Tag Archives: kale

Oat groats with roasted acorn squash, kale & Parmesan: $1.32/serving

Another acorn squash ripened last week, and though it was tempting to roast it and freeze it for baby food or another winter-squash soufflé, I knew I had enough on hand to turn it into a light meal on its own. Any whole grains would work here—barley, farro, rye berries, etc.—but you may need to add a little more liquid, as oat groats are on the quicker end of the whole-grain cooking scale. Likewise, other greens (chard, spinach, et al.) can be substituted for the kale. I’m not a huge fan of acorn squash (yes, yes, I know I’m growing it; it came out of a “harvest variety” packet of squash seeds, so I kind of got blindsided), but this dish really brings out its sweetness, and roasting really improves the texture. In fact, I fully anticipated to be either studiously avoiding or resignedly picking at the squash chunks in my bowl, but they ended up being my favorite part.

Continue reading

Harissa rigatoni with kale, sausage & pine nuts: $2.10/serving

Harissa, a North African spice paste made with dried peppers, seems to be having a moment. I hadn’t even heard of it five years ago, and all of a sudden it seems to be everywhere—on TV shows like Top Chef, on restaurant menus…even on the shelf at Williams-Sonoma. In fact, any gourmet store likely to carry a jar of the stuff is probably going to charge anywhere from $9 to $13 for it. Which is too bad, because it’s quite versatile as a condiment—spread on sandwiches, stirred into soups, added to pizza, and tossed with pasta, such as in this quick-‘n’-healthy weeknight dish. Making your own harissa from scratch only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish (most of it passive time soaking the peppers) and is less than half the cost of the store-bought stuff, so it’s easy to make up a batch on a weekend and freeze it in little bags for future use.

Continue reading

Twice-baked potatoes with Guinness onions & kale: $1.35/serving

This is the last of the on-sale Guinness for this year, I promise. But I just couldn’t resist—fluffy baked potatoes with caramelized onions and Guinness and kale and cheddar cheese? It’s just as good as it sounds. Simple, filling, and less than $1.50 for the extremely generous serving you see on this plate.

Continue reading

Spaghetti with bacon & greens: $1.76/serving

What many people out there might not know is that the kitchen in our house, which was built in the early 1940s and is otherwise very charming and spacious, is about the size of a very small walk-in closet. There are 4 very small cupboards, requiring us to keep most of our gadgets and pots in the basement, and the counter space comprises about 2 square feet—enough room for one plate or one pot, with the stove and edge of the sink serving as auxiliary work surfaces. As you can imagine, this prompts much teeth-gnashing on my part, as well as constant dishwashing diligence. Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control, the latter does not get done, as was the case this weekend. Therefore, this may not be the most inexpensive meal we eat this week, but it’s certainly the quickest and easiest. It doesn’t take but 20 minutes from start to finish—and I mean “start” as in taking the package of bacon out of the freezer, not putting food in a pan. Any pasta shape or type of greens are suitable, and you could even swap out the bacon for Italian sausage and balsamic vinegar for a few splashes of white wine if that’s what you have on hand.

Continue reading

Tuscan bread soup with white beans & kale: 67 cents/serving


During the late-summer months, panzanella (bread salad) or pappa al pomodoro (bread soup) made with day-old bread and tomatoes and basil from the garden is a default weeknight meal for us. It’s light yet satisfying, and practically free. This is my attempt at a winter version, using both the innards of the bread bowls I made for roasted garlic soup and the general flavor profile of spicy kale and sausage soup. It’s considerably more expensive when not using produce from the garden, but well worth the effort. In fact, I almost like this version better than the original one with the sausage.

Continue reading

Spicy kale & sausage soup: 80 cents/serving

This hearty yet light-tasting soup is a great way to get kale into the mouths of people who think they don’t like kale. I know, because I used to be one of them. (I’ve always had trouble with the musty, almost farty taste of veggies from the brassica family.) Not only does the overwhelmingly large pile of greens cook down to almost nothing, but the taste of sausage and tomatoes is strong enough to overpower any suspicious cooked-kale flavor that might still be lurking, menacingly, like a black widow in the basement.

Continue reading