Meet Kale, My Mid-Life Love Affair

Guest Post by Author, Beth Hermes, of eIris Marketing

Everyone needs a good midlife crisis love affair to maintain a healthy relationship. At least, it’s healthy if the love affair is of the dark green leafy variety, and the relationship is with food!


I first heard about Kale during one of my pre-dawn escapades – which I highly recommend, by the way.


Although he applauds my dedication, my husband thinks I’m crazy to wake up every morning at 5 am and trek 15 miles to an indoor Boot Camp class, while he takes advantage of another two hours of relative quiet before he starts his day.


It’s selfish, really. Some of my best friends are those whom have never seen me in makeup, and with whom I spend an hour every morning doing running drills and swinging kettle balls and jumping rope – and chatting – often about food, and ingredients or recipes we’ve tried that pleasantly surprised our palates.


It was during one of these chat sessions that one of my workout partners mentioned running out of kale.


“Running out?” I asked. “I’ve never had any in!”


She laughed and asked if I liked spinach. “Of course,” I said.


“Well, you use kale like you would spinach. It’s similar, but with a bit stronger taste,” she said.


So I set out to find myself some kale and cook it like I would spinach: tossed in a pan with some freshly pressed garlic and olive oil. I was pleasantly surprised that it went well with the portabello mushrooms I made for dinner.


I had some left over, so I tossed a few leaves in with my scrambled eggs the next morning and fixed a kale omelet. Delicious!


While shopping for edamame in the frozen food aisle, I stumbled across my new friend Kale, neatly packaged and frozen, so I picked up two bags, and started using kale in EVERYTHING I cooked: on top of baked potatoes, in my omelets, as a side dish for practically everything.


Then came the night I was preparing a pot of tortilla soup. With New Year’s Resolutions in full-swing, my husband and I have been avoiding processed foods like tortillas, and dairy. The soup looked a little bland, so I poked around the kitchen to see what else I could add..


It never hurts to add a few more vegetables to any soup, so I opened the freezer to see what I had, and there it was – the bag of frozen kale. I hesitated, wondering if I might simply be kale-obsessed, but what’s so wrong about adding more Vitamins A and K to a dish? And when it comes to potassium, nothing can beat my new favorite veggie.


So I slit the bag and dumped half of the contents into the crock pot, then stirred it, until no hint remained of the ice crystals or its time spent in the dark recesses of my freezer.


As the soup began to bubble once more, the delicious aroma filled my senses, and I glanced at the bag lying on the counter, still half full of frozen kale.


I was momentarily overcome by the idea of a thicker, more vitamin-rich soup, and I emptied the contents into the crock pot, wondering what my husband and son would say if they discovered my secret.


Actually, to my amazement, they loved the kale-rich soup almost as much as I did!


Later that week, I met a friend for coffee and I admitted my obsession with kale, lamenting over my early years when I thought of kale simply as eye candy to dress up the flower pots in my autumn garden.


“I’ve been cooking with it for years,” Fran told me. “Some people think it’s bitter, but I just love it.”


She shared my obsession with kale in soups and side dishes, and I admitted my fondness for kale omelets.


Thinking I had taken quite a risk with kale, Fran then threw me a curve ball. With a twinkle in her eye, she smiled and said, “If you like kale, you’re going to love chard…”

Beth Hermes, is the Author of the Lightbearer’s series of novels, Writing coach and Writing Instructor at Kennesaw State University and at private venues around Atlanta. She’s also a HOOT! and we love her dearly. Please give her a big Veggie Welcome in your comments.


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11 thoughts on “Meet Kale, My Mid-Life Love Affair

  1. What a super-fun post! And, talking of super, I think Dr. Oz called Kale a super food. “Spinach on steroids” is the phrase I heard. Wild Bill uses kale in smoothies (though I still prefer the spinach there) and doesn’t quite blend it all in. We like the texture, and the fiber lengthens the digesting time so sugar’s not dumped on the liver all at once! Well, who cares how it works? The fact is, kale works wonders and tastes GOOD. Wild Bill seconds that.

    1. So true, Ms. Casey! And kale stems are full of potassium so be sure to include them in your recipes. And there are so many varieties and taste differences. I recently tried a really spicy one from a local farmer — amazingly good! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Oohh .. I love Kale!! I have a great kale salad I make and have you made the kale chips?? Yum! You’ve got me craving it now. That soup sounds amazing. i think I will have to try dumping it into mine next time I make some. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Kale is so wonderful. As a self-proclaimed green freak, kale is on my list of top three favorites. It is full of beautifully textured leaves and a taste so perfectly bitter-sweet that it makes tastebuds swoon.

    I love it raw and as “chips” but have never tried kale in a soup. What a wonderful idea. I think the next twenty below morning will bring me to create a kale soup masterpiece! Thanks for opening my eyes!

  4. Kale. Love it but dont eat it enough. I usually roast it with some other vegetables or put it in soup. Tried to make some Kale chips once but they didnt turn out so great. Thanks for linking up with TALU.

  5. I was skeptical about kale at first, but like it better than spinach and in a different way than collards. It was fun introducing my 80something Dad to it. A country boy, he was open to it, but became skeptical to putting it into soup. Once was all it took!

    Good eats, and a wonderful post Beth!

  6. I’m also a recent convert to the glories of kale. We’ve been adding a handful of it to our green smoothie in the morning, and like you, I’m starting to add it to just about everything. My fave so far is sauteing a HUGE handful of it, chopped fairly fine and then adding it to macaroni cheese. Even the youngest veggie-averse child enjoyed it.

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