Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kale: In season and incredibly good

-->Kale, one of several vegetables in the cabbage family, is among the 100 healthiest foods to eat for so many reasons. First off, this power booster of a food contributes to your nutritional health by providing Iron, Vitamin K, a load of antioxidants, vitamins A and C as well as calcium and so much more. It is the perfect time to eat kale as well since it is most abundant during this time of year.

How long has kale been around? Several different sources seem to indicate that this food has been around before the dawn of recorded history! It also seems that kale first originated in either the Mediterranean or in Asia Minor and because it is a vegetable that can resist cold temperatures, it became a staple in parts of Northern Europe and Britain.

How do you prepare kale? There are so many ways! But, I typically make it as a side dish or you can even make it as a meal, which I’ve done.

This is what I do:
In a large skillet, add no more than 1 tbsp. olive oil. I first, saute some finely chopped onions and a minced clove of garlic or two. Then, I add a bunch of kale and a handful of cherry tomatoes. The kale should be torn in small pieces making sure to remove the center stalk. I add about a ¼ cup of vegetable broth and let the ingredients cook for a few minutes.
I finally season with about 2 tsp. of Kosher salt, pepper, a dash of cumin and a dash of turmeric.  I add all of these ingredients atop some quinoa or pinto beans and you have a meal.
I found this recipe for Kale preparation in “The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook” from 1963.
Cook in ¼ inch boiling salted water, using ½ tsp salt per pound of greens. Cook, covered 1 minute or until wilted.  According to this cookbook, it says to cook 10 to 15 minutes, which, is too long. Its better to cook less time in order to retain the most nutritional value.
To serve: Drain the cooked greens well; add salt, pepper, butter or margarine. If desired, sauté a little minced onion in butter or margarine before adding to the greens. Or, after seasoning, toss one of the following with or sprinkle over: crumbled crisp bacon, chopped cooked beets, chili sauce or chopped hard-cooked egg, French dressing, horse-radish, lemon juice, nutmeg, fresh or dried rosemary, flavored vinegar. Or spark the greens with slivered almonds, poppy or sesame seeds, wine, cayenne or a shake of Tabasco.

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