This garlic creamed kale deserves a centerpiece spot on your holiday table. It deserves a spot on any table this winter, really, given how easy, delicious and decadent yet healthy it is. I’m new to this whole recipe development thing – in fact, it’s part of the reason I started a food blog – so imagine my utter delight when I nailed this one on the first try. You see, I’m a good cook. Meaning, I can follow any recipe, even if complicated. But, given my type A personality and need for perfection, I really hate going off script and improvising. It’s so risky! But, this new endeavor has forced me to get creative – to use what I know about cooking and try my hand at being a chef. It’s not easy, but I’m finding my footing.
This garlic creamed kale was inspired by a cozy meal at Cashion’s Eat Place in Washington, DC, where I used to live. Sadly, Cashion’s has since closed, but my memory of it can live on with this dish. It was served aside a bison ribeye on a cold winter night, and it was a rib sticking, lip licking dish that suited me and the weather perfectly.
When deciding what to use for the cream, it was a no brainer. Nutpods non-dairy creamer has not only revolutionized my coffee game, but I think it’s the best non-dairy creamer for cooking. I find coconut milk alone too overpowering in many dishes. The blend of almond and coconut milks in Nutpods provides the best balance and cream replacement, in my humble opinion. Not sponsored, just love the product.
I use arrowroot starch to thicken the cream sauce, making a slurry with it first so it doesn’t clump. The thickening properties of the arrowroot starch degrade over time when left on the heat, so make sure the kale is ready to be added to the sauce as soon as it thickens up (about 30 seconds after adding the starch).
I hope you enjoy this garlic creamed kale and wow your holiday guests with this great dairy free option!
Note: Despite using 2 full bunches of kale, I’d say this recipe realistically serves 3. It’s 2 hearty portions, 3 normal portions, or 4 scant portions. Adjust accordingly based on your appetite!
- 2 bunches kale (I used lacinato)
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3–4 medium cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 cup Nutpods (you can use coconut milk if you prefer, but I haven’t tested it this way)
- Set a large stockpot filled with water over high heat
- Remove thick stalks from kale
- Make arrowroot slurry by mixing arrowroot powder with cold water (keep it cold – put it in the fridge if you have to)
- Meanwhile, in a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee over medium heat
- Sautee garlic for 1-2 minutes, until you start to see some color
- Add Nutpods to the garlic, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until reduced by about half (10 minutes)
- While the Nutpods reduces, blanch the kale in the boiling water about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, depending if you want the kale to have some bite or not
- Strain kale and run under cold water to stop the cooking process
- Wring out the kale and remove as much water as possible. Chop up the blanched kale
- Add arrowroot slurry to reduced cream sauce, and whisk until mixture thickens, about 30 seconds
- Add kale and salt, and stir to combine.
- Remove from heat once kale is reheated
- Serve and eat!