Four Reasons to Love Kale

Four Reasons to LOVE Kale

Four Reasons to LOVE Kale

Did you know that KALE is high in fiber and Vitamins A, C, and K? It has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk per calorie. And it is chalk full of antioxidants.

A super hero in the vegetable world.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Add some kale to your diet and all is well.

Ah, but it’s not that easy. At least not for me. Raw kale is often bitter and hard to eat by itself. It needs some dressing up.

Recently, my family has been trying to add more kale to our diet. So I’ve been working away in the kitchen trying to find some great recipes that include this “queen of greens.”

And guess, what? I ‘ve discovered four stunning recipes that I’d love to share with you.

If you’re not already a fan of KALE , I’m betting you’ll become one after trying these recipes!

(Oh, by the way, I’ve not warmed up to raw kale in green salads yet. But I really do want to find a reason to love it there, especially because I eat tons of salad. So if you have a delish salad recipe, I’d love to hear about it! :0)

REASON#1:

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Along with kale, I’ve been experimenting with adding quinoa to my family’s diet. Quinoa contains all eight essential amino acids and is rich in nutrition. And like kale, it has been classified as a “superfood.”

One of my recent kitchen creations~Mediterranean Quinoa Salad~includes both quinoa and kale. Wow! All that “super” nutrition in one dish. You can’t beat that!

This meatless dish works beautifully for a lunchtime meal or as a light dinner.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 cups baby kale (or any other type of kale), chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (loosely packed)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

(1) In a small pan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa. Cover and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes. Remove from burner and let sit covered for 15 minutes.  Fluff and pour into medium-sized bowl.

(2) While quinoa is cooking, saute shallots in a skillet until soft and translucent. Add kale and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

(3) To bowl with cooked quinoa, add shallots and kale mixture, tomatoes, parsley, and feta cheese.

(4) In a small bowl, mix together red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Pour over quinoa salad and mix until salad is well-coated with vinaigrette.

Makes about 4 servings.

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REASON #2:

Berry Green Smoothie

Berry Green Smoothie

One of the best ways to eat {or in this case, drink} raw kale is to add it to your smoothies. And for your kids, especially those who resist eating anything green, smoothies are a great way to “sneak” kale into their diets.

In fact, I did this a few weeks ago with my son. When he wasn’t looking, I tossed in a couple of kale leaves. I watched his face as he sipped the berry {green} smoothie, waiting for that unmistakeable “I don’t like this” cringe. But to my pleasant surprise, he happily sipped away until the glass was empty.

I sighed with relief.

And then I confessed to him what I’d done. He was such a good sport and even smiled when I told how healthy kale is for him.

Since then, he’s taught my husband and his classmates how to make Berry Green Smoothies.

Berry Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ¼ cup frozen berries (~use a mixed berry blend or a berry of your choice~)
  • ½ of a banana (optional)
  • ¼ cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 TBSP raw honey (optional)
  • 2-4 large kale leaves (or more if you want to make your smoothie really green :0)
  • A small handful of fresh parsley leaves (~don’t overdo unless you’d like for your smoothie to have a strong parsley flavor~)
  • Ice, to thicken smoothie (optional)

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend the mixture until smooth. Enjoy!

Makes 1 large smoothie.

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REASON #3:

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

My family can’t seem to get enough of Kale Chips. Crisp and flavorful, these chips provide a healthy snack for the whole family. Of course, if your family likes them as much as mine, one batch won’t be enough!

I use a recipe from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.  I found a Kale Chips recipe on her website similar to the one in her cookbook.  (I didn’t add Parmigiano cheese, although I’m sure this would add a nice flavor to the chips).

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REASON #4:

Winter Minestrone

Winter Minestrone

Kale adds rich flavor and a lovely appearance to soups, including one of my favorites ~ Winter Minestrone.  I posted this recipe here last November. Click on the following link for the recipe: Winter Minestrone.

6 comments on “Four Reasons to Love Kale

  1. All of these sound so good! I really need to start trying out kale again. We bought one batch last year, but it was so bitter, it gave an interesting aftertaste to the salads and chips we tried with it. I’d love to try it in these recipes. We might be converted!

    • Sarah, I’ve had a similar experience with kale. I didn’t like it at first, and I still don’t like it prepared certain ways. It’s taken some persistence to finally find ways to enjoys the nutritious green. I hope your find at least one winning recipe here. :0)

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