We’ve Got Greens!

It’s kale cooking demonstration time! Tis the season to harvest greens and we have a lot of them from our organic Ogier Garden where I work so I decided to do a cooking demonstration showcasing our beautiful greens. Recipes included kale quinoa rolls and autumn vegetable soup.I found both of the recipes I used online (credit given with the recipes below) and I adapted them. Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Organic Greens

Organic Greens

Both of these recipes are vegan. If you are a vegetarian, I do recommend a low-fat Greek yogurt dip for the rolls to increase the protein and calorie content of this meal. Here are some suggestions for flavoring the yogurt to make a yummy dipping sauce. Click to see the image larger in a new window.

Ideas for Greek yogurt dipping sauces

Ideas for Greek yogurt dipping sauces

To begin, find some big kale leaves (dinosaur, lacinato or Tuscan varieties) or use collard greens which typically have large leaves. The curly kale will not give you enough leaf to roll with. Here in Jacksonville, Florida, I had no luck at the conventional grocery stores; but found a nice large bunch of organic lacinato kale at Fresh Market for only $2.50!

Preparing the greens is important and for the best results, you’ll want to blanche and devein the leaves. Blanching involves cooking the leaves in boiling water for a very brief time (~2 minutes) and then plunging them into an ice bath. I’ve used both a large bowl and my sink filled with ice-water with success. Blanching will make the leaves flexible enough to roll and brighten up their color. Wait until after blanching to devein the kale so you can preserve as many nutrients as possible, then take a small knife and simply cut out the thick part of the stalk, leaving the top of the leaf intact.

Kale Rolls with brown rice

Kale Rolls with brown rice

I will also be packaging the complete cooking demonstration lesson plan, recipes, hand-outs, and evaluation forms into a package that will be available for purchase so you can take the work out of preparing for a cooking demonstration and just do the fun parts! Details will be posted soon.

Quinoa Filling

Quinoa Filling

                      Kale Roll Ups

Recipe adapted from Gooseberry Mooseberry


By Alexia Lewis, RD, Wellness Dietitian


  • 25 kale leaves, preferably dinosaur kale (large leaves)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste


Prepare Kale

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  2. Wash kale leaves thoroughly
  3. Add leaves to boiling water and blanch until softened and flexible, about 2 minutes
  4. Drain and rinse under cold water and pat dry
  5. Remove about 2-3 inches of the thick middle stem from each leaf

This step can be done ahead of time. If not using kale immediately, after cooking, pat leaves dry to remove excess water, wrap all leaves gently in a paper towel, and seal in a plastic bag with air squeezed out in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 Prepare Stuffing

  1. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in pan over medium heat
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes
  3. Add mushrooms and cook about 8 minutes, until the water the mushrooms give off has evaporated
  4. Remove pan from heat and let cool
  5. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cooled mushroom mixture, tomato, parsley, chives, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tbsp canola oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and set aside

This step can also be done ahead of time. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make Rolls

  1. Place one kale leaf vein-side down and put 1-2 level tablespoons of the filling in middle of leaf
  2. Fold the leaf from the bottom over the filling
  3. Tuck one side of the leaf over (the other side will remain open)
  4. Roll the leaf into a tight roll and place on plate/platter with edge of the leaf under the roll to keep roll from unrolling
  5. Repeat with remaining rolls

These can be served warm or chilled and can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If any of the previous steps were done ahead of time, subtract the number of days those ingredients were already stored from the number of storage days.

Makes approximately 20 servings (1 roll per serving): 47 calories, 1.8 g fat (0.1 g sat, 0 g trans, 0.5 g poly, 0.9 g mono), 0 g cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 202 mg potassium, 6.5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

                      Autumn Vegetable Soup

Recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine


By Alexia Lewis, RD, Wellness Dietitian


  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 cups kale or other greens, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, beefsteak or vine, diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, diced
  • 1 can black-eyed peas, low sodium, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring broth and water to boil in large pan over high heat
  2. Add kale, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes
  3. Add tomatoes and butternut squash, cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 15 minutes
  4. Stir in black-eyed peas, cover and simmer about 2 minutes
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Makes approximately 20 servings (1 cup per serving): 70 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 373 mg potassium, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

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