I love vegetables. Bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes… they’re all so refreshing and delicious! There is one category of veggies I don’t eat too often though, and it just happens to be the most important: greens.
Dark green leafy vegetables are great sources of nutrition, according to the USDA. They’re low calorie, yet packed with vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, many greens also happen to have a bitter taste that I, and many others, don’t necessarily enjoy. Personally, I can’t stand eating a bowl of raw spinach or kale. It just tastes like I’m grazing on a field of grass.
Though I don’t enjoy greens in their raw state, I know it is important to include them in my diet. However, I am not willing to just choke down food I don’t enjoy for the sake of my micronutrient intake. Because of this, I recently began experimenting with various cooking methods in an effort to find one I enjoy. And guess what? It turns out I do like kale after all, at least when it’s sautéed and well-seasoned!
Sautéed kale tastes completely different from raw kale in salads. The cooking process softens the tough stems and makes the leaves more tender. I like to add garlic for a nice savory flavor, and lemon juice for a pop of acid. Since the texture is pretty monotonous, I also like to throw in some toasted pine nuts for a bit of crunch. With these ingredients, bitter kale is transformed into a crave-worthy side dish!
Kale isn’t the only veggie that can be transformed through cooking. Try out these recipes for more tasty vegetable sides!
Sautéed Garlic Lemon Kale With Pine Nuts
Think you don’t like greens? The garlic and lemon flavor of this sautéed kale will change your mind! It's topped with toasted pine nuts for extra crunch.
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 6 cups chopped kale
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Juice of one lemon
Place pine nuts in a single layer in an ungreased frying pan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and golden brown. Immediately transfer to a plate.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic slices and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic just begins to brown.
Add the kale, salt and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened (about 4-5 minutes).
Add the lemon juice and toss to coat. Stir in the pine nuts just before removing skillet from heat.