Years ago when we lived outside Rochester, New York, I was part of a women’s group at church. At a group potluck, one of the ladies brought a super rich and creamy ham and kale casserole sharing that she got the recipe from a book about macular degeneration of all places. I loved it, borrowed the book from the library and tried the recipe with my family. At that time it was just Mr. O, P and me. But, the verdict at the time was thumbs up all around.
I noted the recipe with my changes for the family (like taking out the mushrooms as the boys won’t eat them ), but haven’t made it in a while.
Now that I have a new found love of kale, I decided to dig out the recipe and make it for the family (doubling the ingredients to have 8 servings instead of 4).
When I say that this dish is rich and creamy, I am NOT kidding. A small amount was just perfect for me with a big salad topped with mango salsa to complete my dinner. The boys who were too quick to eat seconds found themselves overstuffed later.
This is only one recipe in a chapter of the book on Macular Degeneration. It’s truly an interesting read if you or a loved one is suffering from it.
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Ham and Kale Casserole
Prep your ingredients
I use the slicer blade on my Bosch’s slicer shredder to prep the onions and then finish by chopping with a chef’s knife. No tears this way and much faster!
Cook up the rice (1 cup of rice per 1 cup of water.) I use a diffuser plate to keep the heat even so the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Typically I use brown rice for better nutrition.
Shredding cheese is easy with my Bosch’s slicer shredder. I often shred more than I need and just bag the rest for the boys to use during the week.
My shredding disc is double sided and I’ve found that the finer grate melts better when making sauces.
Dicing up ham is a great task for a willing helper to do. Just make sure they make small pieces as kids have a tendency to ‘shovel’ the finished dish in and swallow without chewing much.
For this dish, the kale needs to be pre-cooked in water and then drained. I had baby kale from Costco and did not cut the leaves before cooking. Instead, I used a pair of kitchen shears to snip them into smaller pieces.
Making the Sauce
Saute the onions in butter for a few minutes.
Add flour and cook for a few more minutes before adding the milk.
Cook long enough to thicken the sauce.
Putting it all together
Combine all ingredients well before putting into a pan for the oven.