5 Kale Dinners

Challenged by Food52, here are five kale recipes! Spanakopita, Sushi Bowls, Kale and Eggs, Chimichurri, and Spanish Chickpea with Kale!

Kale Chimichurri / loveandlemons.com

In case you weren’t getting enough kale in your life…

This week, I was thrilled to contribute to Food 52’s Halfway to Dinner series. The challenge was to make a few bunches of kale stretch into 5 nights of relatively simple meals. You don’t have to twist my arm to cook kale so it’s a challenge I gladly accepted. (Although after “week-of-greens” I’m pretty sure my husband Jack is out eating fried chicken somewhere…)

Kale Spanakopita / loveandlemons.com Sushi bowl with crispy kale / loveandlemons.com spanish chickpeas with kale / loveandlemons.com kale & eggs / loveandlemons.com

kale chimichurri

Serves: makes about 1 cup
  • ½ cup raw kale leaves
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinches Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • splashes Lemon juice (optional)
  • serve with: grilled fish, meat or veggies, sauteéd kale on the side
  1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, then drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to run the food processor.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Tip: this is bold in flavor on its own, so I suggest tasting it with a bit of whatever you're going to be serving it with before adjusting). Spoon on top of fish, meat, or veggies.
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kale spanakopita triangles
Serves: about 15 triangles
  • 5 leaves of kale (blanched), about 1 cup of cooked kale
  • 1 cup of feta
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup scallions
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • pinch of pepper flake
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 6 sheets of filo dough
  1. Chop and blanch the kale in salted boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain* (see note)
  2. Place the kale in a medium bowl and mix in the feta cheese, garlic, scallions, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Your filling should stick together, if it's crumbly, add some warm water a little at a time. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. To assemble, place 2 sheets of filo on your work surface.** Brush it with melted butter, and slice it into 5 vertical strips. Place a teaspoon of filling at the bottom of each strip and roll it up, flag-style.
  4. Repeat the process until you run out of filling (you'll have around 15 triangles). Brush the outside with butter and bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
If you're using fresh feta cheese that's on the wet side, you'll want to squeeze most of the excess water out of your blanched kale. If you're using the more-dry crumbly kind, you can leave the kale a little on the wet side because you'll need the moisture to help bind everything.

*as you work, keep the extra filo dough under a damp towel so it doesn't dry out.
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sushi bowl with crispy kale
  • 2-3 kale leaves
  • olive oil
  • cooked brown rice (3/4 cup, or so, per bowl)
  • rice vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt & pepper
topping suggestions:
  • avocado slices
  • edamame
  • chopped nori (easiest to cut with scissors)
  • pickled shiso leaf or pickled ginger
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • optional: bonito flakes
  • serve with: soy sauce mixed with a bit of rice vinegar & sesame oil
  1. Toss kale with olive oil and salt and bake in a 400 degree oven until crispy but not completely charred (6-8 minutes or so, check often, you may need to rotate it halfway). Chop and set aside.
  2. Toss rice with just a bit of rice vineger and a pinch of sugar. Place the rice in bowls and assemble your toppings.
  3. Mix soy sauce with a bit of rice vinegar and sesame oil and serve in little bowls on the side.
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spanish chickpeas with kale
Serves: serves 2 (3-4 as a side)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1½ cup chickpeas, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ bunch kale, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • splashes Lemon juice (optional)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, a pinch of salt, and cook until transluscent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, paprika, and saffron. Stir, and cook until just aromatic, about 30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn.
  3. Add the chickpeas and a bit more salt. Stir to incorporate. Turn the heat of the burner up a bit, and let the chickpeas cook until they begin to turn golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the sherry vinegar and tomato paste, then the kale. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the kale is just wilted. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a little lemon juice if necessary.
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kale & eggs
  • ¼ cup crushed tomatoes (can be from a can)
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 cup chopped raw kale
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese (optional)
  • chopped scallions or chives
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-2 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In an individually sized baking dish, mix the tomatoes with paprika, salt & pepper and layer it on the bottom.
  3. In a separate small bowl, toss kale with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Place the kale in the baking dish on top of the tomatoes. Top with feta cheese and chopped scallions.
  4. Crack 1-2 eggs into the dish and bake until set. About 10-12 minutes. (Or fry the eggs separately and place on top). Finish with some freshly cracked black pepper.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Sasha from chezsasha.com

    All these look great! I love that you used a marble board for the surface. It makes all the photos look so clean and minimal. I love it 🙂

  2. Asoares

    The Spanish Chickpeas with Kale was delicious! Good mix of flavours:) We ate every bite so my only complaint is that there was not more.

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked it! it’s one of those that I make again and again 🙂

  3. Jolie

    What’s the best way to store the crispy kale for the sushi bowls, as I’d like to make this ahead of time if possible? Many thanks for the wonderful recipes!

    • jeanine

      hmm… I would probably put it in a bowl, loosely cover it and leave it out at room temp. Of all the parts to make ahead of time, the rice would be most convenient since it takes the longest. The kale is really quick at the end.

  4. Kankana from playfulcooking.com

    Lovely and that kale egg looks YUM, also the sushi bowl.

  5. Kathryn Louise

    thanks for all these ideas for Kale!!!

  6. Lindsey from dollyandoatmeal.com

    i just made chimichurri last night with parsley, it never occurred to me to make it with kale. thanks for the great ideas!

    • jeanine

      You’re welcome… yea I wasn’t sure how that one would go, but it was really good! I just subbed in for half the parsley…

  7. Sarah from thesugarhit.com

    Your photos make me want to eat your food. AKA perfect food photography.

  8. Tieghan from halfbakedharvest.com

    Wow!! Al of these look delicious and I love kale!

    Congrats on food 52! I love that site!

  9. whitney from seeshopeatdo.com

    these all look delicious! i only really make salads with kale which are good but get a little boring.

  10. Connie from heshewee.wordpress.com

    I would happily eat every one of your Kale dishes. They look amazing 🙂

  11. Justina from onedomesticgoddess.wordpress.com

    I am amazed by your creativity and diversity of ethnic food. It’s always really interesting to see what you’ve got cooking. You live in Texas, right? Where does your Asian influence come from?

    • jeanine

      ha, thanks! Yes I live in Texas, but I’m hardly Texan… I didn’t grow up here and also Austin is pretty diverse, especially for food. I’ve also traveled a bit… When I don’t know what to make I usually start by thinking of someplace I’ve been. (and I loved Japan and Japanese food).

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.