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Garlic Cooked Kale

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Once upon a time, I hated kale–especially cooked kale and cooked greens of any kind, for that matter. Slimy, slug-green, bitter nastiness that sticks to itself and basically becomes strands of cruddies (allow me to invent a word) is not my idea of delicious.

I’m not attacking those of you who like over-cooked, slimy greens. I know so-called “well done” greens are a big deal down here in the South, and far be it from me to offend anyone purposefully, but really?! How can anyone like that stuff?

For years, I have heard friends and bloggers sing the praises of kale (even cooked kale), so I knew there had to be a better way.

Disclaimer: My method to preparing cooked kale is probably not correct nor traditional. I don’t claim to be an expert. I do claim to have found a way to make kale taste fall-off-your-chair amazing to me.

So here goes… “Garlic Cooked Kale for People Who (think they) Hate Cooked Kale”

1. Wash your kale and pat it dry with a clean dish towel.

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2. Chop off the ends that have no green leafees attached to them.

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3. Cut the kale lengthwise down the middle, or near the middle. Some people may not like the thick middle spine, so you may want to cut that entire middle piece out. I like the chewy texture of the middle, so I leave it in.

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4. And then, cut the kale horizontally (perpendicular to the first cut) in strips to form bite sized pieces. (I need a bigger cutting board. :)

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5. Come on into my poorly lit, but oh-so-cozy apartment kitchen to the stove. We’re going to saute a clove of crushed and minced garlic with a little olive oil.

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6. Just when the garlic starts getting fragrant, I dump in the chopped kale. It’ll barely fit in the pan, but this stuff cooks down in no time. You’ll see.

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7. In just a few moments, your kale will get all bright and delicious looking. Add a few splashes of water to keep the kale from sticking to the pan and burning.

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8. Add your seasonings. (See full recipe below.)

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9. Now, mix it all together and bring your pan into the sunlight. Isn’t it amazing how much more appetizing something looks in a sunlit room?

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10. And, then, of course, what choice do you have, but to eat it? Don’t even stop yourself.

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Garlic Cooked Kale

Serves 1-2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 6 minutes
Total time 11 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Serve Hot


  • 8-10 large kale leaves (chopped into bite-size pieces, with stems removed.)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed and minced)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure cane sugar (or any sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons water


Step 1
Wash and chop your kale leaves.
Step 2
On a medium to large skillet or frying pan, saute your crushed and minced garlic with your olive oil for about 1 minute or until garlic becomes fragrant. Don't let your garlic turn brown or burn, as your kale will taste bitter.
Step 3
Add your prepared kale to the pan. Stir-fry the kale into the garlic, then add your 3 tablespoons of water and seasonings.
Step 4
Allow your kale to steam for just a few minutes. My preference to cook my kale for no more 5 minutes. I love kale that is still somewhat chewy and has a living green color. Slimy, slug-green kale just doesn't appeal to my palate for some reason.
Step 5
Serve immediately, hot.

And there you go, folks. May you have a fabulous week and a belly full of kale!



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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Shruti@Part time chef June 20, 2013, 6:16 am

    I haven’t tried kale yet. Been wanting to do that for a while now. This looks delicious.

  • Kelly @ Vegan Iowan June 20, 2013, 9:30 am

    Thank you for sharing this simple recipe! Eating kale week after week can become a bit of a drag about mid-summer, so I’m happy to have this fresh alternative!

  • AgentDeb August 1, 2013, 6:38 pm

    Made this without the yeast flakes and it was easy and wonderful – my first taste of kale!

    • Lindsay August 1, 2013, 8:52 pm

      Great! I’m so glad you liked it! :)

  • Elizabeth C August 11, 2013, 7:32 pm

    Tried kale for the first time based on your recipe. used lots of garlic and onion… I mean LOTS and some tomato, basil garlic Mrs. Dash… a few tomato wedges and a splash of balsamic vinegar. It didn’t turn me into a convert YET… but it was quite edible. I’ll keep trying!

    • Lindsay August 12, 2013, 10:52 am

      Good job, Elizabeth! Yay for trying to new things! :) Lol. I must admit that sometimes I come across kale that is a little bit on the bitter side and I don’t love it as much as I usually do. I agree though that lots of garlic, onion, yeast flakes, etc make it quite edible. ;)

  • Debbie January 22, 2014, 4:13 pm

    I love greens ( when they are not overcooked)! Kale is one of my favorites. It is a great add in to soups and beans…. Great recipe :-)

    • Lindsay January 24, 2014, 6:32 pm

      Thanks, Debbie!

  • amanda kanady February 8, 2014, 3:20 pm

    just made this…. I did exactly like you did and cut the sugar and yeast…. AMAZING! My uncle and dad ate the whole bowl as a snack :-)


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