The Daily Meal’s Family Dinner: Kale
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Breaking bread is a fulfilling experience well beyond the food that is enjoyed. Everyone at The Daily Meal can speak to this, which is why we’ve started our Family Dinners. Every week, we’re creating a way for all of us — from our readers to contributors and staff — to sit down and eat together by sharing weekly menus for you to cook or be inspired by.
Now, along with our Recipe of the Day Newsletter, we’ll be offering you menu ideas in the form of a three-course meal, with tips and suggestions for each so it’s even easier for all of us to #eattogether. Check back to see what we’re serving at our family meal each week, and share what you’ve made with us through Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #eattogether. We’re excited to start sharing a meal with you once a week and we hope you are, too.
We could go on and on about the health benefits of kale, but right now we’re just going to talk about what we want you to do with it. While the leafy green is often featured all on its own braised or steamed, this kale salad has a multi-dimensional quality to it because of its abundance of flavors, and the kale is raw. Pair it with a healthy, poached salmon fillet with rice, and you’re in business. Because you’ve been so good for dinner, we say splurge a little and make these almond butter cookies to enjoy with a glass of milk for dessert. OK, with that heart-healthy nut packed into each one, it’s not much of a splurge, but it still provides the perfect sweet ending to your meal.
Baby Kale Salad with Kumquats and Sesame Vinaigrette
To appreciate this salad is to appreciate its many different components — the texture of the raw kale leaves paired with the bold and spicy cayenne-spiked vinaigrette, the nuttiness of the sesame seeds offset by the zesty kumquats, and the sweet and crunchy carrots that bring it all together. This salad proves that kale, while good for you, does not have to be boring.
Inspired by the renowned Eric Ripert, this poached salmon recipe masks itself as a rich and indulgent meal. Steamed in a light white wine-and-lemon water bath and paired with buttery Parmesan rice, you’ll feel satisfied by this healthy dish.
Almond Butter Cookies
These cookies scream "treat yourself!" But really, you’re not splurging that much by enjoying one or two. This whole-wheat version of the traditional Chinese cookie recipe is made with antioxidant-rich almond butter and is stamped with the heart-healthy nut before being baked, helping you satiate your sweet tooth while still eating healthy.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce
These Easy Kale Meal Ideas Are a Healthy Meal-Prepper’s Dream Come True
Every week, Well+Good’s Prep School series gives a plan for a whole week’s worth of healthy dinners&mdashwith very minimal prep. This June, we’re devoting the whole month to seasonal produce, focusing on a different starring veggie each week. Here, a healthy recipe developer shares five easy kale meal ideas.
Kale is one of those foods that’s long been beloved by healthy eaters&mdashright up there with oatmeal and smoothies. There’s a reason why this specific type of green has such a glowing health halo. It’s loaded with fiber, iron, and other nutrients, including a category of phytochemicals called glucosinolates, a group of compounds that help to support liver function and other important bodily processes.
But being the Queen B of greens is a double-edged sword. Kale’s popularity means that many healthy eaters are also a little burnt out on eating it. Healthy recipe developer and Eat With Clarity blogger Claire Cary is here to revive your love for kale.
Here, Cary shares one of her tried and true kale recipes, along with five easy kale meal ideas to help you repurpose the leafy green for dinner throughout the whole week. Like virtually all meal prep experts, she also recommends getting your protein squared away on Sunday too. Her personal preference is roasted chicken, but feel free to tweak her recipe and meal plan based on your personal preference and eating style. Ditto for her weeknight dinner ideas, which are purposely broad enough to be tweaked using ingredients you already have on hand and to fit your individual eating habits.
Art: W+G Creative
This super noodle ramen is like a massive hug in a bowl – using both dark and white miso paste, it gets the balance between sweet, hot, salty and sour spot on. Kale is roasted here for lovely crunch to finish off a hearty broth.
Embrace kale this winter and see how many more ways you can take this super-versatile and tasty green. You can learn more about the wonderful world of kale at the Vegepedia!
A Sauteed Kale Recipe for the Kale curious…
I have an admission. I am a recovering kale hater. I have always known it was good for me but could never get my taste buds and my brain to agree on a plan for incorporating more leafy greens into my diet. Two important things happened that changed that.
The first – I was born hard-headed and I was determined to find a way to like the green leafy things that are so good for me. (Thanks, Mom and Dad.)
The second, I stumbled on Lacinato Kale. I find it to be much less bitter than other varieties. If you decide to look for it at your market, you will also find it called Tuscan or Italian Kale or Dinasour Kale.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- One (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 large bunch dinosaur kale (about 1 pound), thick stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 quarts)
- 1/2 cup rice wine
- Four (6- to 8-ounce) cod fillets (or other firm white fish)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Kale Quinoa Salad
A trendy ingredient in American culture, quinoa has been a staple of Peruvian cooking for centuries. Although it often gets mischaracterized as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that is a good source of protein, iron, and magnesium. It also contains twice as much fiber as most grains.
This salad is pulled together with a simple mustard-infused vinaigrette dressing, combining the slight bitterness of kale with the nuttiness of quinoa. It's filling enough to enjoy as a light main course and makes a perfect packed lunch.
18 Easy, Healthy Dinner Ideas Your Whole Family Will Love
Finally, an easy answer to the question, what should I make for dinner tonight? Oh, and all those busy nights to come are covered, too.
Here, we've rounded up 18 of our favorite healthy dinner recipes that your entire family will love. We've included the crowd-pleasing classics (think Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf With Cranberries and Spiced cod with Broccoli-Quinoa Pilaf), plus modern twists on delicious dishes like Cauliflower Rice &ldquoRisotto&rdquo With Beets, Eggplant-Mushroom Meatball Subs, and Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower Sandwiches With Romesco.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cups packed torn lacinato kale leaves
- 1 thinly sliced unseeded red Fresno chile
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Calories 133
- Fat 14g
- Satfat 2g
- Unsatfat 12g
- Protein 1g
- Carbohydrate 2g
- Fiber 1g
- Sugars 1g
- Added sugars 0g
- Sodium 250mg
- Calcium 4% DV
- Potassium 3% DV
Easy Family-Friendly Mains
Shake up your dinnertime routine with these crowd-pleasing picks.
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Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Sausage and Peppers
Broil ( instead of boil) gnocchi in this quick sheet pan dinner. Peppers, onions, tomatoes and sausage are the perfect base for petite potato dumplings, crusted with Parmesan .
Pesto Chicken Skillet Supper
This speedy dinner packs so much flavor. The natural sweetness of c orn and tomatoes is balanced with savory basil pesto. F reshly grated Parmesan adds the perfect pop of saltiness.
Chicken and Dumplings
Rachael uses convenient items, like store-bought chicken stock and biscuit mix, to whip up a comforting dish that&rsquos ready to eat in less than an hour.
This pulled pork dish is sure to be a hit with the entire family. To give your pork shoulder a beautifully smoky flavor, rub it on all sides with chili powder.
Shortcut Chicken Enchiladas
This dish whips store-bought rotisserie chicken, salsa and beans into a quick enchilada bake that is ready in less than an hour. It's a great use for that leftover half of a chicken, but if you have a whole chicken, you can easily double the recipe to make 8 to 12 servings.
Broccoli with Bow Ties and Peas
Sheet-Pan Glazed Meat Loaf
Cooking meatloaf in a sheet pan cuts down the cooking time dramatically, making this a perfect weeknight dinner. Shaping it thin and flat ensures that you get enough sticky-sweet glaze in every bite.
Sausage and Broccolini Pizza Pockets
The recipe for weeknight dinner success? Pizza pockets, stuffed with sweet Italian sausage and three different cheeses.
Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone
This delicious, hearty cauliflower parm doesn't skimp on the flavor and will satisfy everyone, from vegetarians to the most die-hard carnivore.
Round and Round Pasta
Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken
This one-sheet wonder is ready in under an hour &mdash and won&rsquot leave your sink full of dirty dishes!
Venetian Rolled Pizza
Chicken Fajita Pasta
Creamy, crunchy, and perfectly seasoned, this fajita-inspired skillet pasta makes a quick and easy dinner any night of the week.
Egg Foo Young
Pierogi and Squash Stew
You know the stash of pierogies in your freezer? Use them to squash your hunger when you make this s a tisfying, crave-worthy meal.
Instant Pot Cheesy Pasta and Chicken
Classic dishes, like macaroni and cheese, are a great base to sneak in extra veggies and meats. This dish calls for fresh broccoli and chicken breast, plus two types of cheese and plenty of pasta.
You just can't go wrong with roast chicken. To make this herby version, stuff yours with thyme, rosemary, garlic, shallots, bay leaves and lemon wedges.
Corn and Cheese Chowder
Bean, Cauliflower and Cheese Burritos
Make Marcela Valladolid's cheesy burritos part of your family's weekly dinner rotation. Purple cauliflower introduces great color to the dish, and her quick recipe for Chorizo Refried Beans will transform any basic burrito into an irresistible, meaty treat.
Spanish Shrimp and Rice
Shrimp is an excellent choice when you don&rsquot have a lot of time to cook: it&rsquos versatile, crowd-pleasing, and ready in a flash.
Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread kale out on a sturdy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat completely.
Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.
Bake another 8 to 12 minutes or until kale is crispy. It should be just lightly browned and crispy to the touch. If kale still bends, rather than crackles, when you touch it, it isn't done yet. Return it to the oven. Turn down the heat if it is getting too brown. Continue cooking until crispy.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle with sea salt (Maldon sea salt makes it taste fantastic) and serve immediately.