Monday, June 4, 2012

Meatless Monday

'Kale Chips' photo (c) 2012, Lori L. Stalteri - license: Add more Kale to your diet
Kale has a good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, iron, folic acid, amino acids, antioxidant flavonoids, and lutein.

Kale is available year round. The best crop is in the winter because cold weather makes it sweeter.  It is easy to grow and make a perfect crop for a container garden. There are several varieties of kale: the most common is green (curly-leaf) kale, dinosaur kale and red Russian. The smoother leafed varieties are milder in taste. Kale

is easy to prepare, versatile, and delicious.

Kale should be stored in the refrigerator crisper up to a week, and it gets stronger in taste as it is stored.  To store longer, wash, remove tough stems, dry, mince or chop and freeze. It thaws quickly and can be used like raw kale.
Eat kale raw, in a salad, use it as a wrap, or juice it or add it to a smoothie. Kale can be blanched, boiled, braised, sautéed, steamed or stir-fried. People prepare it in a similar manner to Swiss chard or collards: season with onions, garlic, tamari ginger or sesame oil, to name a few.  

Stir Kale into bean dishes, eggs, sautéed with pasta, add to lasagna or potato dishes, tuna, vegetable salads or soups, stews and sauces. You can also make roast kale and make flavorful snacks; Sprinkle crumbled kale chips on pizza; the list is endless.

Some comparisons between beef and kale:'s Jill Ettinger had these reasons to try kale:

1. Sustainability. Kale grows to maturity in 2 months. Meat cattle mature between 18 - 24 months of age. One pound of beef takes 2400 gallons of water and 16 pounds of grain.
2. Anti-inflammatory. The consumption of animal proteins is a major cause of autoimmune disease, heart disease and arthritis. The nutrients in kale make it anti-inflammatory. It is so nutrient-dense is can actually reverse some of these conditions.
3. Iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef.
4. Fiber. Needed daily, few Americans get enough. Ongoing fiber deficiency is linked to many diseases, including digestive disorders, cancers, and heart disease. Most Americans get their protein from animal sources, which provide no fiber. Kale provides about 5% of the RDI per serving, along with two grams of protein.
For more comparisons for choosing Kale over beef read 7 Reasons Kale is the new Beef                       



Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas
Recipe adapted from Eating
 Servings: 4 servings, about 3/4 cup each
 Prep Time: 15 mins  Total Time: 25 mins

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, (see Ingredient note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and cook, tossing with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add broth, coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas; cover and cook until the chickpeas are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Tip: A 1- to 1 1/2-pound bunch of kale yields 16 to 24 cups of chopped leaves. When preparing kale for these recipes, remove the tough ribs, chop or tear the kale as directed, then wash it--allowing some water to cling to the leaves. The moisture helps steam the kale during the first stages of cooking.
Ingredient Note: Garam masala, a ground spice mixture traditionally including coriander, cumin, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom and cloves, is commonly used in Indian cooking. Find it in the specialty-spice section of large supermarkets.
 Nutrition information
Per serving: Calories 202, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 1 mg, Sodium 415 mg, Carbohydrate 32 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 9 g, Potassium 499 mg. Exchanges: Starch 1,Vegetable 1.5,Lean Meat 1,Fat 1. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

More Kale Recipes to try:

Massaged Kale Salad
KaleSlaw with Avocados and Almonds
14 Kale Recipes from Cooking Light
Kale Chips

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