Since it became a media darling in 2011, kale has found its way into every type of recipe imaginable. Even chocolate bars.
Compartes Chocolatier in Los Angeles makes artisan chocolate bars with what have become more or less mainstream add-ins: Brownie, Coconut Macadamia, Coffee & Cacao Nibs, Crispy Rice, Matcha, Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Salted Pretzel, Smoked Sea Salt and Whisky, among others.
Some are quite fun: Animal Cookies, Cookies & Cream, Granola, Malt Ball, Piña Colada, Popcorn, S’mores.
There are the “seen here first” flavors, the chocolate bars taking a cue from trendy cupcakes: Birthday Cake, Biscuits & Honey, Cereal Bowl, Donuts and Coffee, Hazelnut Toast.
And then there’s the Vegan* Zen Bar, a 75% dark chocolate bar filled with kale crisps, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, and no added sugar.
While not particularly edgy, a second kale preparation that caught our eye was this chopped kale and herb garnish on a strip steak, from Upper Story restaurant in New York City.
The balsamic-glazed steak sits on a bed of sautéed greens and garlic smashed potatoes, with a Port sauce and fried onion rings.
Not exactly health food, but the kale makes it on trend.
Until the “next kale” hits the store shelves.
While cooks have been using kale on everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to pesto, here are some more fun applications:
 A chocolate bar with kale crisps, seeds and no added sugar from Compartes (the bar has no Brussels sprouts and tomatoes; they are just photo props).  A New York strip steak topped with chopped kale and herbs, at Upper Story | NYC.
*Most dark chocolate bars have no added powdered milk. Most mix-ins—nuts, fruits, etc.—are not animal-based. If you watch out for those sweetened with honey or with added bacon, for example, a dark chocolate bar naturally contains no animal products and therefore is vegan.
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