Okay, remember when I confessed that I’m the biggest fan of kale? And then I made this recipe, guaranteed to win over any kale-hater (like it did for me…well, let’s not go too far. I’m still not craving the stuff but I am buying it weekly to find different ways to cook with it. So there!) Well, I am at it again in my kitchen with this easy vegan creamy pasta with, yup you guessed it, kale! I will not rest until I make kale a friend of mine, dagnabbit. I’ve realized that it’s just way too good for me–full of vitamins and minerals benefiting my little bones, that I really shouldn’t be missing out on it. And neither should you. Let us not feel left out anti-kale people. Let us…okay I will shut up now.
Part of my hang up on kale is how it can have a bitter, earthy flavor. So one day I thought, What if I finely minced this bad boy like it were parsley, would that take the bitterness out? Let’s be real, the truth is that I needed parsley for a pasta dish but only had kale on hand so I figured it would do and then accidently came upon the fact that it worked like a charm. I love it when that happens.
The easiest way to do this is by removing the stems, gathering a handful of kale, and then rolling it up and thinly slicing it. Mince it as you would like parsley and then put an entire handful into your dish. It’s the perfect way to sneak those leafy greens into dinner. I find that the smaller the bits are the less I am able to fully taste the flavor while still infusing my dinner with nutrients and goodness that I need as a growing kid.
- 1 c. cauliflower
- ¾ c. nondairy milk
- 1 Tb vegan butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Gluten-free pasta (enough for 4), cooked according to package
- 2 cups raw kale, stems removed and finely minced + 2 Tbsp. for garnish
- ¼ c. sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
- Toasted pine nuts for garnish
- Place cauliflower and 1 c. water inside, cover and bring to a boil. Steam for 5 minutes and drain the water. While the cauliflower is steaming, in a skillet, heat butter and sauté garlic and shallots until nicely browned (about 7-10 minutes).
- Place cauliflower, salt, and browned garlic and shallots into a blender with ¾ c. nondairy milk. Blend until smooth. Add milk by 1 Tbsp. if it's still too thick. Remember that this is replacing heavy cream so you don't want it to be runny but a thick heavy cream-like consistency. Season according to taste.
- Add drained pasta, tomatoes, and kale to the skillet and allow it to heat up again. Throw in the cauliflower "cream" and stir until everything is completely coated. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or just until ¼ of the sauce has dissipated. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.