King Kale

Kale is among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. A member of the cabbage family, it is related to cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts. There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple in color, and have either a smooth or curly shape. The most common type is called curly kale or Scots kale, and has green curly leaves.

Kale is jam-packed with vitamins A, K, C, B3 and B6, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium — some of these in such large quantities that they by far exceed the USDA’s recommended daily allowance. Like other leafy greens, kale is also very high in antioxidants. It has been found to have powerfully cardio-protective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects … nothing short of amazing!

Given the incredibly low calorie content — only 33 calories a serving — kale is among the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet. One study found that drinking kale juice daily for 12 weeks increased HDL (the good) cholesterol by 27 percent and lowered LDL levels by 10 percent.

Best of all, kale should be able to help you lose weight because it is very low in calories… but still provides significant bulk that should help you feel full.

Kale is now available checked and ready to use in one of these tasty recipes:

Crispy Baked Kale Chips

1 head kale, checked, washed and dried

2 tablespoons light olive oil

Sea salt or kosher salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve with hummus or your favorite dip.

Kale and White Bean Stew

1 pound kale, checked and washed well

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 pound ground beef

2 onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes with their juice

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

2 cans (4 cups) canned white beans, drained and rinsed

Remove tough ribs from kale and slice into thin ribbons. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking the meat up with a fork, until it loses its pink color, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining oil and then stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and kale to the pan and cook, stirring, until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir the beans into the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. If you like, mash some of the beans with a fork to thicken the sauce. Serve hot with crusty bread for a hearty lunch or light dinner.

Baked Kale Casserole

2 cups challah cubes

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light olive oil

2 shallots, minced

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 1/2 pounds kale, stems discarded, leaves chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet.

In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook over low heat another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the kale to an 8-by-10-inch glass baking dish. Scatter the cheese over the kale and top with the croutons. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the croutons are golden. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.


 

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.