Coconut Creamed Kale and Scallops

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

I decided to cook my own birthday dinner this year. At 40, I guess it's time to grow up and make a decision. I knew exactly what I wanted and I couldn't think of a restaurant that would make it the way I like it. My coconut creamed kale and scallops was delicious, simple, and done in 20 minutes.

Writing recipes has been a challenge for me because I never measure or make the same thing twice. I like to toss in a little of this and a lot of that like an Italian grandma. Since this is still fresh in my mind, here it goes.

I started by making Jasmine rice both because it is very easy to digest and I thought the flavors would combine nicely with the coconut milk. I always use 1 cup water and 1 cup of my homemade bone broth so the rice is not an empty calorie food, but rather a nutritious punch.

Next, I started on the kale. This was curly kale because it arrived in my CSA farm box, but I often make this with garden fresh collards, Lacinto kale, spinach, or even bok choy. I cut the leaves off the spiny stem and give the stems to my chickens, however you can eat those too. Simply cut the stems very small and cook them a bit longer.

I heated up a bit of home rendered lard (Ok, let's call it what it is, bacon fat that I collect from breakfast) however coconut oil, butter, or ghee would have complimented the dish too. Added to this was some chopped shallot, but red or white onion works nicely too.

Then, in went the greens to wilt for a few minutes and enough sea salt to draw the water out of them. I used an entire shallot, an entire bunch of greens, and an entire can of coconut milk. I poured the coconut milk in and turned it down to low to simmer and soak up the healthy fat.

When the rice was nearly finished and the greens were simmering dutifully, I heated up a skillet to quickly sear the scallops. My fat of choice, bacon fat, went into the pan and I salted the scallops gently. A quick sear, maybe 2 minutes per side, is all they need to avoid that rubbery, "oh no I overcooked them texture".

Just before all three dishes finished cooking at the same time, I grated some fresh nutmeg over the greens and squeezed a lemon over the scallops. These little finishing touches are what make your dishes pop from ordinary to outstanding!

As you can see in the photo above, I plated this into a small dish and I have to admit, it was loved by the entire family, kids and all. I highly encourage you to serve your little ones greens. It may take 3-33 times before they taste it,and don't make a face, but that day will come. Just keep serving it up with love!