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Sesame Noodles with Kale

April 22, 2010

Sesame Noodles with Kale

Recipe: Sesame Noodles with Kale

Cooking Time: Approx 45 minutes

My 7-year-old nephew recently learned in school that kale is one of the healthiest foods out there. He’s right – it is – which is why I have a guilty food conscious every time I walk by kale in the grocery store. Or worse yet, I buy it and let the kale sit in my fridge until it’s on the verge of going bad and then half-heartedly saute it in some olive oil. I want to like kale, I really do. But kale is like that boy you hung out with once who was good looking, smart, and successful and even though you willed yourself to be attracted to him, there was never any spark. I was never one to hang around waiting for the passion to appear. When I met my  husband it was love at first sight. We met on cold winter day in New York. He was standing in the kitchen, smoking a cigarette and wearing polyester pants. I knew immediately he was like no one I had ever met before and the desire to have him in my life was strong and instantaneous.

Curly Kale

Kale, not so much. I’ve cooked kale at least a dozen times, but never fell in love.  Kale is low in calories and extremely high in nutrients like vitamin K, A, and C…it has respectable amounts of fiber, calcium, B6, folate, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and numerous other very healthy-sounding things…the phytonutrients in kale are thought to fight against cancer…You see what I mean? This is a green we should all throw our arms around and adore. Once I heard that my nephew had embraced this chewy and slightly bitter green, I decided it was time to give kale another try.

Noodles in a rich sesame sauce with nutty, spicy and slightly sweet flavors turned out to be just the thing to make kale a little more interesting. The earthy and slightly bitter kale contrasts with the sauce perfectly and the bright green color brings vibrant life to an otherwise brown dish. I like the noodles and kale best at room temperature and think it’s especially good if you add a little grilled or sauteed chicken (and eat with chopsticks).

You’ll come across various types of kale at the store. The one I used for this recipe is green and curly and I thought the flavor was rather mild. The kale with longer, less curly leaves that are a duller shade of green is lacinto kale (also known as Italian, or Dinosaur). You’ll also see curly kale with a purple tinge to it (sometimes called Russian kale). All three can be used interchangeably in recipes; use whichever you think tastes best.

Remove the kale leaves from the stem before cooking

The stems are  tough and chewy, so it’s best to remove the kale leaves before cooking by cutting or pulling them off. Some people boil kale briefly to soften it and remove some of the bitterness, but you can also just chop it up and saute in oil.

Kale is hearty and will keep in the fridge for at least a week or longer, taunting you until you cook it. Let me know if you have any great kale recipes of your own I can try. Although I’m not yet madly in love, I’m intrigued and willing to see how far my relationship with kale might go.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Trish permalink
    April 23, 2010 1:47 pm

    Jen, I’ll take the challenge and try it. But I think I’m going to use some wheat free/gluten free noodles. I’ll let you know!

  2. April 23, 2010 7:17 pm

    Kale chips! my absolute favorite way to eat kale, that and juicing it with green apples ,ginger and or any other sweet fruit.
    kale chip recipe: trim stems, spray lightly with olive oil add sea salt ,bake in the oven for around 15-20 min. taste just like chips.

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