By Vanessa Packer 

YOU SEE IT ON EVERY MENU,  find it in your pressed juice and it’s stocked in every grocery store. There’s no escaping it, kale has become so in fashion, even the Parisians have taken notice. It’s no surprise that we have fallen for the nutritious hearty green too. Rich in Vitamins K, A, and C, kale helps to lower cholesterol and has significant anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant power. It just goes to show that some trends are worth following. To showcase this versatile vegetable, we chose five of our favorite ways to prepare it. From snack food to main course, you’ll see why we, and the world, are foodie-obsessed with kale.


Crunchy Kale Salad with Dill Tahini Dressing

photo: inerikaskitchen.com

photo: inerikaskitchen.com

1 Bunch Kale
1 Cucumber (Peeled and Seeded) 
2 Stalks Celery 
3 Scallions
2 Tablespoons Raw Tahini
1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Chopped Dill
Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Optional: A Touch of Toasted Sesame Oil for an earthier taste.
 

Remove kale from stem. In a bowl, add chopped kale, sliced cucumber, celery cut into small pieces, and finely chopped scallions. In a smaller bowl, or food processor, combine tahini, dill, juice and zest of lemon, sprinkle of sea salt, black pepper to taste, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and if you are using sesame oil add it here. Stir together until well combined. Pour over salad and massage gently until everything is evenly coated. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving so the kale softens. Enjoy. 


Sauteed Kale and Cannellini Beans

photo: http://www.thewannabechef.net/

photo: http://www.thewannabechef.net/

1 Cup Cooked Cannellini Beans 
2 Cups Chopped Kale
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Onion 
2 Twigs of Rosemary
4 Springs of Thyme
4 Sage Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive OIl
Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper

Add minced garlic, onions, rosemary, thyme, sage, and about two tablespoons of olive oil. Bring to a high heat until garlic and onions brown, add more olive oil if necessary. Lower heat and add in kale and stir till amalgamated. Sauté until kale softens. Add in cannellini beans, stir and combine all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. 


Baked Kale Chips 

photo: pairswellwithfood.com

photo: pairswellwithfood.com

1 Bunch of Kale 
1 Tablespoon Oil (coconut, grape seed, olive, whatever your preference)
Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper

Additional Flavor Additions:
Cayenne
Cumin 
Turmeric
Garlic

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove leaves from stems and tear into bite sized pieces. If using Lacinato kale, tear into long strips. Lightly coat in oil, sprinkle with sea salt pepper and optional seasoning. Lay kale evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are brown. 


Steamed Kale Brown Rice Bowl 

photo: http://www.priscillawoolworth.com/

photo: http://www.priscillawoolworth.com/

1 Bunch Chopped/Destemmed Lacinato Kale 
2 Cups Brown Rice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parsley
Greek Goat Yogurt
Za’tar 
Cumin
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Sea Salt
Pepper
Optional: Add Shitake Mushrooms 

 

Cook brown rice in vegetable stock, you could add in bay leaves or saffron or rosemary to give it more flavor. Steam kale, about 5 minutes. If you want to add mushrooms, slice and saute in a pan for about 10 minutes. For each individual’s bowl, add a hefty spoon of brown rice and a large spoon of kale. Sprinkle za’tar, cumin and toasted sesame seeds and combine well. On top, add a spoonful of greek goat yogurt, a drizzle of olive oil, some chopped parsley, fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt to taste. 


Kale Farro Soup

photo: housetohome.co.uk

photo: housetohome.co.uk

1 Cup Whole-Grain Farro
1 Bunch Chopped/Destemmed Lacinato Kale  
1 Large Onion
2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Gloves
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Rosemary
3 Springs Fresh Thyme
3 Carrots, Cut 1/4 Inch Think
Parsley  
Salt
Pepper

In a large pot, add in chopped onion, garlic and olive oil and allow combination to brown. Add in vegetable broth, farro, carrots rosemary and thyme, bring to a boil. Once the farro and carrots are soft, about 20 minutes reduce heat and add in kale, salt and pepper to taste. Add water as necessary throughout. Allow Kale to cook for 15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top.

 

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