What’s For Lunch? Healthy Sliders and Baked Kale

I have published many breakfast ideas during the last two years, but very few lunches other than salads.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do love salads most everyday for lunch, especially during warm (or hot) weather.  This “recipe” was lunch one day late last week when I wrote this post.

The sliders could also be served/eaten for supper.  For those unfamiliar with the term “supper”, it’s the southern term for the evenin’ meal, y’all.  Ahem . . . dinner is Sunday lunch when consisting of a big spread.  Just so you know.

You know my friend Ginger from the 3 Soups the Joanna Gaines Way post.  Ginger made one of the spinach soup versions you saw there.  She and her husband have a business supporting newbies (at Optavia Coach Support) in following a healthy lifestyle.  She posts recipes weekly on Instagram – recipes for optimal health.

As usual, I make necessary substitutions for my own needs.  The recipes Ginger shares are always tasty good – and very inspiring.  Today’s sliders are no different.

Squash Sliders and Kale Chips

The “buns” in the slider post on Ginger’s Instagram were slices of zucchini, which are extremely nutritious (see 12 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Zucchini), more so than yellow squash.  But, hey!  That’s all I had.  The moment I saw her post with the zucchini, I knew I had to try it.  Bummer, y’all – I’d just (minutes before) used my last zucchini.  But, well, OK.  (Tapping fingers on counter), I remembered the squash in my fridge, and  I was all in!

You can see Ginger’s Zucchini Sliders on her Facebook page.

Aren’t we all improvising more than ever right now during the Coroniviry (Hubby’s term)?  Yes, and . . . it’s OK.  Go for it – with whatever you have that makes sense, flavor-wise.  Lettuce wraps come to mind, as well.  Lettuce leaves are a quick and delicious bun replacement!  I love to find that option when eating out, and don’t we all hope to eat out and inside a restaurant again soon?  (Sorry, I digress.)

My squash sliders tasted so good I repeated the meal again the next day. 🙂

My Slider

You don’t really need a recipe for these sliders.  All you do is cook half-inch-thick slices of squash or zucchini in olive or avocado oil in a non-stick skillet until browned.  (Ginger roasted hers in the oven.)  And then load these cute little charred “buns” with your burger favorites.

Ginger’s sliders were oozing with melted Kerrygold cheddar cheese and a dollop of mustard – held together firmly with a wooden pick.  My sliders with no pick were definitely sliding.  🙂

I made my mini burgers with little rounds of cooked grass-fed beef.  (Use what you have – even ground turkey could work.)  Then, I topped them with a dollop of mayo (I use soy-free Vegenaise), red onion, lettuce, and a tiny sliver of Parmesan cheese.  Tomato would have been wonderful, but sadly, I had none.

Notice on my plate the thin slices of “fried” squash.  (Yes, enjoy the entire remaining squash by cooking thin slices in the pan with the “bun” slices.  Yum!)  And loads of baked kale.

Kale Chips and Sliders

To bake kale, you simply tear palm-sized pieces of rinsed and dried kale leaves.  Pile the pieces on a baking sheet and pour a tablespoon of avocado oil over top.  Work the oil into the kale leaves (with your hand) to coat.  Salt it to your liking and spread the pieces so they don’t touch and certainly not piled together.  If placed too closely, the kale will steam and not crisp.  Steaming is not the result you want.

Bake kale at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  (Begin checking at ten minutes since your oven may heat differently.)  The kale will no longer be “standing up” on the pan, and you may not think it looks all that good.)

The kale is done when all is dark greenish brown in color.  Bright green means it’s not quite ready – and still chewy, not crispy.  This is what it should look like.  Very fragile, light, and oh, so crispy.

Baked Kale

Baked kale almost has a transparent appearance when held up to the light.  The crunch is addictive.  By the way, my plate of kale is an entire pan of baked kale.  It shrinks quite a bit when baking.

Kale Chips and Sliders

If you simply must share, make another pan for yourself.  Also, did you notice a couple of pieces of kale on my plate where the kale is still a little too green?  Yep.  Those pieces were chewy.  How else do I know what to tell you to avoid?  Ha!


P.S.  Ginger and her husband are starting a Get Lean in Quarantine challenge this week on Facebook (her page).  If you want to contact her directly, she’s happy for me to share her email address.  Just let me know in the comments section below!

Hi and welcome! It's wonderful to have fellow "embracers" during some pretty tough seasons - and some triumphant ones, too. I invite you to enroll to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss what's coming next.


  • Ginger

    Your squash “buns” are a great idea! I love your creativity and adapting recipes for what you have on hand. And, kale is going on my grocery list so we can try the chips!

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