Kale…the vegetable of champions. Chock full of fiber and vitamins A (good for the immune system), C (antioxidant), and K (anti-inflammatory) — why is it that a veggie so good for you can’t taste more like…french fries? With such amazing health benefits, I’ve been trying to sneak more kale into our diets. Not only have I been on a kale kick lately, but I’ve noticed that restaurants have been too! Everywhere we go, kale ends up on the menu in one form or another (fancified, of course), and we always end up ordering it.
The bitter, dark leafy greens are SO good for you, but they take a little “finessing” to get them to taste amazing. My go-to method of cooking kale is usually just steaming or sautéing with some garlic for added flavor…but I’ll admit that it doesn’t produce the most exciting side dish. The hubby and I were browsing in Williams-Sonoma (one of my favorite stores) when I came across the Williams-Sonoma Healthy In A Hurry cookbook. The book is full of amazing recipes, but I couldn’t pass up the one named ‘kale gratin’ and it has since become one of our favorite veggie side dishes…and yes, Healthy In A Hurry found a new home on my bookshelf.
This isn’t the traditional creamy, cheesy au gratin you’d see over potatoes, but the light and crunchy Panko topping definitely takes the ‘sting’ out of the kale. The parmesan adds just enough salt and cheesiness to make this feel like a decadent dish without packing on the calories. First, sauté the kale with some garlic to just wilt the leaves, then toss it into a baking dish and top it with the Panko mixture. Pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes and you have a new favorite healthy side dish!
Healthy Kale “Au Gratin” with Panko Parmesan Breadcrumbs
Calories: 100|Fat: 3g|Sodium: 150mg|Sugars: 0g|Protein: 5g
1 large bunch of kale, center rib removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (omit for dairy-free diets)
1 and 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp water
Pinch of black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a medium prep bowl, mix together Panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and olive oil until combined
Spray a medium skillet with non-stick spray
Saute garlic over low/medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute
Add kale leaves to skillet and season with black pepper
Add water, cover and steam for 5 minutes until kale leaves are wilted and tender
Turn off heat and transfer kale to a baking dish (I used an 8×8)
Sprinkle Panko mixture evenly over the kale
Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, until Panko mixture is golden brown
Recipe adapted from: Williams-Sonoma Healthy In A Hurry
Photo source: Lighten Up Recipes