Kale with Bacon and Cannellini Beans

Image of Kale with Bacon and Cannellini Beans
As it has been established…I love Kale. But what is better than kale…kale with bacon (my most favorite food there is). This recipe maybe one of my favorite ways to cook kale. Unlike my other two kale dishes, this dish tastes less like a winter only recipe and is an easy week night dish, that can be used as a side or often in my case the main meal. People have also used this as a pasta topping or as a room-temp salad. I personally love it warm. There is so much to love about this recipe from the great texture combinations to all the flavoring with the bacon and the balsamic vinegar. I love, love vinegar so if you are starting out try using the original amount and go from there. This is originally a recipe I got from Weight Watchers which I have adapted for my own tastes. Prep time:  10 min.Cook time:  32 min.Serves: 4. The changes are in bold italics:
Ingredients
3 slice(s) uncooked reduced-fat bacon
3 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup(s) (chopped) uncooked onion(s), diced   **I added one medium onion chopped
1 pound(s) uncooked kale, stemmed, roughly chopped   **You can add more kale depending on what ratio of bean/kale you like
1 cup(s) canned chicken broth, or beef broth
15 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar   **I add about double this
1 tsp sugar, in the raw

Instructions

  • Set a large, heavy pot or skillet over medium heat; add bacon and cook to desired crispness. Remove bacon from pot and set aside; leave bacon drippings in pot.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes to bacon drippings (this is a great way to utilize all the parts of the food product and cut down on adding additional calories to a recipe by needed to add extra oil to saute); cook, stirring, until garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to wilt, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth; cover and simmer over low heat until kale is just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes (if you want the kale to retain more of its structure then cook the kale for less time only until it turns the “cooked” green color, instead of cooking it until it is cooked spinach like). Add beans; simmer, uncovered, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in salt, vinegar and sugar; sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve immediately. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.
Weight Watchers Recipe: 248 people rated this recipe Ratings (248); 5 PointsPlus Value
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Red Bean Soup with Hearty Greens

This recipe is a great winter recipe…warm, comforting and ultimately just tasty! It takes advantage of a great winter green, kale, which holds up its integrity/structure in this soup to add great texture. The recipe “Red Bean Soup with Hearty Greens” comes from one of my favorite cookbooks of the moment: Mark Bittman’s “The Food Matters Cookbook”, which are a collection of 500 recipes based off his “Food Matters” approach toward healthy, sustainable, and conscious eating. This soup is great with a slice of hearty multi-grain bread on a cold day in the middle of winter.

I love using recipes as bases for my own interpretation and inspiration. In this case, I hardly had to modify the recipe (the colored writing on the recipe are my notes).

Enjoy!