Coaxing the Kale Cower-ers

Come on out kale cower-ers.  We know you’re out there…. doubting that kale could ever be a pleasant addition to your diet. Well, we have several suggestions to change your mind!  And no it’s not a kale smoothie – although that is a fine way to get a little kale in you or your kids without really tasting much kale.

First I must tell you the frightening tale of my possessed stove.  My stove was apparently possessed by a fiery demon from… well…, you know where fiery demons come from.  3 of the 4 burners could boil rocks in about 60 seconds but could not simmer to save your life.  I spent a lot of time turning the stove off completely and setting the timer so I’d remember to come back and turn it back on and checking and re-checking and then hearing that hissing sound yet again as something boiled over.   Aaaagh!

While the Episcopal prayer book has a service for exorcism and there is a website with instructions for Catholic exorcism, no mention is made in either regarding deviant appliances.  So when the burners decided only to boil rocks sometimes and other times remain tepid at best, we did what any red-blooded American would do.  We bought a new one.  And it’s gas!  I’m so excited – no more pix of my crummy old possessed stove in my posts.

And the only hiss is this…..

Beautiful blue.

Beautiful blue.

But I digress…. Here is my take on creamed kale – adapted from The Hungry Hippie’s version.  She presents it as a substitute for creamed spinach, but I’ve got to say it’s better than that (since lots of folks don’t like creamed spinach.)

I offer a dairy-free version and a cheesy version for The re-Kale-citrant, both young and old.

The dairy free version involves the use of cashews, which are expensive, however, you can get them cheaper on-line than at the grocery store, so if you try a few cashew oriented recipes and like them – check out your options on Amazon.

This is also an easy recipe to whip up on short notice as long as you have soaked the cashews.

Creamed Kale

This can be made as a side dish or by mixing in some rice or quinoa, a heartier dish.  I love to keep leftover cooked rice and/or quinoa in the fridge for these types of quick and easy meals.

If using grain – cook enough ahead of time that it will be done!

kale – broken into pieces and de-stemmed, enough to stuff a 4 cup measuring cup:

kale in cup

Vegan Sauce:

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup soaked cashews (about 6 hours or all day in twice as much water)
4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1.5 – 2 Tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup non-dairy, unsweetened milk
1 small squirt honey (probably 1/2 tsp.)
1 Tbsp flour (I used brown rice)

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
Meanwhile place all other ingredients except kale in a food processor
When onion and garlic is translucent add to the food processor
Process baby.  Processing is so very good!
Add the kale to the pan you sauteed the onion and garlic in – add a Tbsp of water, stir, cover and steam.
Once the kale gets a bit wilty add your sauce.

Cook just a couple of minutes to warm and mix.  Then add a cup or two of rice or quinoa or some other grain.

I you are not going to mix in grain you might want to either cut the sauce in half – or save some for another use the next night.  I have not frozen this mixture so I can’t tell you what the results might be of that endeavor.

done in pan

OR – leave them all separate and let folks take what they like best in the best ratio for them.

If you’d like an easy cheese sauce, then try this cheese sauce from our Mac & Cheese without the Box:

Instantly Healthier Mac & Cheese
adapted from Instant mac & cheese recipe on

  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 Tbsp. White whole wheat flour (what I used)
  • ½ – ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dry mustard
  • ¼ – ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese (Little Sis’ kids preferred less cheese, and they are awfully cute as well… Just sayin’)

Mix the flour and milk in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake well to mix the flour in.  Begin the butter melting in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the spices and milk/flour mixture making sure to give another good shake to the jar before pouring the milk in.  Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring well.  Boil, stirring the whole time for 1 minute.  Turn heat to low and add cheese.  Add to the kale once it is wilty in the pan, or again keep it separate and add as people like.  If there is too much sauce here for your kale then you can freeze if for another night!

Here again, right before I gladly consumed it is the dairy-free version of creamed kale (with rice):

on plate

Hoping that your bellies are full, your houses are warm and cozy and your appliances are well under control.

39 responses

    • Thanks Elise – it is such a pleasure to cook on the gas stove! And I believe I’ll go have some leftover creamed kale for lunch right now 🙂

  1. Congratulations on your new stove! We are soldiering on with the one that came with our house, which has two burners that won’t light unless another burner is on, and no oven door handle–it fell off and couldn’t be reattached, so we replaced it with wire. I suspect we’ll need a new stove within the next year, but I’ve said that before….

    It’s hard to believe that 12 years ago we never ate kale–it is a staple item for us now! Here are more than a dozen ways to eat kale. We like a creamed kale recipe that uses nutmeg; you might try adding a bit of nutmeg to your recipe, as it’s surprisingly good.

    • Thank you Becca! Hang in there on the stove. I had a VW camper once that would beep when you put the right turn signal on. It’s waiting to commune with your stove once you replace it 🙂 And thanks for sharing the kale recipes and the nutmeg tips. I have some kale in the garden and find that I can buy it fairly cheaply in large quantities, so we are using a lot!

  2. We bought a gas stove after we put an offer on our house (but before we moved in) It was a floor model and I couldn’t pass it up. I did not appreciate the $900 plumber bill to run a gas line from the front of the house (where the gas already entered for the furnace/water heater) to the kitchen. But I love love love my stove, so I am happy for you!

    Thanks for sharing a delicious looking recipe!

    • Thank you Kristen. The extra plumbing must have been a bummer. Good thing you found out about it after you already bought the stove, or you might not have bought it, eh? 😉 I am indeed enjoying my stove!

  3. Great tips! Thank you! I haven’t attempted to grow kale. Since chard grows well here, kale should, too! Thanks for a great recipe! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    • You are welcome. I have found kale and chard to both grow well here, so hopefully the same will hold for you. And the kale lasts longer than the chard into the winter. My current kale plants are 2 years old. I just keep cutting and they keep coming back! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  4. We have lots of Kale in our Garden right now, and these are great recipes for us to try. Hope you have a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    • Kale is also so wonderful because there it is out in the garden through wind and snow! Sturdier than the mailman! Thanks for hosting Full Plate Thursday!

  5. my appliances are great except my stove tends to slant backwards. is this normal?? it’s like it needs lifts in the back or something. aye.

    ps kale in cheesy creamy sauce = good. it’s how i deal with all the winter greens this time of year.

    thank you for sharing with us at the wednesday fresh foods link up! i’m looking forward to seeing what seasonal & real/whole food posts you have this week. hope to see you there! xo, kristy

    • Our old stove slanted! There should be feet on your stove that can be screwed up or down to change the height. Then again, maybe all the mess on the stove goes to one spot if it’s slanted 😉
      Thank you for hosting! We’d love to come back.

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    • Oh we do like this. I confess that my 11 year old does not like it, but he does not seem to care for cashews in much of anything (other than plain roasted). Thanks for the pin!

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  10. Made this last night and to say it was fabulous would be an understatement. I moaned with every bite! I did make a couple changes (really just additions). The sauce is to die for, so leave it alone. Did a massive pan of kale, added some of the sauce, added quite a lot of leftover rice, and added a can of black beans. Served it with homemade cranberry relish. Can’t wait to dig into the little bit that is waiting in the fridge!

    • Linda you have inspired me! Those are wonderful additions and I have the last of the homemade cranberry relish from Thanksgiving wanting to participate. Thanks for sharing your wonderful expansion!

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