Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spicy Grilled Kale

Before this week, I never thought kale would make it onto my blog. It was a food that I convinced myself was good, but I never really enjoyed it. I just ate it for the same reason it became so popular: it's really healthy. I'm glad I gave it another chance though. I now have a new appreciation for this super food and will keep trying out new variations. I'm sure there will be some disasters in this mission, but making really healthy food taste really good isn't always the easiest task.

It seems I have finally discovered a trick to enjoying kale. First, I made it spicy. I'm sure not all of you enjoy spicy food as much as I do, but it added a very welcomed kick to the kale (plus spicy food boosts your metabolism). The spice took away some of the "healthy" taste of the kale, but you can cut back on the heat if you want. Next, I grilled the kale until it had softened slightly. This combination of grilling and spicy created the first kale dish that I ever enjoyed. You can easily double this recipe as well if you're cooking for more people.

Serves 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Marinading time: at least 4 hours

1 bunch of kale (about 5 or 6 leaves)
1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or freshly grated)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped*
1 teaspoon salt

Warm the coconut milk over medium heat until lukewarm (not boiling). Pour into a separate container and add everything except the kale. If you are going to use a grill pan, cut the stalks out of the kale and cut the larges leaves into smaller pieces. If you're going to use an outdoor grill, keep the leaves whole and remove the stalks before eating or leave them if they don't bother you (this version will also slightly char the kale).

Add the kale to the marinade and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours (longer is fine as well).

Heat your grill pan over high heat. Add the kale and cook on each side for about 1 minute, until slightly wilted. Cook longer if you want it even more wilted. If using an outdoor grill, grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, until the kale starts to wilt and is slightly singed around the edges.

*These small pieces of jalapeno may fall through the gaps in an outdoor grill.

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