In any competition there is almost always a winner and loser. However, in the food grudge match between spinach and kale everyone who eats both wins.
Both contenders for the most nutritious green leafy vegetable offer just about the same amount of fiber and protein. Spinach wins for fewer calories, more foliate and higher amounts in iron, as well as more magnesium. Kale does, however; take home the prize for slightly more calcium, as well as more vitamin A and vitamin C.
These two leafy greens are delicious raw and cooked. Refrigerate your spinach or kale in an air-tight bag after you purchase it, but don’t wash it until just before you are ready to use it. If you haven’t used it all in three or four days after you’ve bought it and it’s starting to look a little wilted and drooping, don’t throw it out; freeze it and use it later for soups, a stir fry, quiches or dips.
The following recipes combine spinach and kale together for an unusually delicious twist on some basic recipes.
Broccoli, Kale and Spinach Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large carrot, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound broccoli, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
4 cups spinach, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 can pinto beans, drained
1/2 cup plain yogurt (optional)
Juice from one lime or lemon (optional)
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped onions and carrot and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add broccoli, kale, spinach, broth and water. Mix to combine and then bring the soup to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then reduce to a simmer; cover and cook 15 minutes. Add the pinto beans and cook for another 5 minutes. In a food processor or blender, puree two-third’s of the soup and return it to the pot. (you don’t want to puree it all as you want some chunky pieces). Whisk in the yogurt and lime or lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, reheat and serve. Serves 8.
Spinach and Kale Turnovers
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon mince garlic
3 cups chopped kale
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or grated mozzarella cheese
1 (11.3-ounce) can refrigerated dinner roll dough (such as Pillsbury)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or use parchment paper. Set the cookie sheet aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic; cook for 2 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick. Add kale and spinach and cook for 8 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in the cheese.
Separate dough into eight pieces. Roll each dough piece into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/3 cup kale mixture on half of each circle, leaving a 1/2- inch border. Fold dough over kale mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.
Place turnovers on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat the turnovers with cooking spray; sprinkle the top of each turnover with Parmesan. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving; serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.