Confession: found this half-started post in my drafts folder dated 09/13, so if that ain't proof of laziness...
We all know that kale is good for us, right? But the stuff can taste a tad bitter, and worse, take a bit of work to prepare from scratch. And who wants to work just to eat? Well, many people don't seem to mind, but not this lazy vegan. So I thought I'd share the two ways yours truly gets her kale. And no, chips are not involved. ;)
The first tip is illustrated in the photo above, but before I start I want to tell you about a recent realization I find quite amusing: apparently I've been eating kale my whole life without even knowing it! You see, kale has been a staple of Dutch cuisine for, well, almost forever, but I never connected the Dutch name boerenkool (literally translated as "farmer's cabbage") to the English word kale until I started buying the canned version.
The dish in the photo is a variation of the traditional Dutch boerenkool stamppot recipe, without of course, cruelty to animals, and the easy lazy part is the canned kale. Yep, available in any Dutch store (oodles of them in Ontario, Canada), all you have to do is heat. No chopping, no washing, no rinsing, no resentment of the time involved, just heat and go. For the dish itself I just boil a whole bunch of potatoes, mash them using a bit of vegan Becel, mash in the warmed up can of kale, and vegan beef crumbles if I have them. Oh, add a bit of Bragg liquid soy seasoning for more flavour, and you're good to go. The nutrient label on the can indicates that per 1/2 cup you get 100% daily value of vitamin A, 45% daily value of vitamin C, 20% calcium and 8% iron. That's a lot of value methinks. Another way to add value is to make enough in one go so that you don't have to cook again for a few days. :)
The other easy lazy way I eat more kale is by adding it to a smoothie. Now I can hear you protesting already that you do that as well, but I bet you're not as lazy about it as I am. Remember those Dutch stores I mentioned? Well, the one I go to sells kale in dry form, so there's no muss and fuss in chopping your own. Sprinkle in as many flakes as you want, and presto, you're kaling yourself to better health.
Update #1: am reading a book right now called "Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch: a frank and funny look at what makes the Dutch DUTCH" and have to admit that the author hit the nail on the head when he observed that:
The Belgians fry, the Germans pickle, the English boil, and the Dutch mash -- cabbages and potatoes especially, but also endives and peas all end up pounded together in a stolid stamppot. Usually greyish-white in hue, with green flecks and the consistency of partially set concrete.... Not even salads escape the masher. A Dutch salad is 90% potato and mayonnaise, and 10% something else that gives it a name rather than a flavour. pp. 56-7
Ha ha, guilty as charged! We Dutchies DO like to mash (but think how ready we'll be if all we can eat as incapacitated seniors is purees) and I myself have mashed in spinach, broccoli, endives, red cabbage, kale, and sauerkraut with pineapple. The latter this very week in fact.
Update #2: just found an even more sneering (but funny) take on the Dutch love affair with mashing, but all scoffing aside, it's a hearty and not too unhealthy way to get your veggies I say, so mash away!
p.s. I've noticed in the past year that many food stores now sell kale pre-chopped, so there's no excuse anymore for anyone to be kale-shy :)