Local First is part of the West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition. We are working hard to support our local business community and have joined forces with several other organizations to provide a comprehensive list of all resources available. Learn more >

Join Local First Donate Local First Directory


< Back to Blog



"> {/cf_blog_cat}


Kale is a nutrient packed green that offers unique and delicious flavor to any meal. Kale is a very cold-tolerant plant, making it a staple crop late into the growing season. While kale grown outdoors can be harvested as late as December, kale can also be grown indoors in greenhouses throughout the winter. If you are interested in eating locally grown kale during the winter months, you should visit Real Food Farms on Saturday mornings at Fulton Street Farmers Market

How to Prepare:

Wash kale leaves well, checking the underside of each leaf for soil and garden pests. Remove stems from mature kale leaves by folding the leaf in half lengthwise and stripping or slicing away thick stems. Baby or very tender young leaves may be cooked stem and all.

How to Store:

Wrap kale in a damp towel or in a plastic bag and refrigerate, preferably in hydrator drawer, for up to one week. Leaves will wilt if allowed to dry out. For long-term storage, kale can be frozen. Wash, de-stem, and blanch leaves for 2 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, drain, and pack into airtight containers such as zip-lock freezer bags.

How to Cook:

You can enjoy kale raw, sauteed, grilled, or steamed.

Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini


Ricotta, Kale, And Mushroom Toast


  • Wild mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Kale
  • Fresno chile
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ricotta
  • Country-style bread


Cook wild mushrooms and sliced garlic in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Add torn kale leaves and sliced Fresno chile (seeded for less heat) and cook, tossing, until kale is wilted; season with white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Season ricotta with salt and pepper and spread onto toasted country-style bread; spoon mushroom-kale mixture on top.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit


Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios


  • 1-½ pounds kale—stems discarded and leaves thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon brown miso
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted pistachios, chopped


In a large bowl, toss the kale with the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the sesame seeds, miso and sugar. Gradually whisk in the oil. Add the dressing to the kale and toss well. Scatter the scallions and pistachios on top and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine


Quinoa-Stuffed Kale Rolls with Goat Cheese


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 large lacinato kale leaves (about 1 large bunch)
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-½ cups organic vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and thyme; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until tomatoes are very tender. Remove pan from heat. Add salt; coarsely mash with a potato masher. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add half of kale. Cook 1 minute. Remove kale from pan with a slotted spoon; plunge into ice water. Repeat procedure with remaining kale. Drain and pat dry. Remove center rib from each kale leaf, leaving the leaf whole and uncut at leafy end.

Rinse and drain quinoa. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add quinoa; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons walnuts. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread about ¾ cup tomato sauce over bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Working with 1 kale leaf at a time, place about ¼ cup quinoa mixture in center of leaf. Fold in edges of leaf; roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining kale leaves and quinoa mixture to form 12 rolls. Place rolls, seam sides down, in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over rolls. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining walnuts and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of My Recipes


Winter Lentil Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moons
  • 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into ½-inch-wide strips
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce; optional)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, 1-½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan, if using.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple


Green Tacos


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 cups Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup crema mexicana


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook sweet potato and garlic, stirring often, until potato is tender and just beginning to brown, 8–10 minutes. Add kale and cook, tossing often, until kale is wilted and tender, 8–10 minutes. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve sweet potato and kale mixture on tortillas, topped with avocado and crema.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit