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These Recipes Will Convince You To Love Kale Once And For All

03/10/2015 10:22 am ET | Updated Mar 10, 2015

If the superstar leafy veggie just isn't your thing in salads, try these unexpected dishes, where the flavor is slightly muted, yet the nutritional benefits are still great.

By Lynn Andriani

  • Simmer It With Sausage
    Andrew Purcell
    A piquant, meaty soup is perfect for kale, since the greens will wilt into the hot broth but not completely disintegrate, as some less sturdy vegetables might; plus, the greens' robust taste can hold its own against two kinds of Italian sausage (spicy and sweet). This stew also includes sweet potatoes, hominy and cannellini beans, so it's an extremely filling meal in a bowl.

    Get the recipe: Kale Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage
  • Bake It Into An Egg Dish
    Alison Gootee/Studio D
    You might not realize just how tasty kale can be for breakfast until you sauté it with onion and roasted butternut squash. Top it with beaten eggs and mild, nutty Fontina cheese; and bake the whole thing until it's just set. And while this frittata is fantastic for breakfast, a wedge of it also makes a winning lunch or dinner, served hot, cold or room temperature.

    Get the recipe: Fontina, Squash and Kale Frittata
  • Puree It Into A Sauce
    ALEAIMAGE/iStock/Getty Images Plus
    Pesto may be best known as a pasta sauce, yet it's such a versatile condiment to have in your refrigerator. You can spread it on sandwiches, spoon it over grilled chicken or serve it with roasted vegetables. This version incorporates eight cups of kale, which has a deep, earthy flavor that nicely complements pasta (especially whole wheat). But there's also two cups of basil, so you still get the herb's fragrant, lemony notes.

    Get the recipe: Kale Pesto
  • Fold It Into A Hot Pocket
    Jonny Valiant
    Empanadas are easy to make if you use refrigerated pie crust; just cut the dough into triangles, place some sort of stuffing into each one, seal and bake. Beef, ham and chicken may be popular fillings, but this vegetarian twist takes a classic salad pairing -- goat cheese and kale -- and is just as tasty as any meat version.

    Get the recipe: Kale and Goat Cheese Empanadas
  • Turn It Into A Seasoning
    Andrew Purcell
    It's true that you'd have to use way more than you'd want to in order to consider this infused kale salt a significant helping of greens, but we're nonetheless smitten with it. The vegetable lends a subtle green tone and earthy taste, and a sheet of nori (dried seaweed) gives it an extra burst of salinity that's just right on top of scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes or roast chicken.

    Get the recipe: Kale Lemon Salt
  • Add It To A Shake
    Thinkstock
    Tossing a few leaves of kale into a smoothie is probably the easiest way for naysayers to consume the green, and this recipe includes some of the best kale-disguisers we know. It has pineapple, cucumber, lemon, mint and artichoke in it -- flavors bright and fresh enough to distract your palate.

    Get the recipe: Pineapple-Kale Juice

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