I was introduced to thanksgiving last year by my American friends. It was mayhem. Beautiful beautiful mayhem. We did manage to give thanks but it wasn't one by one around a calm table full of food where we all listened to each other share the things we were grateful for. Nope, it was a crazed frenzy around two tables full to the brim of food (one meat and one vegan/gluten free). I actually found myself trying to protect the vegan/GF table from the meet-lovers as if it was under attack. Then I realised I had to adopt the "if you can't beat them, join them" school of thought, loaded up my plate, rescued my wine, grabbed my girls and sat them down to tell them how much I loved them and how grateful I was to have them in my life especially as a new mum. I'm not kidding, minutes later the hosts, who had been polite and waited for the guests to feast first, found themselves picking at a turkey carcass and sharing a baked potato!
That was a bit of a long intro to this dish. When I was researching thanksgiving food I couldn't believe how different it was to Christmas dinner! So much sweet going on, and so much dairy. I stumbled upon creamed dish after creamed dish often with marshmallows being snuck in somewhere and as much as it just wasn't really my taste range I did get inspired hence this creamed kale recipe.
This is indulgent and rich with flavour. The nutritional yeast gives it a cheesiness and actually it would probably be just the perfect dip (think spinach and artichoke).
Kale is such a nutrient-dense vegetable, we should aim to include it as much as possible in our diets. Not only is it an excellent source of the following: vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese and copper. But it's also a very good source of vitamin B6, fibre, calcium, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin B2 AND a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega 3 fats, phosphorus, protein, folate and vitamin B3. And breath! This should be an overview so I'll briefly mention what is is good for overall which are anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing. It's also cholesterol lowering and believed to prevent the clogging of arteries.
I sort of shred my kale before hand (even though I use a stick blender to cream it at the end) for two reasons: It cooks evenly and it's very easy to blend at the end without making too much mess.
You can use any type of onion, I recommend finely chopping if you're not using shallots.
The ratio that seems to always work for me is to use the same amount of liquid in ml as there is kale in grams (weighed before removing stalks) and the same goes for the nutritional yeast. For example, 250ml liquid + 250g kale + 2.5tbsp nutritional yeast.
It doesn't usually look like there's enough liquid so you'll be tempted to add some more milk or water but hold back until you've used the blender, you can always transfer it back in to the pan and heat through a splash more liquid after.
SERVES 4+ AS A SIDE DISH
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOK TIME 10 MINS | TOTAL 20 MINS
250g kale (weighed with stalks)
250ml unsweetened dairy-free milk + water (I do half and half)
2 shallots/1 small onion/half large onion (finely chopped)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper (black is fine)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil (coconut, olive...)
Heat the oil in a pan that has a lid, I use a non stick wok. Add the shallots and fry until starting to be sticky (or translucent if using regular onion).
Add the garlic stir in well. Fry for just 1 minute.
Add the pepper, garlic powder and salt. Keep stirring for 30 seconds then add the liquid.
Bring the liquid to a simmer then add the nutritional yeast and stir until dissolved.
Add the kale and attempt to mix in but don't worry. Put the lid on.
Steam for 5 minutes but remove the lid to stir the mixture around properly after 2 minutes. Put the lid back on for the remaining 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to cream.
Serve with french bread, nacho chips, over rice or as a side dish.