Frugal Harvest of Rich Garden Greens

Kale has been the garden green that keeps on giving in our little kitchen garden.  I noticed it's one of the "rich food" examples of green vegetables listed in Rich Food, Poor Food, which I recently reviewed and am giving away.  What a nice bonus that our family doesn't even have to spend anything on purchasing kale from week to week.

My preschooler prided herself in harvesting two little baskets of kale with her own two hands, while I chopped off my basketful with scissors.  This crop is a holdover from last fall, open pollinated Red Russian kale seeds gifted to our family by Sow True Seed.  I've done a poor job of caring for it or keeping weeds out of its growing bed, yet it thrives.  I never imagined this smooth-leaf variety would be this hardy.  Since it is, I feel inspired to do what my grandmother would have done and use every last bit of it.

On the chance that our kale might not thrive anymore once spring succumbs to warmer temperatures, we've been trying to harvest it all.  Over the past couple of days, I've used kale in homemade soups and yogurt smoothies, even made kale chips.
I was pleasantly surprised with a cold kale salad that received mixed reviews at our dinner table.  We mixed up Daphne Oz's King of Greens Salad from The Chew.  My favorite part was the bold citrus flavor from the fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the greens.

After all of that kale-inspired cooking, we still had much left over!  So, I blanched and froze several small containers of kale that can be added later to soups and casseroles.

I had imagined myself tearing out the kale plants to replace them with something else this spring.  They seem so determined to grow, I may just have to leave most of them in place and watch what happens.

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