Kale with Red Bell Pepper
Yield: 2-3 servings
This dish is a favorite of Byron Hurt, director of Soul Food Junkies. His mother, Frances Hurt, has been serving this up for years. Follow her tip for cleaning the kale and you’ll never crunch into a bit of soil or sand again.
- 1 large bunch kale
- 1 small red pepper cut in strips
- 1 small onion slice
- 2 small cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 can of low sodium chicken broth
- 2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Remove stems from the kale and remove any yellow or brown spots. Place the kale in the kitchen sink, filled with cold water, and sprinkle with salt (salt helps to remove the dirt and grit). Wash, remove from sink, and replace the old water with new water. Repeat 3 times.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large pot on medium heat, just until hot. Sauté kale 10 to 15 minutes until olive oil and moisture from greens is mostly absorbed. Add brown sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and just enough chicken broth to cover greens. Cook for about 20 minutes, add the vinegar, and cook until tender. Add chicken broth when needed.
While this is cooking, sauté the pepper, garlic, and onions in ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Add the red pepper strips, garlic, and onion, and continue to cook on low heat until all of the ingredients are just tender. Drain most of liquid from kale, and toss with pepper mixture.
This recipe uses healthy olive oil, and calls for less oil and sugar than some other greens recipes. It also has the added health benefit of red bell pepper. Between the kale and the red pepper, this dish is loaded with vitamins and phytochemicals, and packs a powerful nutritional punch.
Frances Hurt is the mother of Soul Food Junkies director Byron Hurt. She grew up eating and preparing traditional soul food. But several years ago, after learning from her son about some of the dangers of the foods she and her family loved, she started cooking more healthy versions of these dishes.
“There’s nothing wrong with soul food. We all love our collard greens, our cabbage, our chicken. It’s just a matter of changing the preparation,” she told The Independent.
In 2004, Frances Hurt’s husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She felt the foods he had been eating contributed to the disease. Doctors originally gave him three to six months to live, but he lived three more years. She attributes at least some of this survival to better food choices.
Recipe courtesy of Frances Hurt.