It’s the veggie side/breakfast entree you never knew you were missing. But you absolutely have been.
Because you can start out your day with far worse breakfasts – my personal favorite, after all, is kolache and a diet coke – but to squeeze in two servings of leafy green veggies, some protein, and a slice of bacon? That’s tough to beat on the pretty-nutritionally-amazing-and-still-delicious scale.
I owe the creation of this sauteed kale and spinach dish to my friend Kelly. She introduced me to a steam-in-bag kale that includes 2 large medallions of “balsamic bacon butter.” (You can probably find the same stuff in the refrigerated section of your produce department.) It’s pretty good stuff.
But since I’m currently EightSevenPercenting a Whole30, I wanted to make a cleaner at-home version without the butter and with more pronounced balsamic and bacon components.
The dish contains a lot of strong flavors: kale and spinach (although milder in “baby” form), balsamic vinegar, garlic, and bacon. Together they, of course, are wonderful – and that’s what makes them so ideal for breakfast. Because the richness of two runny egg yolks can really tame a bowl of cooked greens.
[Shoe box-sized container of baby kale and baby spinach, Enter Stage Right]
You start with a mountain of leafy greens – the kind you of mountain that have to cook in your big pasta pot because soooo many leaves. 10 minutes later, you end up with barely 3 cups of sauteed greens.
That’s 1 serving of vegetables per 1/2 cup of cooked greens. I typically eat a double serving because 1) that’s 2 servings of veggies out of the 7-10 I am aiming to eat per day and 2) this stuff is really good.
Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic
Sauteed baby kale and spinach with balsamic vinegar and crispy bacon.
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (optional, see recipe below)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 oz clamshell of baby kale and baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- In a large "pasta pot," crisp 3 slices of bacon on medium-high heat.
- Remove the bacon from the pan but leave 1 Tbsp of bacon grease behind. (Alternately: crisp the bacon, discard all of the bacon grease, and heat 1 Tbsp olive oil.)
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, stirring to coat.
- Add the entire container of greens and cover.
- Let the greens wilt for 1-2 minutes, add a pinch of salt, and stir.
- Continue to cook covered, stirring every 1-2 minutes until the greens have cooked down and have lost their "fresh leaf" look.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and stir, cooking uncovered until nearly all of the standing liquid is gone.
- If serving immediately, crumble bacon over top. If you are planning to have leftovers, split the crumbled bacon accordingly and store the rest separately from the greens so it doesn't get soggy.
Yields: 5 (1/2-cup) servings
Estimated time: 15 minutes