I will honestly confess that I always found kale to be intimidating. How could a vegetable be so scary? Crazy as it sounds, I was always just so weary about trying it. What if this amazing super food tasted awful? I would be so embarrassed to admit it. How do I even begin to cook it? It was better off chilling in the veggie section of the supermarket until a more appreciative shopper would come along and buy it.
But I kept reading about the wonderful health benefits of kale and finally the curiosity got the best of me. For starters, Kale is one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables out there:
- high in fiber- great for lowering cholesterol and keeping your bowels healthy and active
- high in iron
- high in vitamins and minerals
- great source of non animal protein
- high in antioxidants (cancer fighting properties)
- good source of omega 3 fatty acid
For more in depth information about Kale, click on this link here.
I finally became a proud owner of a juice extractor and I thought to myself “now is my chance to experiment with kale!” So I started to juice with kale and immediately became a fan. Next step, cooking! At first I added it to an egg muffin recipe to replace spinach.
And finally, I became brave enough to throw a whole bunch in a pan and sauté it with some beans and crushed tomatoes…jackpot! It was absolutely delicious and so flavorful. It was even tasted tested and approved by some family members, some who have never tried kale in their life and probably would have liked it to stay that way…until they tried my recipes! 🙂
KALE, SUNDRIED TOMATO AND FETA EGG MUFFINS (gluten free)
1 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
2 cups chopped raw kale
1 dozen extra large eggs
salt and pepper to taste
PREHEAT OVEN @ 400 DEGREES Fahrenheit
2. add the other remaining ingredients
5. bake for 15 minutes.
KALE, TOMATO AND WHITE BEAN CASSEROLE (vegan, gluten free)
YIELDS 2-4 (DEPENDING IF IT IS A MAIN DISH OR A SIDE DISH)
4 cups raw, chopped kale
2 large tomatoes
1 can of cannellini beans, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt to taste
1. add olive oil to a sauté pan. sauté onions on a medium heat for about 8 minutes. add garlic and saute for 1 minute until the garlic as become aromatic. Add kale and sauté for 3-5 minutes, adding a splash of water while sauteing.
2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, and manually crush them right over the sauté pan. That’s right, take your day’s aggression out on those lovely red fruits and squeeze the living daylight out of them! It’s a very rustic approach to crushing tomatoes, I felt like Jamie Oliver for a few seconds there 🙂 …
3. once all the tomatoes are crushed into the pan, add the tomato paste, stir into the mixture and allow it to simmer.
6. serve into bowls and enjoy!
DID YOU KNOW….Kale can be a little bit of a diva?? It is recommended that you give kale a little TLC by giving it a hand massage before eating! Ha! I have a hard time getting a massage from my spouse and here is this lovely little green leafy veggie getting a 5 minute rubdown before consumption!
It turns out that rubbing kale leaves between your hands for five minutes breaks down its cellulose structure, thus taking away its bitter, tough taste and texture and making it wilted, silky and even a little bit sweet. This is perfect if you plan on adding kale to a salad or eating it raw. It is recommended you use some olive oil and salt while massaging…might as well kill two birds with one stone and dress your salad while massaging it!
Tips for cooking Kale:
- chop leaves into 1/2 inch portions and stems into 1/4 inch portions
- steaming kale for 5 minutes is the best way to bring out its phytonutrients, as well as drizzling lemon juice over kale and letting it sit for a few minutes before cooking/consuming
- give it the best massage of its life!