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 139 articles for us.


  1. I have a fun recipe for a kale and mushroom dish with tomato sauce, lemon, and garlic. It is by far my favorite way to eat kale.

    • I knew a guy that would drink a bunch of kale each day – stalks included. “You just have to down it really fast. Like reeeally fast. Don’t let it sit or you’ll choke.”

  2. 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

  3. Kale is on my grocery list today. Just like it is every week. I’m convinced it goes well with everything.

    • I just attacked my girlfriend saying we’re making that for dinner STAT. Thanks for feeding my kale addiction

    • holy. moses. that looks amazing.

      UPDATE: made this last night. best fucking thing ever. run don’t walk etc.

    • Kale jokes. How do I explain that to my professor.

      No really, it’s a funny poem about kale. . . no, you don’t get it? damn.

  4. I love kale chips with garlic and salt. Or kale dust on popcorn is pretty tasty as well. (Get greens in without even thinking about it!)

  5. 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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