At the gym last week I happened to overhear some guys chatting about trying to lose weight and setting better goals. Pretty normal talk for a gym, I would say, but it took a little turn when an unexpected enemy entered the conversation.
"I'm trying to quit being fat, but I'll never eat any kale," one of the guys said.
I couldn't sit on the sidelines of this conversation any longer. I cannot appreciate kale hate, especially from someone admitting to never eating it.
The closest thing to acquiescence I got was that if it were loaded with bacon he just might eat it. So, gym guy, this burger is for you. It may not be loaded with bacon, because that would be too easy, but I think you'll find this absolutely delicious.
Sure, there's pork involved, but the preparation of the kale here is the real star. Kale chips have gotten a lot of attention in recent years for good cause. Chips are a sort of gateway kale, and once you try them, you'll want to have them all the time and you won't mind kale in all its other applications.
It's great that we get to have kale year round now, but with it still in season here in Georgia you can find an abundance locally.
And no, no other green will better help you meet your health goals, so guys, develop a taste for it now.
Alex and Eleta Morrison live in Macon and write a food blog, Bungalow Kitchen. Visit their blog at bungalowkitchen.wordpress.com or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUNGALOW KITCHEN RECIPES
Kale Yeah Burger with Country Ham Jam and Kale Chips
1 pound 85-percent lean ground turkey
Salt and pepper to taste
Large bakery rolls
Kale Chips (recipe follows)
Country Ham Jam (recipe follows)
Serves three to four.
Form turkey into patties (about 1/3-pound each is best). Top with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Let sit about 10 minutes.
Heat a grill or pan to medium-high heat. Cook about 8 minutes per side if using 1/3-pound, rounding up or down for size. When cooking on second side, add cheese and cover with a pan lid.
To assemble, toast the buns and top with condiments of your choosing. Mustard is recommended. Place burgers on bun and top with Kale Chips and then the Country Ham Jam.
Serve with the extra kale chips and other sides of your choosing. I served with baked beans to complete the burger feast.
1 bundle kale
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pull kale from stalks, cut into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add salt and spices and coat with oil, stirring to make sure kale is evenly coated.
Place in a single layer onto a foil-lined cookie sheet. Cook 10 minutes and turn kale with tongs. Cook until crispy, checking after five minutes.
Country Ham Jam
1/2 pound country ham pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup brown sugar
Render the fat from the ham pieces in a large pan over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes until edges of ham are crispy. Remove from pan. Add onion and vinegar and cook about 30 minutes until onions are cooked to a golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Add the coffee and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and return ham to pan to simmer about 10 minutes.
Pour mixture into food processor and pulse 4 times. Return to pan on low until ready to serve, or place in fridge if you are making ahead.