Kale and Eggs

If you want to know the truth, I have had this recipe in my WordPress drafts for weeks now. Weeks. Every time I would go to post it, just as something quick and easy, I would think, this is too simple, this is nothing special or, I don’t know, here we go with kale again, and I would talk myself out of it.

I do this kind of thing a lot. Maybe you do, too?

Kale Leaves

The last day of our Dole trip, during the one-hour drive between our hotel and the airport Friday morning, Gina from Skinny Taste said something to me and Tim that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. She said, you know, when it comes to her blog, she’s noticed that it’s always been the quick and simple posts, not the elaborate and thorough ones, that have resonated most with readers. She could spend a ton of time crafting something just so, but then it’s that fast and easy breakfast she throws together in a rush that people get excited about.

And what her anecdote about blogging tells me is this: there is real value in creating, even in creating something simple, especially if it’s true. With blogs, it’s not only the award-winning sites that have something to offer; it’s the blogs written by people in their pajama’s, at late hours of the night, created because those writers are dying to make something, to publish something, to give a voice to all the thoughts in their head; it’s the blogs written by people who don’t want to forget their recipes, who want them recorded somewhere for their friends and their grandchildren; it’s the blogs pursued for no other reason than because they’re fun.

I think this applies to more than blogging.

Every now and then, one of you tells me you want to start a food blog—or, to write more or, to experiment with flours or, to learn more about whole foods—yet then you wrestle with questions like “What do I have to say?” or “But it won’t be as good as X,” and I get it because they’re the same questions I wrestle with.

So here is what I want to say to you, to say to us: first of all, you should know that there are bloggers (just like there are writers and musicians and chefs and painters) who will tell you not to even try unless you do what they did—commit to posting thrice a week or, really understand recipes or, shoot pictures that are as crisp and glossy as a magazine’s. There are bloggers, fellow creators, who will discourage you by giving you their blog stats and telling you about their blog trips and saying how long it’s taken them to get to where they are. Try not to listen to them.

When you hear these voices, remind yourself that there is something about the creative process that often makes us hesitate, that makes us question and compare, that makes us think, no one will want to read this kale and eggs post or, I need to tell people how great my work is so that it can feel true. When you sit down with another blogger and hear these things, realize they’re wrestling with the same struggle you are—and keep creating.

Eggs in Pan

In “Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Niequist, she says this about the value of making art, be it books or music or a food blog:

I know that life is busy and hard and that there’s crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don’t. Please don’t. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.

eggs for one

There’s nothing wrong with taking a real job, anymore than there’s something wrong with khaki pants, except that sometimes doing the culturally acceptable things are exactly what keeps us from pursuing creativity. The way I see it, just as the world needs more art, the world needs more people who are passionate about making it, and so therefore it needs more food blogs. Not because the writers will become famous authors. Not because they’ll get free things or gain acclaim. But because, at the most basic level, there is value in creating, value in putting something together the way our Creator does. And these days, every time I see a new blog, that’s what I’m thinking.






Kale and Eggs
Serves one

For an alternative version of this recipe, use leftover vegetables (think chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms) instead of, or alongside, kale, sauteeing them until soft and then cracking eggs on top. Every time we do this, we wonder why we don’t do it more.

Also, when I Googled eggs over kale, I found Jacqui’s February post, and because she’s someone who regularly demonstrates what it means to blog as an art form, I have to send you over there, too.

Ingredients:
About a tablespoon of coconut oil
2 large leaves of kale
2 eggs
Crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over moderate heat. Give kale a rough chop and add to oil once it’s melted and warm. Add crushed red pepper flakes all over, as well as a good crack of salt and of pepper. Saute until kale is wilted. Crack two eggs right on top of the kale in the pan. Salt and pepper eggs. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Leave covered for three to five minutes, until eggs are cooked as you like.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 79 Comments

  1. Liz

    Thank you for this…and for making me tear up (with relief that I’m not the only one!) at the gym. The “I’m not going to do it because someone has done it better” is a theme in my life and it’s time to let that go!

    I don’t know if anyone gets jazzed about my blog or not – but you know what? I love writing it and that’s what counts. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Rachel

    This is a beautiful post, and I agree with you 100%. I love coming to your blog to find new uplifting and inspirational posts, they have so much depth and are so genuine. I find myself coming here more and more for your stories that go along with your recipes, rather than the recipes themselves (although they always look so healthy and delicious, for sure.)
    I recently began my blog and it took me almost a year to get that far, because of the thousands of doubts I had swimming around my head. I knew I had to do what I wanted to do, without thinking about whether anyone was actually going to read anything I posted. This is for me. I went to school for baking and pastry arts and I am continuing my education with writing so starting a food blog seemed only fitting, and I love it. I don’t set a specific number of posts I want to write every week, I post when I have the chance to and that is fine by me. I look forward to the future and all of the recipes my mind will come up with, but until then I will keep doing what I’ve been doing these past couple months.
    I look up to bloggers like yourself, because of your originality and your ability to let people into your life, through food and writing. Thank you for this post, and all the ones like it.

  3. Jolynn

    Wow. I SO needed this. You have no idea what a blessing you are and how inspiring and timely this post is. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And the eggs & kale … they look delicious!

  4. Abby

    Thank you for these thoughts. I struggle with this self-doubt regularly! Will anyone read it besides my closest friends, will anyone actually care about historical cooking as much as I do…but you know what? Writing the blog, planning posts, gives me great inner satisfaction, in a way that most other activities can’t. So when the doubt sets in, I remind myself of that.

    Also, kale and eggs sounds delicious. I have some leftover kale and this is the perfect way to use it up.

  5. Elizabeth @ The Dapper Paper Co.

    I think about this a lot. And my exact thoughts are: well, I’ll have to do something really different to stand out. I even told a friend of mine that I was thinking about starting to do more food blogging (since I cook and love food so much) and she was basically like, “meh, there’s too many out there already…”
    But, I think people feel this with anything creative: you are always fighting to try and not compare yourself to others, to not look at their successes and try to meet or beat that. Being passionate about something is not determined by how passionate somebody else is: it’s who God made you to be and to love.
    Comparison is such a struggle but it really does kill the joy we have for things if we are always trying to be better than the next.

  6. Emma @ Poires au Chocolat

    What a wonderful post. I too think we should be encouraging people to create rather than try to deter them. Just do it! It’s so easy to find an excuse to do something else instead.

    Also, I adore the Cold Tangerines quote – I needed to hear that. Trying to make some big decisions at the moment and it really helped.

  7. Flavia

    Hi Shanna, Thank you for this post. Lately, I have read so many negative articles written by professional bloggers, writers and chefs who have such discouraging things to say about food bloggers. It’s hard not to take it personally when I’m doing my best to create in my little space here on the Internet. Thank you for your generous and encouraging post and for reminding all of us that there is room for everyone in the beautiful world of food blogs.

  8. HopefulLeigh

    Love this! We all need this kind of reminder at times. Why do we blog? What inspires us to create? Then we choose to put the comparisons to the side and focus on our corner of the blogosphere.

    The Shauna Niequist quote is perfect. I go back to her books time and again for those reminders. And your recipe? What a great idea! I sauteed some kale and onion the other day, mixed it with some rice, and then added eggs. But I hadn’t thought about cooking the eggs on top of the kale. I’m going to remember that trick!

  9. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    You make it hard to comment on this post because I could end up writing a few pages! I absolutely agree. Creativity should be our force behind everything we do, everyday. But what I strongly feel is that no one should feel less or afraid because of what others are doing. To be creative is to be different, to do your own thing. There is no right or wrong way about it.
    There are as many opinions as there are ideas, so do whatever you feel, just don´t step into another´s creativity in a bad way (like shamelessly copying or being mean with your opinions). Do your thing, let others do their thing. There´s space for everyone and you never know where the next great idea comes from. Many times it comes from someone who wasn´t really looking for it. Of course, this is my personal opinion.
    I never had kale. I´m going to the chinese market on sunday and will make it a point to find some and finally taste it! I´m intrigued.
    Have a great weekend

  10. Madison @ Espresso and Cream

    Beautiful post, Shanna. You posted this at the exact time that I needed to hear what you said. Last night I was wresting with the feeling of inadequacy about my blog and all that surrounds it. Sometimes it seems like everyone is doing something better, shinier, and more interesting. What you had to say helped me to come back to why I love to blog – because it’s an expression of self and a therapy for me. Thanks!

  11. Rikki

    There couldn’t be any more perfect advice out there than what you’ve given in this post. It’s hard to keep going some days and I’m going to bookmark this post to go back to and read on those days. Thank you!

  12. MaryAnn

    Thank you so much for this encouragement. I compare my blog to the success of others so many times & it tends to ruin the thrill I get when I hit ‘publish’ for each post. Creating simply for the joy of it is such a beautiful thought. And I know I’ll never write a blog like yours – so simple, beautiful, & thought provoking – but I can write one like my own. And there is no one else who can do it in just the way that I can. God made us all so different & that is such a good thing.
    So yes, thank you, thank you, thank you. Timely words for me this morning :-)
    Also, you have me thinking I need to give kale another try. It made me miserably sick the first time I ate it…

  13. Sara

    Wow such an inspirational Post.
    I really needed to read this…I started blogging 2 month ago for personal reasons, I needed to start something by my own, a reason and a goal.. I can honestly say that is not easy but so satisfying so don’t give up, keep up and try harder.
    We all have to begin in the bottom and rise to the top, passion is what will drive you.
    I only have 400 views in 2 month but i cherish and im so thankful to all those who took a second of their busy lives to read what I have to say!
    Thank you for this great emotional boost!

  14. adrienne

    Your words resonate with me more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for writing this and for sharing your recipe for kale and eggs. Who can ever have enough of either in their life? And you’re right, it’s all about the simple things.

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  16. Kasey

    I started a food blog because I wanted to write more, I wanted a created outlet. But what I’ve gained out of starting a food blog is an incredible satisfaction of knowing I am creating something…something that will last for me, and for other people. Beautifully written!

  17. Marlynn Schotland @UrbanBlissMedia

    Thank you for this post. I firmly believe creativity is in everyone, and passion grows profit…and profit comes in many forms, more than just money or recognition. I write because I need to, I have to, because it’s how I know best to live, and I feel grateful to any person who decides to read my words and connect. Your site is beautiful, and your words hit home. Thank you!

  18. sarah

    Thank you. It’s been one of those weeks [am I wasting time with this whole thing? why do I feel the need to do this?] and this beautifully written post helped put everything back into perspective; helped make everything fun again.

  19. Maggie

    I love this post so much. I have been starting a blog oh for about 2 years now and keep putting it off mainly for the reasons you stated. Thank you for the encouragement. Every time I read your blog I think of my mothers. She has created a blog and curriculum which integrates art and theology. If you get a chance check it out. She had to close her comment section briefly because her site had a virus. It’s http://www.doxologypublishing.com

  20. Camilla

    Thank you for this post ? I needed to see this today, as I felt a bit like giving up the blogging… I won’t ;) Now to figure out what kale is in Norwegian so I can taste it. ;)
    Wishings of a great day :)

  21. AllieBeau

    My favorite thing about food blogs is when the preceding post to a recipe is just as good, if not better, than the meal you sought out to learn to prepare. This is spot on, from everyone who doesn’t want to try to bake because it will never be Cupcake-Wars-worthy, to every seasoned and rookie blogger alike. It is tough to consider, and put oneself out there on a daily basis without wondering if you’re doing it right.

    Well…you are doing it well.
    Bravo.

  22. Natalija

    Wonderful post and the motivation I needed to continue my new blog journey! It’s inspired me to make my version of healthy eggs this morning and even get my not-so-perfect photos posted in the same day instead of having posts sitting in “Draft” mode for (sometimes) weeks on end – some never posted. Thank you for the encouraging words.

  23. Montse (Rhu and Sam)

    About 7 years ago, my workmates gave a very unique cookbook when I was promoted and transferred to another department. They turned an ordinary lab book (I used to work in a research center) into a compilation of recipes, photos and cooking tips. Since then, I’ve been expanding the content with more recipes and pics from my travels until recently, when the idea of start writting a blog came up… Sometimes I have second thoughts about that decision, the blog implies a lot of work (editing, translating…) and I’m not sure if my post are interesting enough. So, thank you very much for such an inspiring post! BTW Those eggs look yummy…

  24. Shannalee

    Wow, I’ve honestly been overwhelmed by your encouraging, insightful and true responses—I’ve tried to email each of you a response, but I also want to say generally: Thank you for sharing your stories and for wanting to keep creating in your corners, whether online or off. Tim told me recently that whether anyone reads this site or not, it’s still worthwhile because of what it offers: a place to practice writing, a way to chronicle our life and good gifts, the opportunity to process out all the thoughts in my head. I hope each of you feel that same encouragement he gave me by reading this post—because writing or blogging because you love it is a good gift to give the world.

    1. shuhan

      Thank YOU for inspiring so many of us to be proud of our own blogs. when I first started my blog, I was so intimidated too, I thought who would bother reading what I have to say. I’m not famous, I’m still new to cooking, I used to have the lousiest camera, but I did it anyway because I just know I had to do it. I loved it and I didn;t want to see my passion just die away. I;m so glad I didn’t give up, and I learn so much along the way. There’s no need to worry about being perfect because we all make mistakes and we learn and get inspired by one another.

  25. Natalija

    So very true Shanna. My blog is not intended to make money but as an online journal of our lives (however boring it might seem to others). When I look back at photos or the few entries I’ve written, I wished I would have written more frequently (as in daily – the true meaning of a journal). I have taken photos of my children every day since they were born – nothing too fancy – but have not taken the time to upload them or print them. I hope to start anew and make it a point to chronicles our lives better. I’ve loved writing since I was a child and a blog is definitely a way to practice and hopefully, as you’ve done, encourage others to take that step and blog – if only for yourself. Thank you. :)

  26. Kris

    Thank you! Truly. I have had a blog up, ready,and waiting to be posted on for over a year now and I have struggled with all of the things that you spoke about. I just said to my partner this morning that I’m going to finally make a post! And then I read this. It’s serendipitous, inspiring, and full of hope. Thank you for your encouragement and that beautiful reminder from Shauna Niequist. Your blog is a joy to read. PS. I’ll keep you posted on the blog.

    1. Kris

      Hi Shanna,

      It’s been a little while since you posted this, but I said I’d keep you posted on my blog and here it is… http://www.80twenty.ca... two years in the making. I finally just made my first post–and then two more came right away! I expect it will get easier, and I’ll get better at it (especially the photography–it can only get better!), and I’ll gain more confidence as I go. But I wanted to write you again because I’ve been thinking about this post for several weeks now. Thank you, again, for the inspiration (and the kick in the pants)! It is a true joy to read your blog and to follow your adventures through twitter/instagram, etc. I’m so excited to be joining the food blog world. :)

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  28. sara

    saw a lot of love for this post of your on twitter and I think you hit home for a lot of people. I agree, it’s often the most simple posts that readers relate to – it’s the real stuff. Brilliant writer, you are.

  29. Helene

    I have just stumbled on to your blog via Honey & Jam and am so happy I did… I am new to the “Blogosphere” and just finally convinced myself to start a blog (launched it just a few days ago) which I had been stalling for the exact reasons you describe! Life can be hard, and it is so fulfilling to just finally create, think, express, share. Who cares if it’s imperfect? It’s real life, right? Thank you for your wonderful writing and wisdom and inspiring words of encouragement… I look forward to following your blog…

    1. Natalija

      What a beautiful little boy you have Helene! I love the age-specific recipes. I agree that life is not perfect. As a fairly new and sporadic blogger myself, I found myself worrying about all of the reasons that Shanna spelled out. When I read her post it made me stop and think that I shouldn’t worry about whether anybody reads my posts because in the end it is a living journal that I will fondly look back upon one day and remember (when my memory starts to fade) what our family did on that specific day.

        1. Natalija

          :) I like it too…meeting people I would never have known otherwise. That’s one of the best aspects of modern-day technology – interconnectivity and perhaps one day getting to meet people outside of the virtual world.

  30. Julia

    Although everything has been said before, I, too, want to thank you for this encouraging and honest post! We all need those reminders at some point. I share the opinion about simple, real recipes, although I am not a big fan of kale ;-)

  31. Sophia

    Hi,

    I just found your blog and can only say I read this post at exactly the right time. If you clicked the link to take you to my blog you will see that I have only posted about five entries since starting my blog, there are not that many pictures, the quality of the pictures is …. well, it is what it is. But the truth is, I have hesitated to start a blog for so long and to keep at it for equally long, all for it seems the wrong reasons. There are so many truly beautiful blogs out there with, as you say, pictures straight out of magazines (let alone the gorgeous layouts) … So yeah, as a complete newbie this is all very intimidating, especially ehen you don’t even know where you want this adventure to take you.

    I met a seasoned blogger at a supper club the other day and she put it so simply, she just told me that I was so clearly very passionate about food I should start a foodblog and that passion would shine through my posts, shitty pictures and poor layout or not, people would still enjoy reading it, and would come back for more. And that was exactly what I needed to hear. And yes, my second new post is something incredibly simple, like your kale dish. So simple, it has no actual recipe, but it is yummy and so I wanted to share it, so others can enjoy it as well.

    All the best

    Sophia

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  33. Nancy

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful, honest, eloquent post. I agree with every single word you wrote! I just started my blog earlier this month and have had all those questions and doubts in my mind at one point or another. And every time I do, I have to remind myself that if I write for myself, then I will be happy with what I create and that’s the real value of my blog. I need a creative outlet and I’m loving the process so far. I found this post through another blog and I’m so glad I did – this was just what I needed to read today. I can’t wait to keep following you!

  34. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    I love every word of this post. Whenever I see posts from my favourite food blogs I just sigh and think that I’ll never be as successful or as popular as they are… but you know what? It doesn’t matter. I love blogging, I love cooking, and that’s the only think that I care about. If I get a few readers along the way, that’s a bonus :) Thank you for writing this.

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  38. Elizabeth

    Thank you for the encouragement! I decided to start a food blog today, so I’m trying to absorb all of the inspiration around the web to make sure I stick with it and come up with good stuff!

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  40. Jenna

    Though I’ve only read them for about 20 minutes, I’m enormously turned off by holy roller blogs selling the secrets to life and snake oil, all the while acting like anything other than above-the-norm perfection is an utter failure. Some of us like our normal lives full of love and creativity, and don’t need to pretend to be in a race above the rest. (Are you really changing the world when you’re life coaching others to become life coaches?) Thanks for an honest and encouraging post, and btw one of my favorite recipes involves kale, coconut oil, and not much else. Keep rocking..

  41. Emily

    I just so happen to stumble upon your blog today, a day when the usual grind of being a graduate student in molecular biology was driving me further and further from science and wishing I was using the creative part of my soul. Ironically, I found this post while daydreaming about writing a food blog INSTEAD of my dissertation. Thank you for the inspiration :) Oh and a side note, in my household, we eat kale + eggs nearly every morning. It is really the only way to stay ahead of the never ending supply from the garden (I’m sure those with a CSA subscription can relate!).

  42. Samantha Gallo

    Just stumbled onto your blog because I was looking up recipes for eggs and kale. Just made it and it tastes delicious! Thanks for the beautiful quote about making art. I feel like I make my art through different mediums and I forget that it’s what I enjoy doing.

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  44. Sarah

    Hello,
    Just found your blog and love the recipes. I’m an artist and a gourmet cook and the above blog is my daughter who lives on a sailboat in the Florida keys. You both are great at expression through writing and creating wonderful food. I’ve been suggesting for over a year that you can make wonderful HEALTHY meals, but it’s not registering just yet. I’m going to send her a link to your blog……..hope you all might chat.
    Fixed your “eggs & kale” this morning. Yum……….
    Namaste……….Sarah

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks for that sweet comment, Sarah! We definitely agree about wonderful, healthy meals — in fact, I’ve found sticking to real food has increased my love for food exponentially. : ) Glad you enjoyed the kale and eggs!

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  46. Sarah @ Foodsaurus

    Hello, I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago whilst looking for some motivation to keep my blog going. Thank you so much for this post and for posting the link to the eBook “Create”, I downloaded it and have found it most helpful. Thanks again!

  47. Dyra

    I just ran into your post while doing research on a food blog I am building and I just wanted to let you know that even though this post is now two years old your message resonates with me and I really needed to hear this. We are lucky to have people like you who encourage people like me to continue to write and create. Thank you so very much for sharing.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks, Dyra. Two years later, I still need reminders of these truths, too. It’s so important that I know why I’m pursuing something like this blog because that motivation is what will keep me enjoying it, rather than getting discouraged by it. Best wishes to you in your new space!

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