Friday, March 14, 2014

KALE

It seems that this lonely vegetable that at one time was only seen as a garnish  lining the plates and  the salad bars at  mid-level resurants has now made it to the mainstream dinner table. People are singing its praises for its ability to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and its cancer fighting properties. It is high in vitamin A, calcium and potassium. It is being hailed as the newest and greatest super food as it gains popularity here in the United States.


Kale is a simple green that lends itself well to simple preparations. It is not as strong in flavor as some of the other greens therefore it seems to be better suited for those who are just beginning to enjoy greens in their diet. With its growing popularity it is readily available year round in most supermarkets. Some of the ways that I have found to eat and enjoy kale is as a kale chips, another is in simple salads.







Kale chips are super simple to make and for some they are quite addictive

To make kale chips:

preheat the oven to 300 degrees

1 bunch kale
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

To make kale chips wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Remove the large center stem and tear the kale into uniformly sized large pieces (about the size of a regular potato chip).  Toss the kale with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread the kale chips in a single layer using two cookie sheets. Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes until crispy and dry.  I prefer to cook them at the lower temperature. Some recipes cook at a high temperature but they tend to burn to quickly.




Another way we enjoy kale is in a salad. Here is an easy kale and quinoa salad that the whole family enjoys.

If you have never tried quinoa you are in for a surprise. This small grain is quite versatile and makes wonderful salads. I wrote about it in a previous post My post on quinoa


Quinoa and Kale salad
Serves 4-6 

2 cups water

                        
1 cup quinoa                                                    

10 kale leaves, cut into small pieces
 
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                    

 
Cook the quinoa (this can be done a day or two ahead).  Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir quinoa into the boiling water, reduce heat to medium-low, place cover on the saucepan, and cook until water absorbs into the quinoa, about 12 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let rest covered for 5 minutes. Remove cover and allow quinoa to cool completely.
 
Put kale in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes. This really helps to soften the kale and make it into a really nice salad green that is not to tough to chew.  
 
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, pepper, and salt together in a bowl until oil emulsifies into the mixture; drizzle over kale. Add cooled quinoa, pecans, currants, and feta cheese to the dressed kale and toss to incorporate.





What is your favorite way to eat this wonderful vegetable?
Leave a comment below so we all can learn.



This post shared as part of real food wednesdays




12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I've embraced quinoa into my diet, but I've yet to try kale. Wonderful recipe, I'd very much like to try the first one!

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  3. (Hi. Found you on Growing Homemakers.) I was just thinking I need to get online and figure out kale chips. Thank you. I've been whipping up kale smoothies - half fresh kale, half whatever produce is about to expire in my kitchen - for breakfasts, but we need something new. Definitely going to try these chips. :)

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  4. I simply love kale!!! Any kind of kale any kind of way!!!! This kale chip recipe looks good and easy. I have yet to try and make a kale salad but I just may try this. Visiting from Humble Bumble Healthy Tuesday Hop.

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  5. I have never tried it but have heard about its healthy benefits. I'm excited because I got some kale seeds to plant this spring!

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  6. I like to sauté some finely diced onion and garlic add finally sliced kale and sauté in butter. It's very yummy. I add kale to casseroles, stir fry, almost anything you would use spinash for.

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  7. Bake an egg in the middle of some first sautéed with at least some cumin. I'm pretty sure a Fresh Foods Wednesday post coached me to try this once upon a time and so far, it's my fave-o-rite way to eat it. Yum. Can't wait for Spring at to have some fresh again.

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  8. We grow Kale in our garden and just love Kale Chips and to use it in other dishes. I love your recipes, yum! Thanks so much for sharing your post with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  9. We love kale in our house!! That salad looks amazing!!! Thanks for sharing at The Mommy Club Link Party.

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  10. Yum! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope you'll stop by and share again today!

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