Simple Side Dish – Kale & Cannellini Beans

I am constantly on the lookout for tasty, nutritious side dishes.
They’ve got to be quick to prepare too because, 9 times out of 10, this is me as the entree is just about ready:

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Who’s with me?  O_o

This dish is pretty tasty, quick  and, even if the kids pick out the kale, it’s still not bad for them.  The beans are perfect for my youngest to pick up and eat by herself, my oldest is “totally cool” with them – win, win, win.

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Step 1:  Clean & cut about 3 cups of kale – wash each leaf thoroughly then tear the leaves away from the rib and into bite-size pieces.

Ok, you got me.  This step is one you need to do in advance.  Luckily kale keeps pretty nicely in a ziploc bag or Tupperware.  You could also cheat (like I do) and buy pre-prepped kale.  It’s not as expensive as you might think, plus I was finding a LOT of extra grit in my kale bunches which was not helping my “kale is yummy” campaign at all.  I wash the pre-prepped stuff and pick out the bigger stems which takes all of about 5 minutes if the baby isn’t screaming to be held.  😉

Step 2:  Open & drain a can of cannellini beans.  I’ve not tried any other beans, but I suspect white or red kidney beans would work well too.

If you rinse anything out of a can you can drastically reduce the sodium content.

Step 3: Saute the kale in the fat of your choice.  I like using infused olive oils with a clove of garlic (or 3).  Heat these together in the pan until the oil is nice and runny (more like water than oil when you run it around the pan).  While these two are having their little relationship in the pan, pour a bit of the oil over your kale and coat the leaves as evenly as possible.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Once the pan is ready, carefully add the kale.

Kale cooks down really well, so don’t worry about the mountain just put in the pan!  You’ll end up with about 1/3 of what you started with.

Step 4:  Add the beans, stir and heat through until you get that nice slightly brown toasty goodness on them (you know what I’m talking about!).

Step 5:  Add bacon bits and/or Parmesan cheese  to boost the “wow” factor and enjoy!

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Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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