the pantry. Fresh is so much better.

  2. Thanks Rachel! We are definitely appreciating the fresh and trying to eat it all before it wilts! Growing up we didn't eat fresh all that often and I have baaad memories of the grayish-green beans or the stringy spinach! Bleh!

  3. I got a small bag of kale (at least it seemed small) at a farmers market last week, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it! Some went in a tuscan bean-sausage-kale soup, but that still left half of my kale in the fridge. What to do...the real trick is getting hubby to eat it :)

  4. We've been doing a CSA box too, and are loving it! Look up a recipe for kale chips, they are my husband's favorite way to eat the kale that comes in our box now.

  5. Okay, this is what I do with kale (you can use other greens as well) and lemme just say, it is ADDICTIVE! Clean your bunch of kale and remove/cut out stems. Place cleaned kale in a bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar and nama shoyu (soy sauce) sprinkle with garlic powder. Make sure all the leaves are coated well. I don't have a dehydrator, so what I do is turn the oven on to the lowest possible setting line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the kale on that in one layer (you may have to split into two batches. Put tray in oven with the oven door cracked open. It takes about two hours, but what you get... the finished product is delish! Super Cruncy Tasty Kale Chips! Even my husband and his picky eater friends enjoy these quite a lot!!!

  6. Thank you! I've been looking for something else to do with it! I'm definitely going to have to try that recipe. My first attempt at kale chips was not such a success... :-)