Diet and Exercise

RECIPE: White Beans and Kale Gratin

Small white beans and red kale come together in a simple, easy-to-make gratin seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.


For the Beans and Greens

  • 1 ½ cups small white beans
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch curly kale (trimmed)
  • 1 ½ cups bone broth
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground real salt

For the Crumb

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground real salt
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (finely grated)


  1. Scoop beans into a mixing bowl with a tight-fitting lid, cover with warm water by two inches, and stir in the baking soda. Allow the beans to soak at least 12-18 hours. Drain them and rinse them well.
  2. Dump beans into a stock pot with a heavy bottom, cover them with water, and bring them to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender and cooked through, about 90 minutes. Drain.
  3. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  4. While the beans simmer, warm 2 TBSP olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Drop in the garlic and red chile flakes, allowing garlic to sizzle in the olive oil until it releases its fragrance, about 2 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat to medium, and stir in the kale, sautéing continuously until slightly wilted, about 2 more minutes.
  6. Stir in the broth, and let kale cook in the hot broth until wilted and tender. Stir in the beans and 1 tsp of salt. Turn off the heat.
  7. Warm 1 TBSP of olive oil in a separate skillet, and then stir in the breadcrumbs, onion and garlic powders and ½ tsp. sea salt. Toast the seasoned breadcrumbs, stirring continuously to prevent scorching, until amber brown.
  8. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the beans and kale, and then top with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust becomes crispy. Serve warm.

Soak your Beans for Better Nutrition

Beans benefit from soaking in hot water which makes them easier to digest and quicker to cook; even more, it makes their minerals more bioavailable and more easily absorbed.  Soaking beans helps them to release raffinose, a type of carbohydrate that can cause digestive upset and gas.

Soaking also activates enzymes held within beans that deactivate food phytate, a natural component of beans that binds up minerals and prevents their full absorption. When you soak your beans, all those minerals that were previously bound by food phytate become a much more readily absorbed by your body – making beans all that much more nutritious.

View original recipe by: Nourished Kitchen
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