Summer is almost here so it is a good time to increase the amount fresh foods, salads in our diet. I have grown kale for many years and because of its hardiness have enjoyed it all year around. Several of my favorites, Russian Red and Scotch curly kale are great for salads. Dinosaur kale works great steamed or in stews. Don’t take my word for it, try it out.
Kale is the star of the dark-green leafy vegetables family.
It is so easy to grow that everyone should have a patch with some in their garden. If you don’t have space or time to grow some, get some at your local farmer’s market. Make sure to wash it well to remove any dirt.
Is Kale a superfood? You bet it is.
It is rich in manganese, iron, copper, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B6 and E. A daily portion of kale gives you a massive 192% of your daily vitamin A needs and 89% of your daily vitamin C requirements (helps reduce free radicals, inflammatory diseases, arthritis and asthma. That’s impressive.
Kale belongs to the brassica family (cauliflower, collars greens and broccoli), known for its powerful anti cancerous and antioxidant properties.
Wait, it is also rich in fiber so that it prevents and reduces clogging of arteries, stabilizes blood sugars (great for diabetics) and relieves constipation and diarrhea.
TYPES OF KALE:
There are several varieties of kale available in local stores:
Curly kale: most commonly found in store, it has a thick fibrous stalk that must be removed. Use younger leaves in salads.
Dinosaur kale (a.k.a Lacianto): has dark blue-green leaves. Is great for making kale chips.
Red Russian kale: resemble a large oak leaf with a purple stem, the sweetest of all 4 types, best used in salads. Is the most tender of all types.
Redbor kale (deep purple) toughest, should mostly be cooked or use as an ornamental plant.
WAYS TO EAT KALE:
In your morning shake (Frozen banana, fruit juice, berries, protein powder…)
1) As a salad
3) As chips
|Harvested from the garden|
As a Salad:
Because it is quite fibrous, you will need to first remove the stem (especially for dinosaur and curly kale). This can be done by simply pulling the sides of the leaf while holding the stem or you can use an herb stripper to speed up the process and save your finger nails!
You will need to add some lemon juice with a little sea salt and olive oil to tenderize it. Depending on the type of kale you are using you can massage the kale to break down the fiber and tenderize it while tossing it with the lemon dressing. I definitely do not believe in harming anything in life, but a little kale bruising is as far as I would go to make it tender and tasty.
Basic salad dressing:
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl flax seed oil
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
To add some omega 3, add some flax seed oil to the dressing
Mince some garlic and a little olive oil.
Chop some of your favorite kale, add to the garlic.
Sprinkle with a little salt.
Forget commercial processed chips and make your own healthy version packed with nutrition.
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Wash your hands.
Cut of the stem and tear off a large bunch of curly kale into small pieces.
Spread the pieces onto a baking sheet making sure that they don’t overlap.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are crispy.
Remove from oven and put into a large bowl.
Drizzle 2 Tbl of olive oil, 2 Tbl of nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (you can use garlic powder too).
Toss gently with your hands
Keeps in an airtight container at room temperature. But do not refrigerate.
Slice firm tofu and pat dry in a clean cotton towel.
Coat the tofu in some arrowroot or cornstarch with a little salt and garlic powder.
Pan fry the tofu in a little oil until crisp. Flip each side.
Sprinkle some soy sauce towards the end.
You can also grate fresh ginger to the soy sauce for additional flavoring.
Serve the salad and place the braised tofu on top.
Et voilà !