cooking with kale

What is dinosaur kale? And how is it different than normal kale? And what is normal kale anyway? Because to me it looks like spinach but Emjay says it’s like cabbage. And do you all sit around eating great piles of it because every second U.S recipe I see seems to use it but I’ve never seen it here.

And what are collard greens? Because we don’t have them either, not by that name anyway.

And what is the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?

And what is the difference between a plantain and a banana?

Because I have a recipe and it says if I can’t find a plantain then to use a sweet potato but I thought I’d be using a banana


12 thoughts on “cooking with kale

  1. Plantains taste more like mushy yams than bananas. Very starchy, but not sweet. They LOOK like bananas, but really… they are not anything like bananas. They are best sliced, smushed between two sheets of waxed paper then fried quickly and seasoned w/salt and pepper. At least that’s how the Puerto Ricans do it. Treat them like potatoes you can’t mash — roast or fry them (better fried, but not better health-wise).

    I know kale is like cabbage when you eat too much of it at once. Ooof! Maybe dinosaur kale is an older strain of kale…. or maybe more intense flavor because it’s older in some way. At least that’s what I think of when I hear “dinosaur kale”.

    Collard greens are just like kale, swiss chard, mustard greens… all those big leafy stemmy winter greens. If you can’t find them, use kale or a chard of some kind. Prep them the same way. I’ll bet they are all related some way.

    I do not know the difference between a yam and a sweet potato other than the color. Yams are lighter in color… maybe they are lighter in natural sugars and carotin (the stuff that makes sweet potatoes so orange) as well? Here in this part of the US… sweet potatoes are ORANGE! and Yams are like a creamy hint of orange.

    • I’ve never ever seen a plantain here. Or a yam, let alone a mushy yam.

      Lol the kale. The recipe I saw for the dinosaur kale, they were using it as a wrap, instead of a tortilla or whatever so I picture it as a large leaf thingo.

      Yikes, I don’t know what swiss chard is either, or mustard greens!! All we really have is spinach (yuk). But we have a lot of asian greens which I like and you can use the stem part as well which is good.

      Our sweet potatoes are orange as well, or purple – they’re good.

  2. Very few Americans eat kale. It used to be big in Scotland, but not any more. I think it’s trendy, but no one makes it at home. It’s kind of blah. It’s in the cabbage family, but it doesn’t form a head. Broccoli is better. Or bok choi.

    Sweet potatoes are really, really tasty, though, and much cheaper than plantains. Apparently there is some African thing called a yam, but yams and sweet potatoes are the same thing here.

    Wikipedia is your friend for these sorts of questions.

    • I thought you guys called sweet potatos and yams the same thing but in this recipe book I bought he tells me to buy both. We have a lot of asian greens here so I’ll probably use one of them instead. Going by the photos I’ve seen I’d say english spinach might be the closest thing we have to kale but I’m not a fan of it. It always tastes kind of earthy. I do have a site bookmarked that tells you what to substitute for whatever, I just got the impression that you were all over there munching away on kale every day.

  3. Kale is best cooked as greens, like turnip greens, or in soup. Cooks well with collard greens, actually, Throw a piece of pig in, that’s the ticket. Takes much longer to cook than spinach. It’s a very hardy plant in the garden, which is probably why there are so many recipes.

    I can’t tell the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. You should eat lots, though, because they are really good for you.

    Plantains are smaller and firmer than bananas. During cooking, a plantain will hold its shape much longer than a banana. I’d go with the sweet potato. Plantains are not so easy to find in my part of the world.

    • Lol, I’m a vegetarian Doug, I’m not likely to throw a slab of pork into anything to make it better. I don’t know what turnip greens are either!! Do you mean like the stalk of a turnip because I’e neer seen them for sale either. I do eat a lot of sweet potato though. It’s my favourite thing after avocado. Definitely never seen a plantain here.

      • Ok, no pig. How do you feel about cornbread?

        The green leafy part of the turnip is edible – best to get a variety bred for it. We cook them in a big pot with mustard green, collard greens, kale, and a the aforementioned meat product. It’s a “southern” thing.

        • Now is the time I have to tell you that we don’t eat cornbread either. You must wonder how we aren’t all falling down with vitamin deficiencies. But we do have lots of lovely veggies here.

  4. Reading the comments here makes me wonder if Australia isn’t more like Asia than the US or Europe. My Asian friends who emigrated here from Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea have told me they had a horrible time grocery shopping when they first came to America. They didn’t recognize any of the products, let alone many of the vegetables in the produce section. I had to take one to the farmers’ market and explain to her what the local veggies were—kale, spinach, beets, turnips, russet potatoes, and parsley. Not that she wanted to eat any of them, lol. She told me her husband preferred meat anyway, and she knew how to cook Chinese vegetables only.

    I am no fan of kale or swiss chard. A friend from Texas made the best collard greens, but you were supposed to eat them on the side with fried chicken. I also think she flavored them with pigs’ feet or salt pork, and I won’t be eating those any time soon.

    • Definitely, we’re so close to Asia. It’s good because even the supermarkets have a wide range of asian greens which I like much better than spinach.
      Pigs feet are not something I’ll be buying soon either.

  5. ilostellis has the plantain/banana thing down. Plantains look like bananas, but they’re firmer and MUCH less sweet. They are pretty good grilled.

    I love me some kale and/or collard greens and/or mustard greens. We typically get a bunch in our CSA box and we’ll fix them with beans and maybe a little ham or bacon. Great stuff.

    • I will have to have a closer look around the markets. I looked at a photo of a bunch of kale and it looked very, ummm tough. Full of fibre I imagine.

      But what is a collard green????

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