Braised Kale and Turnips with Smoked Turkey

Braised Kale and TurnipsEat your greens!

Sometimes not the most exciting part of your meal but this recipe will change you and your dull relationship with greens. While living in NYC, I was fortunate enough to work as a recipe tester at Bon Appetit and this was one of my most memorable recipes.

I like greens. I like smoked turkey. But turnips…?

The recipe was easy to follow and didn’t have too many ingredients. I love collard greens and figured this was just a variation using turkey instead of ham hocks. But something magical happens when you cook the greens in the smoked turkey broth. It becomes rich and silky, meaty,  slightly spicy and smokey with a tang of the vinegar at the end to perk up the braise.

Do not doubt this recipe. It is not the most picture perfect but your tummy will thank you later.

 Braised Kale and Turnips with Smoked Turkey

Adapted from Bon Appetit

8 servings

1 serving = 1 ½ cups = 5 PP+

15 minutes prep time

30 minutes cook time

  • ½ # smoked turkey wings
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1# turnips, medium dice
  • 16 cups of kale
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

First, place the smoked turkey wings in a large pot. Add cold water so that the wings are covered. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover until the wings are tender. This should take about 1 hour. Strain off the broth from the turkey wings but save 4 cups of broth for kale. Remove the skin from the wings and shred/pick the meat (try not to eat too much of it during this process).

Smoked Turkey Wings IMG_1725

Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and crushed pepper flakes. Cook until the onions become tender. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the turnips and 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.


Add the kale; this will be done in batches. Cook, stirring often and add more broth in ¼ cup increments if the mixture becomes dry. Cook until all the kale is wilted and the turnips are tender; around 10-15 minutes.


Stir in the reserved turkey meat. Add butter and apple cider vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Now eat your greens!


Vegetable Soup

I am a self-professed foodie. I love all things food…eating, cooking, watching, touching, and listening. Anything that revolves around food and I am there. However, with this obsession comes consequences…a low balance in my bank account, never enough shelf space for cookbooks, and love-handles. To balance my passion, I try and create healthy dishes at home and workout regularly (well, somewhat regularly when I can pencil it into my schedule…hehe).

My key for keeping off the extra LB’s is this vegetable soup. It’s jam packed with veggies and big flavors and keeps you full for a long time. It’s perfect for lunch and dinner or a snack anytime. Also, before I go out to a restaurant, I like to have a small cup of this soup to take the edge off my hunger so I don’t go nuts. It freezes well and it’s a great way to use up leftovers in your frig.

Here’s my version:

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalk of celery, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced into a paste
  • 7 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 small leek, sliced
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 1# cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 quarts chicken broth
  • ½ head of green cabbage, sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, chiffonade
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small head of broccoli, florets
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, florets
  • 1# baby spinach

First caramelize the sliced onions. The best way to do this is to spray your stockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Add your onion over medium-high heat and stir constantly. Once the onions start to brown they might stick to the bottom of the pan. Use water to deglaze the pan and keep cooking until they are brown and caramelized.

After the onions, are caramelized add your carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and sauté over medium heat until crisp-tender. Make sure to season with salt and pepper.

Next add your leeks, fennel, jalapenos, and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid around 10-15 minutes. Season!

Now it’s time to add the chicken broth and bring it to a simmer.

Once the soup has come up to simmer add cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Cook the rest of ingredients until tender about 15 minutes. Season your soup again…make sure you taste it before you re-season it.

Last but not least at your baby spinach and serve…mmmm!

Check out more photos of my soup on Flickr