Chickpea and Kale Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Chickpea and Kale in Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti Squash recipe by @cooksmarts

One of the best parts about running Cook Smarts is that I have to push myself to try new things. Like any other busy home cook, I can easily get into a rut with dinners, but now that I have the responsibility for coming up with inspiring new menus all year long, I've had to broaden my dinner horizons. My latest new adventure involved trying spaghetti squash. I remember discounting spaghetti … [Read more...]

Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage

Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage Recipe

The Italian who decided to combine potatoes and flour to form pillowy gnocchi is an absolute genius in my book. Carb haters can balk, but I can't help but indulge every so often in this rustic Italian creation. There was a time in my life when I would have been happy to create gnocchi from scratch: cooking and mashing potatoes, slowly incorporating flour and eggs until I got the right … [Read more...]

How to prep kale

4 kale recipes by Cook Smarts

Today we're taking a break from our grilling series today to talk kale, everyone's favorite leafy green. In the August issue of Bon Appetit, Jo Robinson discovered that one serving of kale "has more calcium than 6 oz. of milk and more fiber than three slices of whole wheat bread" while doing research for her book "Eating on the Wild Side." To make sure you get plenty of calcium and fiber in your … [Read more...]

Panko Tofu with Kale & Edamame Soba Salad

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My husband was in Japan this week for business, which had me thinking of my two trips there for work in late 2006. I sadly spent too much time in a windowless conference room pouring over numbers with a dozen other Japanese petroleum engineers and businessmen (my old job was so sexy, right?), but I did manage to steal some time to sample some of Japan's amazing culinary offerings: fresh catch of … [Read more...]

Kale & Parmesan Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing

Kale and Parmesan Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing 1

If you're still not convinced that a kale salad can be more than just bird food, you haven't tried this kale and parmesan salad with lemon yogurt dressing. Kale can sometimes be a bit bitter and a bit tough, but if you know how to prepare it, its shortcomings are easily overcome. The key is giving the kale leaves some time to marinate in a dressing. The acidity of the dressing helps to soften the … [Read more...]

Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Kale Curry

Butternut squash, chickpea, and kale curry

This butternut squash, chickpea, and kale curry combination is not likely to be found on the menu of any restaurant. Butternut squash, chickpeas, and kale are not exactly traditional Thai ingredients, but that's one of the most amazing things about a curry. You can honestly throw any random group of ingredients into a pot, and just let the curry sauce tie them all together. In my kitchen, it's one … [Read more...]

Kale Salad with Apples, Fennel, and Candied Pecans | My Favorite Thanksgiving Sides, Part II

Kale Salad with Apples, Fennel, and Candied Pecans by Cook Smarts

When people plan their Thanksgiving menu, salad often doesn't make the cut. It's understandable. I mean when you have 3 types of sweet potato dishes, a deep-fried turkey, and 6 variety of pies, where can you even find room for salad on the table? Salad just seems so everyday and unsubstantial compared to Thanksgiving's heavy hitters. Why waste a coveted spot on your Thanksgiving line-up for raw … [Read more...]

Sauteed Coconut Kale

Coconut Kale Side Dish | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

When I visit the kitchens of my clients, I hear a lot of, "I'd like to be eating more greens, but I just don't know how to make them interesting." It's statements like these that make me realize it's not just children who need some coaxing when it comes to greens. Luckily, most adults already understand that greens are good for them, which is more than half the battle. If all I'm asked to do is … [Read more...]

Kid-Friendly Turkey Meatballs with Kidney Beans and Kale

Kale, Turkey, and Bean Meatballs | How do I get my kids to eat more greens and beans? | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Dear Cook Smarts, I have a young child who's going through his picky-eater phase. He greets all greens and beans with a great big, "ICK!" I'd love to find some recipes that'll get him to come around. Is that possible? Oh dear. While we recognize that parents need to take the lead in helping kids make healthy choices, the will of a child is a force to be reckoned with, and your decisions do … [Read more...]

Hearty Kale, Three Different Ways

How to prepare kale | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Even in California, winter has arrived. Most days I hibernate in my home office, covered in a blanket with a space heater at my feet, craving hearty winter foods. By the time I "leave" work and head [20 whole feet] to the kitchen to start dinner, I often happily turn to kale. There are few greens that are as versatile and simple to make. On any given weeknight, we can make kale the star of a main … [Read more...]