This simple and delicious kale stew is so easy. As a one-pot meal, it can be cooked in a slow cooker, on the stove, or on a campfire.
I found this recipe on the internet a long, long time ago. Then the last time I went to make it, it had disappeared! I spent a while searching and was unable to find a similar recipe on the web. So this was created from memory, with a few of my own flavor additions.
I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of the slow cooker. We don’t eat enough meat to get around to cooking it in the slow cooker. And I’ve tried a number of dried bean recipes, but they don’t seem to get soft enough. And I’d rather make a huge pot of chili or soup on the stove so we can have lots of leftovers.
At this point, I pretty much only use the slow cooker for baked beans and vegetable scraps stock. However, this slow-cooker kale stew is the exception… It’s so simple, easy, and delicious that I don’t feel the need to switch to a stovetop version.
Tempeh or Sausage?
The original version of this recipe used Italian sausage. The sausage was great for adding fat and flavor to this dish.
I’ve written the recipe to use tempeh, which fits with the vegetarian and gluten-free theme on Berries and Barnacles. (I’ve yet to find a GF vegetarian sausage since Yves switched their recipe.) However, it’s fine to switch back to sausage. Use either:
- 1 lb. Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
- A package of your favorite vegetarian sausage
Cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces and add them instead of the smoked tempeh.
For some reason, this recipe also happens to be one of my go-to camp recipes. I think it’s because it’s a cook-in-one-pot, no-fuss sort of recipe. It also happens to be a favorite with pretty much everyone I’ve served it to. Even the pickiest eaters love it… and since we’re hosting visitors at our shabin campsite all summer long, it’s a good idea to have a bunch of camp-friendly recipes.
Here’s how to take this kale stew at camp.
- The recipe can be made exactly as described, except on a camp stove. Use a thick-bottomed pot, and reduce the cooking time to around 30 to 45 minutes.
- I’ve also made this on a campfire. Campfire cooking is a bit trickier because it’s hard to maintain an even heat. Use a cast iron campfire Dutch Oven. Try to keep a nice bed of coals, and this stew should cook in around 2 hours. Use the potato as a guide for when it is done.
- If running water is an issue, use prewashed bags of kale. Just don’t add it in until the end (just like in the recipe below). The kale is meant to be wilted… not overcooked.
- 1 package of smoked tempeh (see above for details on how to replace with sausage)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large-sized can of diced tomatoes (28 oz)
- 3 cups of water
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 large (3 medium) mashing potatoes, peeled
- 1 small bunch of kale, stems discarded & leaves torn
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of salt, to taste
- Chop the tempeh into bite-sized pieces. Feel free to use Italian sausage for a more traditional flavor. See the section above for details.
- Place the tempeh, onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a slow cooker. Pour in the water and add the salt and pepper. Leave the potatoes whole and push them into the liquid so they are mostly covered.
- Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or 3 to 4 hours on high, until the potatoes are fork tender. See the section above for details on how to adjust the cooking time to cook on a camp stove or campfire.
- When the potatoes are cooked, use a spoon to remove them from the stew. Place the potatoes in a large soup bowl.
- Add the kale to the slow cooker. Stir it in, and allow it to cook while you mash the potatoes.
- Mash with milk, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir the mashed potato back into the stew. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and a slice of fresh bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 543mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g