Last week, one of my friends asked my kids what their favorite meal was and all three of the boys, without missing a beat, said in unison, kale and spaghetti. Not only did I swell with pride, I mostly swelled with laughter. How could I have raised children whose favorite meal has kale as the main ingredient? I didn’t even know what kale was a year ago and certainly couldn’t have anticipated it would hold such an esteemed position in our household. Healthier eating (I first wrote “healthy” but I didn’t want you to get the false impression that we never scarf down a bag kettle chips) is definitely one of the blessings that food allergy has brought into our lives.
Kale is a form of cabbage from the family Brassica oleracea. This family has in it many sibling vegetables including brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower - all unexpected crowd-pleasers (more recipes to follow). When I ran across a recipe a couple of months ago with kale, I thought maybe I should try this kale stuff everyone was raving about. I would try to transform it into a top 8 allergen-free recipe. Sometimes this works and other times, it is an epic fail. By the time I switched the wheat noodles to gluten-free noodles, took out the parmesan and the pine nuts, I realized that I had to basically start completely over. It was in the starting over that I created this recipe that is now a quick, tasty, healthy family favorite. I hope that you will see why!
3 TBSP olive oil
1 bunch of organic kale
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
12-ounce bag of gluten-free spaghetti (or any gluten-free pasta)
Take 1 small container of cherry tomatoes and cut each tomato into 2 or 4 pieces. Add the tomatoes to the oil and garlic. Let the mixture heat up and as it does, smash the tomatoes down with a masher or a fork to get some of the juices out.
This makes a tomato/garlic/oil puree. Season this puree with salt and black pepper to taste.
After cleaning one bunch of kale, tear the kale into small pieces. Do not use the middle vein, just the leafy part. Put one handful of kale into the pan at a time. As the leaves wilt, you will have more space to add the remainder of the kale. When all of the kale has been added, place a lid over the pan for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will flavor the kale well and also make the kale and the tomatoes less tough to eat.
In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and prepare your favorite gluten-free spaghetti (we are using Tinkyada organic brown rice spaghetti). Feel free to substitute with whatever brand or shape of pasta that you so desire. Once the spaghetti is ready, you can either serve the pasta with a spoonful of the kale/tomato mixture on top or you can put the spaghetti in the pan with the kale, toss and serve.
I made this twice last week, upon request, which was awesome because it is very quick and easy to make. I had some left over kale so two nights after this photo was taken, I asked them if I could make it again. Yeah, I was pushing my luck… Enjoy!
SAFETY NOTE: Although this recipe is meant to be top eight (cow’s milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) allergen-free, I cannot guarantee that all of the products that I have used will remain top eight allergen-free. I encourage you to always read food labels thoroughly each and every time you use a product as ingredients and manufacturing practices may change without warning. Please omit and/or substitute any ingredients that are unsafe for you or your family members for ingredients that are safe. If you need help finding substitutions, please let me know and I will do my best to help. If you have questions about whether a particular food is safe for you or your family members, please contact your physician.