I used to be strictly a red sauce and spaghetti noodle kinda girl. However, I would like to think my taste buds have matured over the years. (Maybe matured is not the right word, since I still prefer to hide my veggies in other foods so I don’t really taste them.) However, this dish helped me realize that kale really can taste good! Granted it gets a little help from olive oil, garlic, lemon and my favorite, cheese, but this was really good! It even made me give kale chips another try. I still say they taste like broccoli potato chips, but with some ranch, I’ve even learned to
enjoy eat those too. If you are really a lover of greens, you could try this with collards, like they did in the December 2012 edition of Whole Living magazine, but…I’ll stick with kale!
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depends on the level of heat you prefer)
- ½-1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted (or nut/seed of choice, sesame would be good)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- 12 oz spaghetti noodles
- ¼-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (Asiago or Romano)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook garlic and pepper flakes until fragrant, stirring frequently, approx. 30-45 seconds.
- Add kale, and stir until slightly wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in walnuts, lemon zest and juice.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted water according to package directions.
- Once done, reserve ½ cup pasta water and drain.
- Add pasta to skillet, tossing to coat.
- Add reserved water as needed to reach desired consistency
- Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
My kids wouldn’t eat this since it contained a green vegetable other than lettuce or cucumbers, but I thought this was delicious! Light, yet filling, and healthy. The red pepper gives it a nice little kick too, but the amounts can be adjusted to suit your taste buds. It comes together quickly, and my kids just eat plain noodles with Parmesan (they don’t care for sauce) while I enjoy my greens like a big girl!