Spinach vs. Kale

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01 Jul 2013
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spinach kalePlease note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

As a Jewish mother I’ve always strived to find that perfect balance of what to serve on Yom Tov. It’s has to be traditional and delicious so all my ancestors won’t collectively shake their heads in disapproval, but it also has to be healthy so it doesn’t clog our arteries.

This year the fight over who gets to be the leafy green member on my Yom Tov menu is between spinach and kale. Both have about the same amount of fiber and protein but spinach wins for fewer calories, more foliate, and higher amounts of iron and magnesium. Kale does however; take home the prize for slightly more calcium, as well as tons more vitamin A and vitamin C. Kale is also the hands down winner in the vitamin K department, not your best known vitamin but one that is critical in making sure your blood clots.

These two leafy greens definitely pack a nutritious punch and are delicious both raw and cooked. There are 3 distinct types of spinach and 2 types of kale you can usually find in your produce section or farmers market. When looking for your spinach you can buy: flat (sometimes called smooth leaf), savoy (has very tight crinkled leaves), and semi savoy (a cross between flat and savoy. Looking for kale is equally simple; you can find curly leaf or plain leafed and in some areas a variety know as rape kale is very popular.

The standard conversion of fresh-to-cooked spinach or kale is that a cup of packed greens cooks down to about ½ cup.

Refrigerate your spinach and/or kale in an air tight bag after you purchase it but don’t wash it until just before you are ready to use it. If you haven’t’ used it all up 3 or 4 days after you’ve bought it and it’s starting to look a little wilted and drooping, don’t throw it out, just freeze it and use it later for soups, a stir fry, quiches or dips.

In my cooking universe, more is better. The following recipes combine spinach and kale together for an unusually delicious twist on some traditional recipes. These can all be made ahead of time and heated up when you sit down for a meal.

Broccoli, Kale, and Spinach Soup (pareve or dairy)

8 servings



  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped onions and carrot and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli, kale, spinach, broth, and water. Mix to combine and then bring the soup to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes.
  3. Add the pinto beans and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. In a food processor or blender puree 2/3’s of the soup and return it to the pot. (you don’t want to puree it all as you want some chunky pieces).
  5. Whisk in the yogurt and lime or lemon juice season with salt and pepper, reheat and serve.

Cold Spinach and Kale Soup (meat)

8 servings



  1. In a blender or food processor, combine 3 cups of spinach, 1 cup kale, 1 cup of soy milk, the onion, dill and any additional seasoning. Cover and process until almost smooth, then pour into a large serving bowl.
  2. In the blender, mix the remaining soy milk and spinach and kale with the sour cream; then cover and blend until smooth.
  3. In a bowl combine all the mixtures together, add the cooked chicken
  4. . Mix to combine, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Submitted by Ricky Andres NY, NY

Spinach and Kale Turnovers (dairy)

18 to 25 servings



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray or use parchment paper. Set the cookie sheet aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and lightly golden.
  3. Add the garlic cook for 2 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick. Add kale and spinach and cook for 8 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in the cheese.
  4. Roll each dough piece into a 3  inch circle. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the kale mixture on half of each circle, leaving a border. Fold dough over kale mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.
  5. Place turnovers on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat the turnovers with cooking spray; sprinkle the top of each turnover with Parmesan.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: you can use bread dough and make the rounds bigger for a sandwich-type size.

Modified from Cooking Light JANUARY 2007

Kale and Spinach Quiche (dairy)

10 servings





  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. For the crust: Combine the cracker crumbs and melted butter in a large bowl. Press the mixture into bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Set it aside.
  3. In a skillet sauté the onions in the butter for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese and sour cream and mix on low until combined. Add the Greek seasoning, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Beat until well mixed. Add the eggs and mix to combine being sure not to over mix. By hand, stir the spinach, kale, and onions into the cheese mixture.
  5. Pour the filling mixture over the prepared crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center is set.
  6. Cool to room temperature. Cut into wedges to serve.

May be served at room temperature or chilled.

*Greek Seasoning



  1. Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Modified from yummly.com

© Eileen Goltz kale/spinach 13a

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.