We look for ways to add more vegetables, especially greens, into our every day meals. When I read that kale is one of the “world’s most healthiest foods,” I gave it a try. I was most familiar with kale as a garnish among the containers of vegetables and toppings at the salad bar at work and as an ornamental crop in gardens. At first, I tried steaming it; no one liked it. Even a sauté with garlic and olive oil didn’t convince my family to eat this robust vegetable. Knowing I had to soften the tough kale leaves, I tried them in soup. Since I almost always have a bag of frozen tortellini in the freezer for quick dinners, I combined the two. Here’s the recipe that delivered the kale. We hope you enjoy!
In a large pot, place about a tablespoon of oil olive. Sauté:
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
When the vegetables are slightly softened, add:
1 bunch of kale, washed, stalks removed and roughly chopped into large pieces
When the kale leaves turn bright green (in about a minute or two), add:
4 cups of low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock and 3-4 cups of water
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add:
1 can of chick peas or cannellini beans, rinsed
1 bag of frozen tortellini (I use Whole Foods brand frozen cheese tortellini)
Continue cooking until the tortellini are ready (about 3-4 mins – a taste will tell you). Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (if you like) and grated parmesan. Serves 4-6.
Variations: When I’m in a hurry, I skip the sautéed vegetables and begin sautéing garlic in olive oil adding in the kale and stock and let that simmer for about 10 mins. Then add the beans and ravioli. If you don’t have any beans at home, you can omit them. If I have some crushed tomatoes (about a cup or so) leftover from another recipe, I sometimes throw them in when I add the stock/water. I’ve also used frozen ravioli instead of tortellini if that’s what I have in the freezer. If I have frozen turkey dogs in the freezer, I’ll slice a few of those up and add, too. The red pepper flakes can go in when the garlic is added during the sauté.