Monday, June 22, 2015

Hopping on the Kale Bandwagon

Kale has been trending for two years now, maybe more. It's everywhere -- blogs, magazines, cooking shows, restaurants. And since this past winter, it's been in my kitchen as well.

Two winters ago I had the zuppa toscana at the Olive Garden. It may not be my favorite restaurant, bit I really enjoyed the soup. I enjoyed it so much that when the temps hit frigid this past winter I took to Pintrest and played around with a few recipes until I found a variation my family and I liked.

The recipe I made this past week is not exactly new. It's a Cooking Light standby that I have been playing around with for about two years. But last week I finally found the variation my family likes best. The change this time? Swapping out baby spinach for kale.

The kale brings a heartiness to the dish, and stands up well to the quiona I started substituting for the rice over a year ago. And unlike baby spinach, I add the kale to the pot earlier during the cooking process, giving the kale plenty of time to cook down and absorb the flavors of the sausage, onions, and garlic.

Yup, kale has been trending for quite a while. But with the help of this dish, it's now trending in my kitchen, too.

Sausage, Kale & Quiona Bowl
Recipe from Country Cooking


  • 1 lb. sausage -- hot, sweet, or a mix -- casings removed
  • 1 bunch kale, removed from stems, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup uncooked quiona
  • Olive oil


  1. Cook quiona according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven. Brown sausage, breaking into pieces. (You can use a wooden spoon, but a potato masher works great, too.)
  3. Add onions and garlic. Sweat until onions become translucent.
  4. Add kale to pot. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using. You may need to add some more olive oil as the kale cooks down.
  5. Deglaze pot with white wine and let reduce for a few minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add cooked quiona and Parmesan and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

A Note from the Cook: We like to serve slices of a multi-grain bread fresh from our farmer's market on the side for dipping and sopping up any extra juices.

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