I like a good old challenge here and there.
I don’t talk about stuff like riding the back of a shark or surf a lava wave or be hurled through the air by a human catapult.
I talk about small ‘everyday’ challenges that make life less boring.
Such as making my 10-year old niece eat kale.
A once sworn enemy to any food green in color (including green M&M’s); Niece has recently started eating salad, and last summer I even convinced her to taste avocado (a beautiful love story today).
So last week, I had an epiphany: I must coerce her to eat kale. Period.
But kale, my friends, it’s a whole different story from avocado. Kale is tough. It’s chewy and bitter and the very opposite of an acquired taste. Making kids eat kale: not so easy.
I soon realized that coercing was probably not the right way to proceed. I had to resort to sneaking or better yet, hiding, in order to succeed in this challenge.
It finally dawned on me, Niece loves potatoes and (surprise, surprise) bacon — so why not take those two ingredients and mix in the kale?
It cannot even be considered sneaking or hiding, because there’s no real hiding something green within something yellow.
I still offer the kale, but it comes with two other things she loves.
And if 2 > 1, this is clearly a bulletproof plan backed by the laws of mathematics itself. Winner.
Truth is, bacon sweetness counterbalances kale bitterness perfectly. On top of that, mashed potatoes provide the perfect binding agent, and they also have that smooth texture kids seem to enjoy so much.
All in all, these cakes were quite a success.
OK...at first, I had to bribe Niece to take a bite. But once the ice was broken, she was all over them.
To be honest, I may or may not have told Niece that the “green stuff” was salad not kale; but besides that, I will consider that I’ve succeeded in my challenge.
And don’t you dare call me a cheater, all I did was to withhold “some” information.
Before I share my trade secret with you, let’s take a moment to realize that this is my first recipe on TheIronYou with bacon.
I’m not a big fan of bacon. Never been, and probably never will be. It’s too greasy and sweet and I feel it’s just too much.
But once in a while, and if paired with kale goodness, why not? After all, this combo “tastes pretty awesome”, as per Niece’s words.
Bacon, Mashed Potato and Kale Cakes Print this recipe! Adapted from Everyday Food
Makes about 14 cakes
6 potatoes (about 2 lbs / 1 kg), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 scallions (or 1 onion), thinly sliced
1 bunch of kale (about ¾ lb / 340 gr), tough stems and ribs removed, coarsely chopped
½ lb / 230 gr bacon, diced
1 tablespoon of butter
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
In a large pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, add scallions and kale and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (about 10 minutes).
Drain and transfer to large bowl. Set aside.
In a large thick nonstick frying pan (or a cast-iron skillet), cook diced bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to bowl with vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
With a fork (or a potato masher), mash potatoes until smooth and very few lumps remain.
Scoop two large tablespoons of potato mixture and with dampened hand form cakes.
Pour off the fat from the frying pan and melt one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
Cook cakes in batches (do not overcrowd the pan), until nice and golden on both sides, about 6 minutes. Flipping once - do this gently to prevent cakes from breaking.
One cakes yields 159 calories, 7 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein.