Kale Mushroom and Meatball Skillet

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The darker the green the more nutritious a plant is, we have all heard that. And as far as color goes, you can’t get much darker than kale. Now for many this is sort of a strange new vegetable. Your Mom never made it unless you happen to be from Northern Europe or maybe Italy. If you grow it in your own garden and it’s young, it can be eaten raw on a salad. But this time of year and coming from the store, the leaves are more made for cooking. Here I made mushrooms and chicken meatballs to round out the meal. All done and only one pot to clean. I am including a simple meatball recipe, but I have also made this using ready made chicken sausage from Carl, my favorite poultry guy at the farmers market.
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The true advantage of using sausage is it comes on its own ‘keep your hands mostly clean’ dispenser 😉 just squeeze off a portion and ‘dispense’ into the pan, one meatball at a time, kinda like squeezing toothpaste. (If you go with sausage, make sure you know what is in them, as sausage can be an excuse to use up whatever is on hand… The ones I get are awesome, made from skinless chicken breast meat, spinach, feta and some salt, that’s it! )

imageleftovers, ready to take to work

Serves 2 hungry mouths

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 lb of chicken breast, ground (or sausage)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup baby spinach, lightly packed,
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped ( I had shiitake and maitake that needed to be used)
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. To make the meat balls:
  2. Mix ground chicken, chopped spinach and crumbled feta in a bowl, and form into ping-pong ball sized meat balls. If you wet your hand a little, the whole thing sticks less. (If you are using sausage, skip this step)
  3. Clean and wash the kale, then separate the leaves from the tough stems. I usually rip the leaf off, or even strip it off the stem by pulling the stem through between thumb and index finger. Or you can use a knife. Cut or tear into pieces
  4. Heat a little oil in a skillet, add the chopped mushrooms and saute until lightly brown.
  5. Add the meatballs, cook until browned on one side.
  6. Pile the kale on top, all of it (if it looks like it is going to come out of the pan, just add half, wait for it to cook down a bit, then add the rest), add 1/2 cup if water, place (or balance, if there’s a mountain in your pan) a lid on top and allow to cook covered.
  7. After 5 minutes, check to see if there is still any water left, if not, add a little more. Cook until the kale is tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
  8. Add apple cider vinegar, toss and cook another 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

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