Ode to My Pantry: Kale

Learning to feed yourself can be one of the most terrifying things. Am I about to give myself food poisoning? If I eat this too often will I end up with scurvy? How can I get the most nutritional bang for my buck? Why does this still taste like ass?

With Ode to My Pantry, learn to navigate a grocery store without having a meltdown in aisle three. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a queer to cook and stave off malnutrition for another semester.

Really now, I don’t even need to title this article. Everyone has four thousand feelings about kale, politically minded or not. It’s so tasty, nutritious and cheap! Whether you’re preaching about it steamed, fried, chipped or raw, there’s always something new to learn. Originally I was going to thank you for signing up for kale facts, but I figured I should try my hand at shitty poetry to fit my title. I have no grasp on strophes or antistrophes and I’m putting off limericks for another day, so this is what you get.



Kale comes from Caulis

Latin meaning “stem” or “stalk”

Same deal with collards


Or it means money

Depending on what you read

I’m okay with both


Veggie powerhouse

Vitamin A, C and K!

Calcium-rich too!


Need sulfurophane?

Or Indole-3-carbinol?

To help fight cancer


Harvest when it’s cold

Frost causes it to sweeten

But I’ve no green thumb


Wrap before storing

Unless you like wilted greens

Just bathe to revive


Wash leaves carefully

Organic often has bugs

Unforeseen protein


Give leaves a massage

By rubbing between your hands

Poof! Now less woody


I like reusing vegetables and images

Push leaves off the stem

Like you’re playing “Tree or Bush

Less work than chopping


Cut on the bias

To make the stalk edible

Told you that last week


Deep freeze your kale leaves

Just use like frozen spinach

Throw it into sauce


High fiber smoothie

Impossible to swallow

Maybe try stalk-free


Pre-oven roasting

Toss your chips with oil or fat

Or you will make dust


When in doubt add oil

Garlic makes the world go round

Tastes more like itself


Sub in for spinach

For hearty winter salads

That don’t wilt too fast


Meatballs and torn kale

Simmer with broth and orzo

‘talian Wedding Soup


When in doubt add beans

Lemon pesto or ragout

Perfect winter dish


Chances are it’s more like zucchini bread but I imagined it like this

What is next for kale?

Maybe something sweet like cake?

Tell me if it’s good


Or try kale ice cream

Mint choco chip but healthy?

I’m not that brave (yet)


Write me a haiku

On how much you love these greens

‘cuz know you do


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Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 140 articles for us.


  1. i kept wondering what this kale is you guys keep talking about, so i finally asked wikipedia:
    “Kale or borecole is a form of cabbage (…) The name borecole most likely originates from the Dutch boerenkool (farmer’s cabbage).”
    these posts make SO much more sense now

  2. Autostraddle, thank you for beginning and constantly encouraging my obsession with kale. It’s the best. I think I discovered it a year or two ago on here with the Get Baked: Kale Edition! I made kale chips and I was hooked.
    Kale is also wonderful with lemon juice and olive oil and a sprinkle of pepper and sea salt, mixed with grape tomatoes, chickpeas and hearts of palm.
    I wish my kale hadn’t gone bad so that I could eat some RIGHT NOW. This is so sad. Who wants to share their kale with me?

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