A Simple Side: Chili and Garlic Kale


I often get stuck in a rut when it comes to side dishes. For regular day to day cooking, I don’t want to go all out on a fancy accompaniment to a meal, especially if I have put a lot of effort in to the main component. Most often, I serve a simple salad, or blanched and sauteed vegetables on the side, but it can be boring, especially when not drizzling with olive oil for extra flavour and luxury, something I no longer do. More often than not, Mat finishes his meal having devoured the main constituent and just picked at the sides.


Cooking for guests is easier. I feel happy to put more effort into every aspect of the dish and I usually have more time, not quickly trying to feed the two of us after lectures or work, before we eat the biscuit tin (tin and all). I love to roast veg with blends of spices and fresh, fragrant herbs, or make various, exciting salads with flavoursome dressings and crunchy toppings. That’s just too time consuming and expensive for every day meals.

Thus, my latest home cooking challenge for myself has been to create more exciting side dishes that are quick, delicious, light and don’t require expensive ingredients like highest quality oils, exotic produce and nuts and seeds.


This dish ticks all the boxes and is so simple I can’t believe I haven’t been making it all along! It’s an effortless combination of kale, chili and garlic that just works so well and will liven the most boring plate of food and most bored feeder.


Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 200g kale, leaves stripped (stems given to bunnies or other suitable nibblers)
  • 1 chili (adjust according to heat preference, remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat a cast iron skillet or non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Rinse the kale and add to the pan (it will wilt in the excess water from rinsing the leaves).
  2. Add the sliced chili and garlic and saute, stirring all the time to ensure it doesn’t catch, until the kale is wilted but still al dente and the chili and garlic fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot from the pan.

Calorie Count :: New Recipe

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This entry was posted in Egg-free, Gluten-free, Side dishes, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A Simple Side: Chili and Garlic Kale

  1. sophiazerg says:

    You just gave me an extra idea on what to do with the million jalapeno peppers I have from my garden! Looks great πŸ™‚

    • Poppy says:

      Yay! My chili plants didn’t fruit this year 😦 I tried a different brand of seeds but I think I’ll go back to my trusted next year!

      • sophiazerg says:

        Oh no! Here in Montreal it rained so much for the first part of summer, I really think it affected our crops, we barely had any sun and my cherry tomatoes (as well as some friends) barely fruited either…it was a weird season this year.

      • Poppy says:

        Yes same here, we basically had two winters with lots of late snow. Other things seem to have done OK though so I’m wondering if they just weren’t the best seeds, we’ll see!!

      • sophiazerg says:

        Are you in the UK, Poppy?
        Yes, very likely it was the seeds! That has also happened to me before. Stick with the ones you know next year! πŸ™‚

      • Poppy says:

        Yes I am, sorry I should have said that!! Definitely will stick to the ones I know next year, from the South Devon Chilli Farm, they were incredible last year, they fruited like mad and on my windowsill! Jamie Oliver uses them so they must be good because he’s chili mad!

      • sophiazerg says:

        So cool!
        Sounds amazing! I love Jamie Oliver πŸ˜‰
        Have a great one!

      • Poppy says:

        Me too! Thanks Sophia, you too! πŸ™‚

  2. Very curious for this recipe! I’m on a Kale Quest for months now, here in Belgium we don’t seem to sell it 😦 I have a friend in the U.k who is going to send it by post if I don’t find it by the end of the month πŸ™‚ (does it smell?) This will be the first recipe I’ll try out πŸ™‚

    • Poppy says:

      Ah what a shame you can’t find it! It keeps rather well I think so I don’t think it will smell, especially if its wrapped in a plastic bag in the package. It’s really easy to grow so perhaps you could try that? πŸ™‚

      • That would be a better idea πŸ™‚ the quest for Kale seeds begins ( and now is the time to plant them! ) do you grow them?

      • Poppy says:

        I’m sure you’ll find seeds online if they’re not available near you. I’ve planted kale for the first time this year and it was so easy, I pick the young leaves which are great for salads!

  3. Sophie33 says:

    You make it the same way as me! I love that you used a yello chili in here. πŸ˜‰

  4. bonappecait says:

    Kitty & Kale! πŸ™‚

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