Kale Stems 3 Ways – 3 Easy Recipes to Reduce Food Waste

Who knew that kale stems could be used in so many ways? Before I interviewed Sarah Saper in the latest episode of my talk show, I must admit – I used to throw kale stems right in the trash. I had no clue how many ways you could repurpose them, and I’m so excited to share three different methods of reusing them with you!

My beautiful friend, Sarah Saper, developed all three of these recipes and demonstrated two of them – the Kale Stem Pesto and Kale Stem Vinaigrette – on my show (click here to watch!), and we also munched on her Kale Stem Fries, which were so easy to make and so delicious! Sarah actively finds ways to reduce food waste every day, and she also created her own series, #FoodWasteFriday, to showcase ways in which you can repurpose leftover or near-expired foods into new recipes. Check her out on Instagram!

Here are all three recipes for your own eco-friendly enjoyment! Be sure to watch the segment to hear all of her tips and information about reducing food waste in simple ways every day, and to see these recipes come to life!

Kale Stem Pesto
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup lacinato kale stems (previously frozen and thawed or blanched), roughly chopped
  2. ½ cup parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
  3. ¼ cup walnuts
  4. 1 clove garlic, peeled
  5. Zest of ½ of a lemon
  6. ¼ cup - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add the kale stems, parmigiano Reggiano, walnuts, garlic, and lemon zest and pulse until combined and crumbly.
  2. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, adding more if necessary, until fully incorporated and emulsified, and pesto is a smooth paste.
  3. Remove pesto to a bowl and season with salt to taste.
  4. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To Blanch
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add kale stems.
  2. Cook until bright green in color and slightly tender, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove to a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Once cooled, remove to a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
BRI Healthy https://brihealthy.com/

 

Kale Stem Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup lacinato kale stems (previously frozen or blanched), minced
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. ½ tablespoon whole grain mustard
  4. ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  5. ¼ cup olive oil
  6. Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add kale stems, garlic, mustard, lemon zest and juice and whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified.
  3. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To Blanch
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add kale stems.
  2. Cook until bright green in color and slightly tender, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove to a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Once cooled, remove to a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
BRI Healthy https://brihealthy.com/

 

Kale Stem Fries
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Ingredients
  1. Kale stems from 1-2 bunches of lacinato kale, cut to desired length
  2. 1 cup rice flour (or another gluten-free flour blend)
  3. 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  4. Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add kale stems. Add kale stems and cook for 1-2 minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Remove to a large bowl filled with ice water.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the kale stems to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside until completely dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat.
  4. Add rice flour to a large bowl. Toss the dried kale stems in the rice flour until coated completely.
  5. Drop one of the coated kale stems into the oil to test if the oil is hot enough. If the kale stem begins to fry and turn golden brown within 30-45 seconds, your oil is ready.
  6. Fry the kale stems in batches, until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  7. Sprinkle with salt to taste while still hot. Enjoy immediately.
BRI Healthy https://brihealthy.com/

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