Melanie Johnson adds some spice to healthy kale, perfect for kickstarting your healthy eating in the New Year.

Glorious kale is a byword for healthy eating and therefore perfect as many of us start detox plans as part of our New Year’s resolutions.

Chicken-and-kale fritters with hummus, sesame kale chips, rocket and lime

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the fritters

  • 200g finely diced cooked chicken
  • 2tbspn chia seeds
  • 2tbspn olive oil
  • 100g fresh peas
  • 50g soy beans
  • 125g finely shredded kale (stems removed)
  • 200g ricotta
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • A small handful chopped parsley

For the hummus

  • 200g tinned chickpeas
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1tbspn tahini
  • Good splash of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

For the sesame kale chips

  • 75g kale
  • 2tbspn sesame seeds
  • Rocket leaves and lime juice to serve

Method
To make the fritters, combine the chicken, chia seeds, olive oil, peas, soy beans, kale, ricotta, beaten eggs, lemon zest, parsley and seasoning in a large bowl. Slightly squash the ingredients together, then leave in the refrigerator while you make the hummus.

Process the hummus ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add lemon juice if needed. Set aside until ready to serve.

To make the chips, rub the pieces of kale with olive oil and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on a low heat for 6–8 minutes, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Allow to cool.

Squash a large spoonful of fritter mixture into a patty. In a hot pan with olive oil and butter, fry gently for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly golden.

Serve the fritters hot with a dollop of hummus plus kale chips and lime-dressed rocket leaves on the side.

More ways with kale

Green goddess soup (serves 4)

Add the following to a large pot: 125g of kale (stems removed), half a chopped cauliflower,
1 large chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons of curry powder, 2 teaspoons of turmeric and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger. Cover with vegetable stock and simmer until tender, then process in a blender. Mix together a 250g microwaved sachet of brown rice, a handful of fresh peas and soy beans with 3 finely chopped spring onions. Divide the rice between bowls and then ladle the piping hot soup over it. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve scattered with pumpkin seeds. Namaste.

Kale-and-almond pesto

In a food processor, blitz 100g of kale, 85g of toasted almonds, 85g of Parmesan, 100ml of olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon and a small handful of basil leaves to a coarse paste. Serve stirred through pasta with fresh baby plum tomatoes, spread over chicken breasts before cooking or add to a frying pan after frying fish – heat it through and drizzle it over the fish. Fabulously versatile.

Kale-and-chilli chips

Take the kale from the stems in large pieces and rub with olive oil until lightly covered. Bake in a low oven for 6–8 minutes, then sprinkle with salt and chilli powder. They will become crispier as they cool.