I. Love. Kale. I don’t know what it is about this leafy, sturdy, slightly bitter green, but I just can’t get enough. In an effort to please both my appetite and my husband’s need not to be food-bored into oblivion, I am always looking for new things to do with kale. This amazing side dish actually came out of a need to make a Paleo-friendly dinner for some friends. Have you all heard of Paleo? It seems like the newest diet craze out there! I had never heard of it until our friends who were coming over for dinner told us they were practicing it, so I looked it up-now I am seeing it everywhere!
If, like me, you aren’t as up on Paleo knowledge as it seems everyone else is, Paleo is also referred to as the “Caveman diet” and is based on how our ancestors ate millions of years ago, basically lots of meat and veggies. While I think veggies are fantastic and I love how the diet encourages you to eat as much bacon as possible, I HATE diets. There. I said it. I am sorry, but it’s true. Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, etc. I just don’t work that way. Eat healthy as much as you can. Don’t beat yourself up about that amazing chocolate cupcake once in a blue moon. Be active. Get exercise. I much prefer that way, but to each his own. Please don’t think I said I hate people that adhere to these diets! I quite love our friends who came over for dinner! In fact, it probably all stems from some deep insecurity over the fact that never in a million years would I have the willpower to stick with one of these diets. I tried South Beach in College. My roomie and I went to the grocery store and bought like $300 worth of non-fat ricotta and splenda and I lasted about three hours. Nice work, Tara.
The good news is, having to cook a “Paleo” meal challenged me, and I love a challenge in the kitchen! And I think the results were pretty great if I do say so myself
Bacon goes great with
everything kale. The rich flavor of the bacon works great with the hint of bitterness in the kale. Mushrooms are fantastic period, but especially in this dish. It all works together oh-so-well. And did I mention it is super quick and easy?!
You need just one big sauté pan and your veggies. Fry the bacon until crispy. Then add in kale and chopped mushrooms. Saute until the kale has cooked down and the mushrooms are soft, about 5-7 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Even with the bacon, kale needs salt. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, but you can season to your taste.
While the kale and mushrooms are cooking down, you can make the easiest-ever vinaigrette. Lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Yum.
Whisk together and drizzle over the kale mix. Serve warm. This is a side dish that will please Paleo and non-Paleo devotees alike! If you are not as fanatical about kale as I am, it’s also a really versatile recipe. You can sub in spinach, chard, whatever green you fancy!
What are your thoughts on Diet Plans???
Sautéed Kale with Bacon, Mushrooms, and lemon-mustard vinaigrette
- 1 pound chopped kale leaves (hard stems removed)
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 6 strips thick bacon, shopped
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Lemon-mustard vinaigrette (recipe below)
Heat a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the chopped bacon until crispy. Drain off all but about a tablespoon of bacon fat. Add the mushrooms and kale to the pan and sauté 5-7 minutes, until the kale is cooked down and the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon-mustard vinaigrette and serve warm.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- salt and pepper
Whisk all ingredients together. Season to taste.