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Let’s Play With Kale!

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Let’s Play With Kale!

Kale recipes and a Delicious Dressing That’s a Game Changer!

I went to a Sunday BBQ and in addition to being spoiled with great people, stellar music and plenty of delicious food, I was sent away with this gracious gift. A basket of a goodies from the garden! Kale, collards, peppers, tomatoes and beans- It’s beautiful and I bet it will taste even better. It’s certainly in the right hands.

Kevin Ketchum, our Publisher here at Fox Valley Magazine has inspired me to share some of my better recipes with our readers. Today he queried about a good kale recipe for his own garden-grown greens. Well, what do you know- here I am with a fresh basket of my own so let’s talk kale!

Massage My Food?

In this recipe you massage the kale leaves to break down the fibers and soften the leaf. This not only makes it more versatile (not so rough and tough) but it brings out this lovely banana aroma/flavor that really compliments the earthy taste kale usually has.

This is my favorite kale recipe by far! It's full of nutrients and the sweet balances the bitter in the greens. I have made this for oncology patients who want to get excited about new super healthy recipes and it was a hit. It's pretty simple and so tasty!

What You Need


  • 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons


What You Do


  1. In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.
  3. Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.


Per Serving: Calories 269; Total Fat 17 grams; Saturated Fat 2.5 grams; Protein 6 grams; Total Carbohydrate 28 grams; Sugar: 14 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; Sodium 170 milligrams

Here's the link where the lovely chef shows you exactly what to do, for those of you who learn by watching (like me):

Comfort Food

This is a comfort-food favorite! Easy, hearty, savory soup and you can use your garden or local farm zucchini that will be abundant this fall. A meal in one dish, full of calcium and so many other vitamins and minerals. Love that right? Warms the heart, and the belly.

What You Need


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalk
  • 2 to 3 cups green cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons (about 1/2 small head of cabbage)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole store bought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
  • two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • leaves from 4 large stalks of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces (discard the center thick rib)
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced small (from about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional (brightens up the flavor)


What You Do


  1. To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil, onion, celery, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  2. Add the cabbage and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage wilts and softens. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth, shredded chicken, cannellini beans, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and boil about 5 minutes, or until chicken is warmed through.
  5. Add the kale, zucchini, optional lemon juice, and boil 1 to 2 minutes, or until kale has wilted and zucchini has softened.
  6. Taste soup and add salt or herbs, to taste. Amount of salt will vary based on how salty the brand of chicken broth used is, how salty the rotisserie chicken is, and personal preference. At any time while making the soup, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water is okay because at the end you will adjust the salt level. Serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


The Dressing the Will Test Your Willpower

I like to eat kale and romaine with this faux caesar dressing. I love the taste of a good caesar but I’m not into raw fish and eggs, so I found the perfect recipe for an imposter. It tastes like the ‘real thing’ and it's addicting! It has some healthy fats, so it’s good for your skin, hair and nervous system. But as it is with all fats- moderation is key. Basically, don’t pour it on everything. Trust me you’re going to want to. Also, don’t drink it. 

What You Need


  • 1/2 cup ‘fake’ mayo spread (vegan mayonnaise dressing spread)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small garlic clove (you can add another if you like it super potent)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Wizard's gluten-free brand)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste


What You Do

Add all dressing ingredients (except salt) into a high-speed blender, and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. You can add a splash of water if necessary to get it blending. Add salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Serve over kale 

Suggestion- Add garbanzo beans and parmesan for a more hearty, filling salad. You can toast the garbanzos with some seasoning if you want them crunchy like a crouton! 

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