I have to admit that I see “fresh kale” this and “fresh kale” that all over the food blogs. I usually just keep on moving past them. My Chief kale-lover husband would appreciate a kale dish now and then, but my kale-loathing sous-chef dish-washer mom turns her nose up at kale!
If you haven’t eaten kale lately, it is time to jump on the bandwagon and join the health craze for kale! Even though my southern-born and raised husband grew up eating collard greens and turnip greens, kale wasn’t cooked up in his granny’s kitchen. But last year as he was fighting an iron deficiency we turned to kale to help supplement the daily iron tablets. He grew it and I cooked it. Everyday. At least one meal a day he ate kale. He likes it. A lot. Not-to-mention we believe it played a big part in bringing his iron back to where it belongs!
Unfortunately, my sous-chef dish-washing mom and I didn’t get as excited about the cooked Kale. For some it is an acquired taste and mom and I just didn’t acquire it! 🙂 Kale is a leafy green vegetable with a mild earthy flavor. I think it tastes “green”. The ideal season for kale is between mid winter and early spring where it can be found in abundance in most produce sections of local grocery stores and especially at farmer’s markets.
This spring my Chief Culinary Consultant turned gardener planted a fresh batch of kale. At the same time my son is telling me about the enormous amounts of kale he is juicing. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. This is due to its natural and nutrient rich phytochemical content which has unparalleled health promoting benefits.
We are hooked on kale and the best part is that it is overflowing with essential nutrients such as calcium, lutein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. Kale is rich in chlorophyll and provides much-needed fiber so lacking in the daily diet of processed food eating Americans.
Some articles I have read report eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits. The “Icing on the Kale” are the naturally occurring photochemicals sulforaphanes and indoles which research suggests may protect against cancer.
I soaked the lettuce in salt water to get rid of any unwanted worms or bugs, which in this case there weren’t any. Then I spun it in a salad spinner and set it aside to dry.
While the lettuce was drying I rinsed the kale. Folding each leaf in half, I carefully cut away the stem. When eating the kale raw, the stem can be tough and bitter. Cutting the stem requires a bit of time but is well worth it.
Here comes what I just learned:
MASSAGE THE KALE!
Using a scant tablespoon of Tuscan Herb flavored olive oil, I gently massaged the oil into the leaves. This doesn’t take long — just a few minutes. By massaging the fibrous leaves, you can bring out their sweetness and transform them into something tender and more easily digestible. I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t done it myself.
This kale is now ready to use by itself or as an addition to fresh lettuce.
For this salad we added the kale to the fresh lettuce, along with carrots, tomatoes, and walnuts.
For the finishing touch I added lightly seasoned and sautéed chicken breast. This main dish salad was totally given a thumbs up! BTW – The Chief knew I was adding the kale to our salad, but my sous-chef dish-washing mom did not. She was really surprised and loved the flavor the kale added to the salad.
Are you eating kale? Do you have a favorite kale recipe to share? Do tell….
Have a Blessed Day and Healthy Cooking!
- Extra-virgin olive oil, flavored or unflavored or vinaigrette of your choice
- Wash kale and pat off excess water. If the center stems are tender enough to eat, simply trim the bottom inch or two. If the center stems are thick or tough, cut or tear them out. Fold leaves in half and slice off the stem.
- If using a simple vinaigrette, you can massage the dressing right into the kale. You can also massage the leaves with a little bit of olive oil prior to adding other salad ingredients. Just chop up the kale, drizzle with olive oil, and use your fingers to rub the oil into the leaves. After a minute or two, you'll notice the leaves wilting and shrinking. Stop when the texture and flavor are to your liking.
- Now the kale is ready to use in your favorite salad!
Walk Through The Bible In One Year
Week 21 reading plan Job 14 through Job 42
Click on the colored link to read each day’s scripture.
Monday Job 14-18, Tuesday Job 19-22,
Wednesday Job 23-28, Thursday Job 29-32,
Friday Job 33-36, Saturday Job 37-39,
Sunday Job 40-42
Experiencing the Bible come alive is such a joy this year. If you are reading along with me then you will be right in the heart of the book of Job. Even though many people think they “know” Job because of the phrase … the patience of Job, the real story of Job goes so much deeper than patience. I follow an outline provided by World Outreach Church and if you want to Dig Deeper I am providing a link to some very good summary information for this weeks reading! Blessings as you read!
It’s the beginning of a new week, the middle of June, and summer is in full swing! I have just returned from a fabulous family reunion. At any minute I am expecting any one of my 35 reunion relatives to come through the door as was the case during the last week. We were in and out of each others cottages and enjoyed our mealtimes together. We rocked crying babies, swam with the toddlers and witnessed a 6-year-old water ski for the first time! I have an incredible emptiness and longing to be back in the heart of those activities. For now, my solace will be the memories we made.
Now, how about I stop blubbering about reunions and talk about FOOD! 🙂 What do you know about Kale? Until earlier this year all I knew about kale was that it was considered “greens” and I didn’t like it. I hadn’t ever actually tasted Kale, but I was sure I wouldn’t like it. Then my Chief Culinary Consultant needed a big boost of iron and kale took on a whole new meaning to me. The Chief grew up eating greens and is most content to eat collard greens, turnip greens or kale anytime he gets a chance. We planted collards and kale early in the spring and have fresh from the garden every week. Every day the Chief eats a mess of kale and collards along with whatever else is being served. His iron is improving and my ability to fix kale and collards is also improving 🙂
Then one day I receive an email from Simply Scratch and what do you know … Laura is making KALE CHIPS! It seems that Kale Chips have popped up around the internet in a trendy sort of way for the last year. At the heart of the kale craze is a salty snack called kale chips. They are, quite simply, fantastic. Crisp, light and pleasantly salty, they’re the perfect treat for a junk-food fan. I don’t eat cooked Kale. But, one bite of the Kale Chip and all of my skepticism was blown away!
Kale chips have half the total fat of their potato counterparts. The more kale chips you crunch on, the more cancer-fighting antioxidants you feed your body, the more vitamin A you flood your system with (promoting eye health and great skin), the more heart-healthy fiber you load up on. How many snack foods can boast that? And … they can be made very fast and easy at home for a whole lot less than a bag of store-bought chips!
Start with washing and drying a bunch of kale. Cut out the stem leaving nice pieces of the curly green stuff. Once it is good and dry toss with olive oil.
You can get creative with the next step. You can go simple and sprinkle on some salt and pepper and call it good. Or, The Newlywed Chefs post a recipe calling for a sprinkling of celery salt and pepper. For me, I used celery salt and garlic Southern Seasonings. Turned out a great combination!
After the oil and seasoning the pieces of kale are placed in a layer on a cookie sheet and baked. Baking time varies depending on how big you leave your pieces of kale. I made mine kinda small and next time I am going to leave them in a bigger chunk, but still removing the stem. They are baked until the edges are just a little brown, the middle is still green and the kale has turned crispy, about 5 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Several bloggers mentioned they are great with beer! Who am I to argue?
Wishing you a tasty start to the week!
This week Tuesdays With Dorie features a incredible French Strawberry Cake! I will also be announcing the winner of the Baking With Julia cookbook.
~ Blessings, Catherine
- 1 bunch Kale, destalked and torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Celery Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Your favorite seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and dry kale. Remove Stems.
- Place kale in large bowl. Toss kale and olive oil together until the kale is evenly coated. Sprinkle with celery salt, pepper, and your favorite seasoning. Toss well.
- Transfer kale onto baking sheets (2 -3), making sure pieces aren't overlapping. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until kale has crispy and brown edges but green centers.
- Cool and transfer to a bowl for crispy, crunchy, healthy snacking!