04 Feb Kickin’ Kale
Hearty winter greens, such as kale, can add a powerful nutritional punch to your diet. Add them to your table using these cooking tips and recipes.
Kale, rated one of the top six healthiest vegetables by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is unparalleled in nutrition. One cup provides 200% of your daily dose of Vitamin C, 180% of Vitamin A, 1,000% of Vitamin K for a mere 30 calories.
Preparing Kale to Perfection
Kale, and other winter greens such as collards and mustard greens, have a tendency to be tough, but a few cooking tricks will have you reaching for those curly leaves more often. Unlike spinach, which has tender leaves, kale needs some softening up. One way is to boil your leaves for 3 minutes in a pot containing 2 quarts of water and a teaspoon of salt. then remove and squeeze out extra water and eat like cooked spinach. If cooked too long, kale will turn into an unappetizing brown color.
The second method is to marinate the leaves in a salad dressing, similar to when making coleslaw. The vinegar and the salt in the dressing will soften the leaves and give them a touch of sweetness. My trick is to make the salad first and allow the kale to marinate while I make the rest of the evening meal. If you’re in a rush, you can alternatively rub the dressing into the leaves by tossing it with your hands. This may seem odd, but it works like a charm.
Kale, Green Apples and Pumpkin Seed Salad
6 cups kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed, or other nuts
- Slice the leaves of the kale away from the tough stems. Wash thoroughly and dry, then chop into small pieces and place into a large bowl.
- In a separate small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.
- Pour dressing over the greens and with clean hands, massage the dressing into the leaves by gently squeezing and tossing. The leaves will turn a darker, glossy color.
- Add the apples, onions and pumpkin seeds and toss so that everything is coated with the dressing.
- Serve immediately or allow the greens to marinate for 10-20 minutes for even better flavor.
Calories: 188; Fat: 13 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 5g; Total Carbohydrates: 17.5 grams; Sugar: 6 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 0 grams; Sodium: 193 milligrams
More Kale Recipes
- Ellie Krieger’s Kale Chips
- EatingWell’s Pork, White Bean and Kale Soup
- Coral Rigatoni with Winter Greens
Let’s Talk: What’s your favorite kale recipe?