One Sunday afternoon, as I waited outside of Whole Foods for Dan and Scarlett to meet me, I sat catatonic. It was around 2pm and I was hitting the proverbial wall. As I focused my eyes, I realized I was staring at something interesting. In the window was a list called the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). A ranking system created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat Right America — Food Scoring Guide and Disease Proof your Child: Feeding Kids Right, it measures the density of various vitamins and nutrients in foods. Kale was at the top of list with 1,000. Broccoli was 376 and a banana was 30. As a health and nutrition enthusiast (read: nutcase), I'd always heard about the benefits of Kale, but create a list and you're speaking in the terms my fried mind can understand. Suddently the search for Kale recipes was on.
The next morning, my friend Adriana and I nursed coffees trying to come up with some ideas for dishes with kale. We figured we could use it like spinach and decided mini-quiche would be something fun that our girls would eat. (Adriana's daughter is Scarlett's "best friend," but they love and hate like sisters.) After researching various recipes and distilling what we liked best from all of them, we created the one below.
The only part of a quiche that we didn't want to use was the fatty crust. After throwing around a few ideas, we decided phyllo pastry was worth a try. Wish us luck.
Cutie Kale Quiche
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of fresh, shaved parmesan cheese
3/4 a bunch of kale
3/4 of a cup of 2% organic milk
four sheets of phyllo pastry
1 1/4 tablespoons of olive oil
a pinch of pepper
Preheat your oven to 350.
We started by cleaning the kale in cold water and Adriana trimmed the stems.
After chopping the garlic and onion, we sauteed them in a pan with a tablespoon of oil. We kept the pan on low heat and added the kale to wilt. We stirred often to coat the kale.
As the mommy's did the kale prep, Scarlett broke and beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl and stirred in the milk plus pepper while Audrey grated the parmesan cheese. I should mention that as Adriana and I did the prep work the girls decided quiche called for costumes. When we called them to the kitchen, Audrey had fancied herself up in Scarlett's Cinderella costume (she amazingly agreed to share that one!) while Scarlett arrived in her flapper/belly dancer/flamenco number. I just crossed my fingers that we wouldn't also be eating the trillion gold coins that dangle from Scarlett's dress bodice.
When the kale was fully wilted and deliciously coated with the garlic and onion, we poured the whole mixture into the cuisinart and blended until fine.
Before our next step, the girls worked themselves into a snit about sharing the larger step stool. The gloves (or shall we say costumes nearly came off), but, luckily, sharing prevailed and we successful made the switch. It was now safe to blend the egg and milk mixture with the cheese as well as the kale in a large mixing bowl. We set it aside.
Adriana and I cut four sheets of phyllo into sizes that would fill my ramekin bowls. The girls lightly brushed the bowls and the inside layer of phyllo with olive oil. All four were placed on a cookie sheet. Cinderella and Ginger Rogers slowly poured the green egg mixture into each, leaving a few inches at the top.
We baked the quiche for about 30–35 minutes, or until firm. The garlic and onion gave the kale a great flavor. My husband, who would rather eat our coffee table than anything healthy, thought they tasted "great". Later that night, Scarlett ate two for dinner with some fresh fruit. Audrey had hers for a snack before the girl's gymnastic class, and generously shared them with two of their friends. One loved it, the other turned his nose up at it immediately. Not everyone lives happily ever after with kale quiche.