Kale-Cannellini Bean Skillet with Polenta & Pistachio Nuts

We have a lovely neighbor who
, even though on a tiny lot, grew kale this year. She grew so much Kale, she was giving it away to a friend and when she saw us, offered us some too. Home grown kale fresh from the garden. We said YES!                         
I was surprised, however, by the amount she gave us.  When I grabbed the bag I thought it was just a small amount, but discovered the bag was fuller than it looked. We had kale and vegetable salads several times, but I wanted to use up some in a cooked meal. Of course that meant it was time to do a search on Mealime - my fav free recipe app - and came up with this. As always I had to change it up a bit to adjust to what I had at home as well as our personal tastes. 

As I am watching my calories in, calories out right now, I ate about 1/3 of the polenta and 1/3 of the kale/bean/tomato sauce.  It was more than enough for me. Glen is a carnivore, so he ate a full half and he added some leftover BBQ shredded pork on his. I ate mine as is. I changed a few small things. I used all broth instead of half broth, half water; a yellow bell pepper instead of a green pepper; butter instead of oil in the polenta; and pistachio nuts for the pine nuts as that's what I had. And honestly, I like pistachios more.

I put the recipe with all my changes below.  If you want to check out the original on Mealime where you can also adjust for 2-4-6 servings, just click HERE

= = = = 

Kale, White Kidney Bean Skillet with Polenta & Pine Nuts
Serves 2 (Note - the sauce was enough for 3 smaller servings but you would need more polenta.)

Ingredients - 

2 C                  Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/2 C               Polenta (cornmeal)
2 tsp                Butter or olive Oil (I used butter)
1/4 tsp             Salt
1/4 tsp             Pepper

Sauce - 
1                      15 oz can White Kidney (Canellini) Beans (1-1/2 cups)
1/2                   Sweet onion
2                      Cloves garlic
1                      Yellow bell pepper
1T                    Olive Oil
1/4 tsp             Salt
1/4 tsp             Pepper
1/4 tsp             Paprika
Optional         1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1-1/2 C           Kale, rinsed and chopped fine. Firm packed.
1/4 C              Pistachio nuts
2-3 T              Shredded parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and gradually add polenta in a thin steady stream, while whisking vigorously, until the polenta is incorporated into the liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until polenta is soft and the texture is creamy, I cooked it covered and found it done in 15 minutes, but I also left it to sit covered about 5-6 minutes while I finished everything else. 

Drain and rinse the white kidney beans in a colander; set aside to drain further. Dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic and wash, dry, seed and dice the bell pepper.

Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 3-4 minutes.  Add the rinsed beans, can of dice tomatoes, and spices to the skillet; stir to combine, and cook on low about 5 minutes. 

Wash and dry the kale. Fold leaves in half lengthwise and slice off the stems. Chop or tear leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Add kale to the skillet in handfuls, waiting for the kale to wilt slightly before adding the next handful. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-5 minutes.

Add the butter, salt, and pepper to the cooked polenta and stir to combine. If the polenta is too firm, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach a desired consistency. To serve, divide the polenta between bowls; top with veggie-bean-kale mixture, then sprinkle on the pistachio nuts and a little shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!