This is the dish that turned me into a kale lover. It’s a recipe of my dad’s and it falls into the category of “Narnian Food.” The exact origins of this category are foggy to me (something about a meal the Beavers served Peter, Susan, and Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, perhaps? I’m confident my father will enlighten us in the comments), but basically any dish that has mushrooms, big chunks of onion, small chunks of onion, caramelized onion, crispy brown bits of anything, bacon, potatoes (particularly pan-fried), sausage, or is a stew belongs in this category. A hash of potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and bacon prepared in a cast iron pan is the ultimate in Narnian Food, obviously. (But please note, though similar, this category is different from Hobbit Food. Mostly less braces of coneys.)

I called my dad for this recipe shortly after moving into my own apartment. (Such bad timing–I signed the lease agreement only a few days before meeting Brad. As soon as I met him, I knew I would have been better served by staying at home with my parents and saving for my wedding.) I may or may not have made it to prove to a certain health junkie that I loved kale. And you will, too, if you make it like this.

kale and sausage
makes 4 servings

My dad makes this with Andouille sausage (cut into large coins), which tastes as amazing as it sounds. I’ve also made it with kielbasa and liked that, too. So German! I’ll be honest: I thought this recipe was lost to me forever after Brad and I stopped eating sausage. But! Brad came through with an ingenious spice mix that makes our grass-fed ground beef taste just like Italian sausage.

coconut oil
1 red onion, thickly sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup homemade chicken or beef broth
1 large bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb. sausage, browned (see recipe below)

Melt a spoonful of coconut oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until onions begin to get soft. Add garlic and bell pepper and thank the Lord you have a sense of smell while you cook the mixture for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Place the kale in the skillet (it will probably be too full to stir at this point), cover and let cook on low heat until the kale just begins to wilt. When it does, give it a good stir and remove from heat. Stir in the sausage and serve.

spicy sausage
makes 1 lb.

In this (and all recipes, we’ve found), fresh organic spices make a world of difference.

1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or dried jalapeno (optional)
1 lb. ground beef

Stir all ingredients except ground beef together. Add beef and use your hands (sorry) to mix it thoroughly. Brown in a skillet. If you have a cast iron pan, use it–the beef makes an excellent “seasoner” for the pan. Store leftovers in the fridge or freeze.

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