Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kale: The Queen of Greens

We have a Taco Bell right next to the grocery store.  Every time I buy groceries I can hear it taunting me, "You could just have a burrito for $1.29!  And you don't even have to make it!"  On one hand, it's awesome that I can buy a burrito for less than it would cost me to make it at home.  And on the other hand, it's terrifying that I can buy a burrito for less than it would cost me to make it at home.  What do they put in that stuff, anyway?

With that said, it's hard to be healthy on a budget, especially when fast food is readily available and cheaper than the grocery store.  And yet, I can't help but think that what's helping my pocket book short term could be hurting my body in the long run.  When you look at it that way, a bundle of kale and a bag of nuts is a lot cheaper and a lot more fun than a triple bypass.

Kale, also known as The Queen of Greens, is a powerhouse of nutrition.  Kale ranges anywhere from $0.75-$2.50 per bunch, is plentiful, and easy to find year round.  Kale is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, thus boosting immune function, firming your skin, fighting free radicals,  enhancing reproductive and heart health, and maintaining strong bones, among other glorious benefits.  Now, I'd call that a pretty sexy veggie.

my kale salad

Kale Salad
6 cups raw kale--un-chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup blanched almonds or walnuts
1/4 cup raisins or cranberries
1/2 cup raw basil, un-chopped
dash of salt.
1. In a food processor, chop kale and basil
2. Place kale and basil in a bowl and add parmesan, olive oil, salt, nuts, and raisins/cranberries

Kale Pesto
1 cup kale
1 cup basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 or 3 garlic cloves

Blend all ingredients in the food processor and put on pasta, bread, or veggies.

Carla's Spicy Kale
6 cups of kale
1/2 cup chopped red onions
Butter or Oil
2 garlic cloves
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup water

1. Satee butter, onions, and garlic
2. After the onions begin to brown, add kale
3. pour in liquid.
4. Stir over heat until kale is barely wilted (it will continue to cook after you take it off the heat)
5. Serve over beans, rice, or just eat it by itself.

Garlic Kale
Place your fat of choice and 3 garlic cloves in the skillet.  Add a dash of salt.  Cook until the garlic begins to turn brown.  Add kale and cook until kale leaves barely begin to darken.

If you have any good kale recipes please share!


Christa S said...

Kale Chips

Remove stems from kale and chop into "chip-size" pieces (I chop each leaf in half where the stem was and them cut cross-wise every 2"). Rinse off kale in a colander and pat dry with towel (it should be pretty dry to help them get crisp in the oven). Place kale in a bowl and spray and toss with olive oil cooking spray til lightly coated. (note: I've tried drizzling with olive oil and mixing it with my hands - it's not the same. You get a crisper chip using the spray b/c you'll use less oil to coat them, and it's more even). Again, emphasis is on light oil here; otherwise the "chips" will be somewhat soggy.
Spread kale pieces in a single layer on baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper (or aluminum foil or a silpat) and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until desired crispness is reached. :)
These chips are addictive!!

Christa S said...

PS - I forgot an important ingredient - sea salt! Once the chips are coated with some oil, sprinkle sea salt on them and toss, or sprinkle it one once they're on the baking sheet.

Rachel Gerth said...

Steam some kale, maybe only 3 min. Remove from heat. Saute cut up slices of one orange for about 2-3 min, put kale back in pan. Just before serving toss with feta. S&P to taste

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