Cooking with kale

Florida sous chef offers tasty recipes


ORLANDO, Fla. – Kale – it's loaded with vitamins A, C, and K and phytonutrients known to fight cancer, but it also has another reputation. That's where sous chef Macy MacNealy comes in with a delicious way to serve up the queen of greens.

"Even though it's kind of bitter, you can still make it taste good," said sous chef Macy MacNealy.

First up: yellowtail snapper with kale pesto.

"So what I'm doing right now is de-stemming the kale," explained MacNealy.

Add garlic and your choice of raw nuts. Add kale and let it cook for 30 seconds. Place shallots, parsley, basil, mint, and the kale mixture in a blender with a little olive oil.

MacNealy says, "So I'm also going to add some agave, which is also helping with the bitterness of the kale."

Next, grab your filleted fish.

"I'm going to go ahead and sear it, flip it, top it with the pesto," explained MacNealy. "So once I get that coated, I'm going to go ahead and pop it in the oven and in the meantime I'm going to go ahead and work on my pasta."

Cut these veggies for the orzo and don't forget the garlic; sauté together. Add kale, orzo, roasted sweet potatoes and you're done.

"It has some nice vibrant colors," said MacNealy. "I think it's very nice for summer."

There you have it, yellowtail snapper with kale pesto and sundried tomato, sweet potato, and red kale orzo.

Another reason to switch to kale is just one cup of raw kale packs more than 100% of the daily requirements of vitamins A, C, and K. The leafy greens also have lutein, which helps to keep eyes and vision healthy.

Kale Recipes:

(Printable Version)

Yellowtail Snapper with Kale Pesto


  • 3 oz. of Snapper Filets or Whole Snapper
  • 7 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Cherry Pepper
  • 2 oz. Toasted Various Nut Blend
  • 3 Parsley Sprigs
  • 6 Basil Leaves
  • 4 Mint Sprigs
  • 2 Destemmed Kale Leaves
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. Shredded Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. of Agave
  • 2 cups of Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. of Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. of Cracked Black Pepper



Kale Pesto: Heat up sauté pan (med/hi), add 1 Tbsp. olive oil in pan and add garlic. Sautee for 30 seconds then add kale and cook for another 30 seconds; just until kale starts to wilt and turn bright green, then remove from heat. Next, place shallots, cherry pepper, agave, toasted nuts in food processor along with the garlic and kale. Pulse a couple of times, use a spatula to wipe down the sides and incorporate all the ingredients. Now with the processor on, slowly add the olive oil and blend until it turns into a creamy paste (about 1 minute). Take the lemon & zest it, then squeeze the juice into the pesto along with the zest, salt and pepper, and pulse twice. Set aside.     

Snapper: If you're using whole snapper; fillet the fish leaving skin intact. For either fillet you choose, with skin side up score the skin (so it doesn't curl when cooking). Heat sauté pan to med/high heat for about 1 minute, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides of snapper and place in pan flesh side down. Sear for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and remove from heat.  Flip the fish, top it with 1 Tbsp. of pesto and place in 350°F oven and bake for 7-8 minutes.

Sundried Tomato, Sweet Potato, and Red Kale Orzo


  • 1 cup of Cooked Orzo
  • 1/3 cup of Vidalia Onion
  • ¼ cup of Carrots
  • 3 Sliced Radishes
  • 2 oz. of Sundried Tomatoes
  • 3 Destemmed Red Kale Leaves
  • ¼ cup of Sweet Potatoes (diced and roasted)
  • 3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of Balsamic and Olive Oil Mix
  • 1 Lemon
  • ½ oz. of Toasted Nut Mix
  • 2 Tbsp. of Shredded Pecorino Cheese


In a heated (med/high heat) non-stick pan add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and add onions and sauté for 30 seconds or until light brown. Turn heat down to medium and add carrots, cook for another 45 seconds tossing consistently. Now add radishes and garlic, toss a couple of more times; once the radishes start to turn translucent add the remaining ingredients and cook for 1 min. Remove from heat, plate and drizzle balsamic and olive oil blend on plate around orzo. Halve the lemon and squeeze juice over and around orzo. Sprinkle with Pecorino.