Welcome to A Tranquil Nook Blog

We welcome you to follow along on our crafty adventures. Frank is a farmer by day, jewelry and hand braided cord-maker by night. Jane simply fiddles with fabric and fiber any time she can. We share things about what we make, how we make it, where you can get it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kale - leafy green and nutritious

One of the neat things about knowing people is that they ask you questions.  One of the challenging things is you do not always know the answer.  But, you know people, so you ask them the question.  Sometimes they reward you with much more than expected.  That happened this week.

Last Wednesday, a Sports Trainer, into wellness, fitness, nutrition asked me if I have some good recipes using kale.  He wants the nutritional goodness, but would prefer some better tasting dishes, or even better some juicing recipes.

Kale, KALE, we don’t grow kale, have never eaten kale.  It took 30 years to get Frank to even eat spinach in salads.  Extrapolating from spinach experience, figure the age, size and length of time post picking may be an issue.  Indeed he was using large leaves purchased at a local grocery store.  Yay, they at least offer it.

 These days though, the farmers market is open.  Saw some young, small, pretty kale offered there.  Of course suggested he come to market to pick up fresh young kale on Saturday AND talk to those who grow it and eat it.

Cannot stop there of course, shot off an email to a number of growers asking for help.  Amber Lindman, a new vendor to farmers market this year, stepped up to the plate.

Now be prepared to drool and find how kale can rule.

Sautéed Garlic Kale with Poached Eggs (farm fresh of course!)
Photo & Recipe by Amber Lindman

6 cups chopped kale
4 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
salt and fresh ground pepper
4 farm fresh eggs

Bring a wide pot of water to almost a boil (you can see bubbles forming on the bottom) crack eggs carefully into the pan. Make sure the water does not boil.  Cook until desired doneness.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in a saute pan.  Toss in chopped kale, let it begin to wilt.  Season with coarse sale and fresh ground pepper.  Add garlic.  Saute until tender.  This only takes a few minutes.

Photo & Recipe by Amber Lindman
Serve poached eggs over garlic kale.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper and herbs such as basil or parsley if desired.
Serves 2

 Next up:           
 Creamy Garlic Kale Pasta

Photo & Recipe by Amber Lindman
 1 lb. pasta
8 cups kale, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
coarse salt & fresh ground pepper

Bring a pot of water to a  boil, salt generously and add desired pasta.  My favorite for creamy pasta is the large spiral.  Cook until al dente.  Meanwhile in another pan heat olive oil.  Add 8 cups chopped kale, season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.  Cook a few minutes until tender.  When pasta is finished cooking drain but reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.  Return pasta to pot, add kale, chopped garlic, heavy cream or half and half (whichever you desire), and reserved pasta water.  Mix and heat on med/low until sauce thickens.

Last but not least :   

8 eggs
2 c. kale, chopped
1 c. asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
3/4 c. half n half
1/2 c. white cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil, parsley
2 T. olive oil
coarse salt & fresh ground pepper

Heat oven to 350.  Saute kale, onion, and asparagus in 1 T. olive oil until crisp tender.  Meanwhile beat eggs with half and half, add cheeses, herbs, and 1 tsp. coarse sale and 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper.  Put veggies on a plate and add remaining 1 T. olive oil to the pan and heat to med/high.  Let veggies cool just enough to put into egg mixture.  Mix.  Then pour into heated pan.  Let a crust form then put pan in oven and finish cooking for approx. 25-30 minutes, when springy on top and done through.  Cut like pie and serve with crusty bread and greens.
Amber says: They are my own recipes, and the pasta I would have to repeat to perfect the quantities I used.  I fly by the seat of my pants when I cook because I've been taught that way.  I taste and add until it tastes right. Fritatta is my favorite versatile "egg pie"!!!  All of these recipes even my kids ate!
Amber is a local grower with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition.  She has a serious knack for cooking and dreams of opening her own little bistro/wine bar.  She is off to a great start at farmers market.  You can find her at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market 
on many Saturday mornings this summer.

Amber, thank you so much for providing these awesome recipes.  I'm sure that others besides me will be inspired to try kale in one of these ways.



  1. Sounds yummy! A friend just gave me a bag of frozen kale - I think I might try one of these recipes. I have never grown or used it before either.

    1. How cool Abbi. It is fun to go off our usual food path and try new things. It is so great to be getting to know Amber at farmers market and being inspired by her food knowledge. I hope you too enjoy your kale experiments.