Friday, March 5, 2010

Kale with White Beans and Polenta

When I tell people I've just met that I'm a vegetarian they generally assume that I eat a lot of salad and love my vegetables. But I have a confession to make. I'm a pretty picky eater, especially when it comes to my vegetables. And I don't really like salad. But since becoming a vegetarian I've tried to try as many vegetables as possible. I've found out that I'm not as picky as I once was. It's funny how for your whole life you convince yourself you don't like something, then you try it and feel like an idiot because you realize you've been missing out for a very long time. Kale is one of those vegetables. Leafy greens used to totally freak me out, but I am now officially in love with kale. This dish is healthy, delicious, and totally satisfying.

Kale with White Beans:

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1 19 ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse the kale and slice into strips (hold onto the stem and pull down, whatever comes off it good to eat). When the water is boiling, drop in the kale, stir once, and put the lid back on. Cook the kale for about 15 minutes, until tender.

While the kale is cooking, coat a saute pan with olive oil. Begin sauteing the onion and garlic. Stir in the tomato paste and the red pepper flakes. Pour in the tomatoes, including the liquid. Let the mixture simmer then stir in the rinsed beans. Season with salt and pepper.

By now, the kale should be done. Drain the kale and put in with the beans and tomatoes. Pour in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and let the liquid reduce, tossing the kale and beans. When the liquid has reduced and thickened, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.


  • 1 log of precooked polenta (found in the produce aisle with the tofu)
Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat a small saute pan with some olive oil. Cook the polenta slices until slightly crispy or light brown on both sides. Put the polenta on a plate and top with the kale and beans. Start cooking the polenta while the liquid is reducing in the kale mixture.


  1. I have never heard of kale. What does it taste like?

    Love your blog by the way. I'm going to see if my mom and I can whip a couple of these recipes up over spring break.

  2. Kale is a leafy green vegetable, somewhat like spinach or swiss chard. I don't really know how to describe it, but if you like other leafy greens, then you'll probably like kale.

    And thanks! I hope the recipes turn out great for you!

  3. I can do spinach, never had/heard of swiss chard. Not opposed to leafy greens, so I wouldn't mind giving this a try.

    And bet you would never suspect me being the one to actually comment on some of your blog posts, eh?

  4. haha. well, you didn't seem too put off by my vegetarian ramblings in science class. so, you're not the first person i would expect but certainly not the last.