Spicy Dinosaur Kale & Cannellini Beans

This was one of those recipes that came together while I was trying to figure out what to do with some food I had in the house. I had soaked some beans the night before thinking I would make a dip, but I was craving kale for dinner (I always crave kale for dinner). There was a pretty onion on the counter, and it was a chilly evening in Chicago, so I was thinking that something spicy would warm me up.

If you are not a big fan of spicy, I recommend leaving out the red pepper or just adding in a little at a time until you reach a heat level that you enjoy.

I think this recipe may be a new one in the weekly rotation. It’s easy to make and also delicious for lunch the next day—it tastes great without having to be reheated which is ideal for work and travel.


Chef’s knife
Large pan
Large pot
Tongs (optional, but fun for tossing while cooking)

Try to buy everything organic. Here‘s why.
1 cup dried cannellini beans (2 1/2 cups cooked)
2 bunches dinosaur kale (you can use any kale, chard or mustard greens, too)
2 tsp cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional, or to taste)
1/2 onion (any you like, I used a red one because it’s what I had on hand), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (feel free to add more if you like)
Fine ground sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
3 tbsp water

Let’s get started.
Place dried beans in a glass bowl with a pinch of sea salt. Fill the bowl with pure water and allow the beans to soak overnight. If you like, you can used canned beans, but I recommend fresh beans that haven’t soaked in aluminum and sodium (read more).

When beans have soaked at least 8 hours, rinse well and place in a large pot filled with pure water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and cook until soft, but not mushy. If you have to add more water to the pot, go ahead. If your beans are cooked and there is still water in the pot, just drain the beans. Once cooked, set aside. For bean cooking tips go here.

Put coconut oil in a pan. Chop your onion and place in the pan over medium heat. Cook onion until browned. While your onion cooks, wash and destem your kale. Chop up your kale the way you like. Some folks like ribbons of kale (ie: chiffonade) and some like small chopped pieces.

When onions are browned, place your kale in the pan with the onions, add the 3 tbsp of water to steam. Add garlic, vinegar, red pepper and stir occasionally until kale is wilted.

Add in your remaining ingredients, and your beans, toss and serve.

Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to one week.

Adaptation Ideas:
1. Try adding shredded carrots while cooking
2. Toss in about 1/2 cup cooked millet or quinoa
3. Toast some walnuts in the oven, chop and toss in the mix
4. Chop up a granny smith apple and toss into the mix





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  1. Allison

    I am excited to make the Spicy Dinosaur Kale and Cannellini beans. The ingredient list does not call for an onion, but the directions do. Just wondering what type of onion you recommend and how much should I use for this recipe.

    • Heather Crosby

      Thanks for the heads-up Allison, all updated! Enjoy it. x

  2. Kate

    Easy to make with ingredients on hand and very tasty! Thanks for helping me to eat well 🙂

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