25+ Healthy Foods Vegetarians and Vegans Should Eat with Kale

By: Vegetarian Times

Chef Jennifer Iserloh, author of 50 Shades of Kale and one of the founders of National Kale Day, offers great suggestions on how vegetarians and vegans can maximize this green ingredient for good health. The Skinny Chef and healthy cooking expert features kale in our latest online course, Gentle Cleanse 7 Day Detox, with delicious, sustainable meal plans designed to get you looking and feeling your best. Use code KALE25 to get 25% off for a limited time.


Making Kale Healthier for Vegetarians and Vegans

Plant-based diets are definitely in vogue, and for good reason. Plants provide a wide range of nutrients with few calories.  But if you’re limiting your diet, make sure you maintain nutritional balance so that you feel your most energized, sharpest self!


Kale combines well with many foods for a variety of dishes. If you are vegetarian, you have plenty of kale combo choices that will help aid in nutrient absorption, improve digestion, and provide crucial nutrients that a lot of vegans and vegetarians miss. Check out this list below to find out how to pair kale with ingredients that will provide balanced nutrition.


Eggs (Try: Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese)

Swiss Cheese

Manchego Cheese

Parmesan Cheese (Try: Kale-Pecan Pesto)




Navy beans

Sesame Seeds

Gut Health/Fermented Foods

Kefir, dairy or coconut


Olives (Try: Tuscan-Style Spaghetti with Kale and Cannellinis


For Vegans


Nutritional yeast (Try: Garlicky Cheezy Kale & Crispy Chick’n Salad)

Fortified plant milk

Fortified Tofu (Try: Asian Kale, Green Bean, and Tofu Salad)

Vegan Mayonnaise




Navy beans

Sesame Seeds (Try: Sesame Noodles with Kale)

Gut Health/Fermented Foods




Coconut Kefir


Antioxidant-rich fats like those found in nuts, coconut, olive oil, sesame oil and safflower oil are useful to cook with kale since this green vegetable is high in fat soluble vitamins such as A and B.

Healthy fats are important for proper brain function and maintaining glowing skin. Mix kale with foods that are high in  fats, such as avocado for a tasty kale guacamole, or use coconut oil to cook up amazing shishito peppers with kale.

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    High/Low: Coffee Grinders We Love
    By: Tami Fertig | Comments (1)

    Quit buying ground coffee! Grinding whole beans in a coffee grinder makes for a stronger, fresher-tasting brew (that’s packed with good-for-you antioxidants, to boot). Both of our favorite coffee grinders have conical burrs—not blades—to deliver the most consistent grind. READ MORE

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    By: Elizabeth Barker | Comments (2)

    Even as more and more companies add botanical beauty-boosters to their products, some still rely on animal-sourced ingredients, as well as chemicals that could mess with your health while wrecking the environment. Here’s how to scan labels for questionable ingredients. READ MORE

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    How to Join a Food Swap
    By: Karen Edwards | Comments (0)

    Trading edibles may be a time-honored school ritual, but adults looking for more variety in their menus are getting into the act too. Options include food swaps, package swaps, garden swaps, and community-supported agriculture box swaps. 
Take your pick, and start swappin’. READ MORE

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    The Best of VT’s Reader Recipe Contests
    By: Vegetarian Times | Comments (0)

    Our readers make the best recipes. But don’t take our word for it. Just look at the winning creations from VT’s many reader recipe contests: we compiled the best of them (including the oh-so-creative spinach-artichoke mini lasagnas pictured above). Take a peek, then enter this year’s contest! READ MORE

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    7 Top Protein Sources for Vegetarians
    By: Tami Fertig | Comments (1)

    Worried that you—or someone you love—won’t get enough protein without meat? Relax! By eating a variety of healthful veg foods, you can easily cover your protein bases. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of the most convenient and affordable protein-packed staples. READ MORE

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    How to Roast Vegetables Like a Pro
    By: Mary Margaret Chappell | Comments (1)

    Get out your baking sheet and preheat your oven: it’s veggie-roasting season! Here are six simple steps to roasting success (plus recipes). READ MORE

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    Veg Celeb: Elaine Hendrix
    By: Amy Spitalnick | Comments (0)

    Best known for her roles in Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion and Disney’s The Parent Trap, this actress has a reputation as a matchmaker—a pet matchmaker, that is. So much so that she’s teamed up with Sideshow Network for The Pet Matchmaker Podcast. The vegan and animal activist here READ MORE

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    By: Matthew Kadey | Comments (0)

    Or is it better to eat fewer, larger meals to shed pounds? We investigate—and provide tips for smarter snacking between meals. READ MORE

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    By: Amy Spitalnick | Comments (0)

    Sisters Catherine and Bo Fortney’s cover of “Hanging Tree,” from The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1, put their musical duo at the top of the Music Audio Chart. Here’s our Q&A with Catherine, 14, and Bo, 17, who taught themselves how to play guitar (and are both vegetarian). READ MORE

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    Veg Hot Spot: Karyn’s Day Spa in Chicago
    By: Ashlee Piper | Comments (0)

    The name Karyn Calabrese 
is synonymous with the vegan and raw food movements in the Midwest, but along with her delicious fare, it’s Calabrese’s ability to defy aging that has people flocking to Karyn’s spa, health-food store, and raw-food restaurant in the Windy City. READ MORE

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    How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Parsnips
    By: Matthew Kadey | Comments (3)

    Nutty and slightly sweet tasting, these root veggies are at their best when the weather is chilly. Here’s what to do with them while they’re in season (recipes included!). READ MORE

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    Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Liz Cairns!
    By: Vegetarian Times | Comments (0)

    Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”—the anniversary of when they went veg. Read this one, then share your own! READ MORE

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    Veg Celeb: Street Art Throwdown’s Justin Bua
    By: Amy Spitalnick | Comments (0)

    Justin Bua’s art spans not just galleries and museums, but also the street. Additionally, he serves as host, co-judge, and executive producer on Oxygen’s Street Art Throwdown. A longtime vegan, he recently developed the Bua Bar. We chatted with him about making stone-ground chocolate, raising his daughter vegan, and more. READ MORE

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    Editors’ Picks: 3 Graters We Love (Plus Recipes!)
    By: Mary Margaret Chappell | Comments (0)

    Instead of making do with so-so lettuce greens this time of year, whip up crisp, flavorful salads with crunch-tastic fennel, celery, cabbage, beets, and more using a grater, mandoline, or food processor. Here’s our favorite grating gear (and what to do with it). READ MORE

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    Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Meal to Freeze?
    By: Vegetarian Times | Comments (25)

    Got a go-to dish that you make ahead and freeze? (We love freezing homemade casseroles like Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie!) Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times. READ MORE

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    Why You Should Eat More Ugly Fruits and Veggies
    By: Kate Wertheimer | Comments (4)

    While it may not sound too appealing, the ugly fruit movement 
is flourishing in Europe. The trend can’t catch on soon enough here in the States. Here’s what it’s all about—and how you can embrace it at the supermarket and local farmers’ market. READ MORE

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    Movie on a Mission: Open Sesame
    By: Amy Spitalnick | Comments (0)

    About 90 percent of the varieties of fruits and vegetables grown 100 years ago no longer exist. “Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds” explores efforts worldwide to promote crop diversity and help secure our food supply. Here’s our Q&A with the film’s producer/director, Sean Kaminsky, about the longstanding practice of READ MORE

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    4 Secrets to Making the Best Chocolate-Dipped Treats
    By: Joyce Sangirardi | Comments (0)

    Want to really impress your honey on Valentine’s Day? Whip up a batch of chocolate-dipped delights. Here are a few expert tips (and recipes!) to ensure success. READ MORE

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    Movie on a Mission: Black Ice
    By: Amy Spitalnick | Comments (0)

    When you think piracy, Greenpeace doesn’t immediately come to mind. Yet that was the charge leveled against 30 of the non-profit’s activists in 2013 by the Russian government—after Russian special forces seized the team from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise during its protest of the first-ever oil drilling operation in READ MORE

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    Veg Hot Spot: NYC’s Hot Bread Kitchen
    By: Michael Kaminer | Comments (0)

    With its tantalizing, yeasty aromas and daily output of nearly 10,000 loaves and rolls, Hot Bread Kitchen might seem like any busy New York bakery. But there’s a satisfying twist: every worker is an immigrant or low-income woman getting on-the-job training and basic English-language instruction as part of her employment. READ MORE

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    How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Meyer Lemons
    By: Elliott Prag | Comments (1)

    Its rounded shape and heady perfume distinguish the Meyer lemon from your typical supermarket variety. A hybrid of an orange and a conventional lemon, the Meyer lemon is prized among cooks for its low acidity and sweet-tart flavor. Here’s how to use it while it’s in season (right now!). READ MORE

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    Movie on a Mission: Exposed
    By: Amy Spitalnick | Comments (0)

    “Wildlife isn’t agriculture,” says Brooks Fahy, executive director of the non-profit Predator Defense. Sounds obvious, and yet the Federal government agency known as Wildlife Services falls under the authority of the USDA. Here’s our Q&A with Fahy about a new doc he co-directed and co-produced, which exposes the scandal that READ MORE