Before tonight: Kale (BLEH!)
After tonight: Kale (Meh..).
Everyone is talking about kale. Kale this. Kale that. “Put it in your smoothie.” “Add it to your salads.” So here it is, reasons why Kale and I were not friends until tonight:
- Kale does not SOUND appetizing to me.
- I had all these judgments about kale and I never really took the time to get to know kale.
- I would gossip about kale and say bad things about it.
- Kale was a member of the Green family (obviously not my favorite as my heart resides in the family of potatoes and chocolates).
Kale and I were NOT best friends. Tonight, kale and I sat down, talked about our differences, and then I cooked it. With this meal, I didn’t really taste the kale (Go ahead you healthy people. Say it. “See, I told you that you wouldn’t taste it.” Whatever. You’re right. Let’s move on.). I’ll have to use it in future recipes to see how our relationship evolves (Plus, I bought a bag of it at Kroger and I can’t waste it. Maybe I’ll try it with a smoothie).
Tonight was also the first time I have chopped butternut squash. Have you ever done that? It’s not easy (or maybe I’m doing it wrong). Also, a Friends reference could be used for another one of my firsts in the kitchen.
Joey: “Remember when Ross tried to say, ‘Butternut Squash” and it came out ‘Squatternut Buash.'”
4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
3 tablespoons cooking fat (I used coconut oil)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I used a whole onion. I don’t know why anyone cooks with less than 1 whole onion. Onion haters.)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 teaspoon garlic powder because the forecast didn’t call for Vampire prevention).
4 kale leaves, stems removed, leaves finely chopped (I used a bag of kale because the large bunch in the produce section intimidated me).
1 cup finely chopped peeled winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.)
1 pound ground meat (beef, lamb, bison) (I used beef because the others sounded expensive).
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a deep baking dish with parchment paper.
- With a paring knife, slice around the top of each bell pepper and gently pull on the stem (I twisted it gently). Discard the seeded core. Place the peppers in the prepared dish. Bake for 10 minutes, until softened. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom (GENTLY swirl because if it swishes too quickly it gets on the floor. And it’s slippery. And it hurts when it hits your feet. And at least your husband wasn’t home to witness it. And then your dog will try to lick it up. Because you know, that sounds like something that would happen to me. That’s just what I heard happens when you try to do it. Not like that happened to me…at all…). When the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the kale and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon and stirring it into the vegetables, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat is mostly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the squash and cook until the squash is slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Divide the meat and squash mixture evenly among the softened bell peppers. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the peppers look wrinkly and the beef is slightly browned on top.
Recipe: The Whole 30