CSA Week 4 :: Garlic Scapes

Garlic ScapesGarlic Scapes:   Garlic is amazing for lots of reasons, but the best reason is… the whole plant is edible.  This includes the scapes, which are treats that come along each early summer and are rarely seen in a supermarket. Scapes are the shoots that grow out of the ground from hard-neck varieties of garlic . When they are young and tender, they look like curly green stalks with tightly closed buds on top. The scapes are removed to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender are delicious.  Garlic is a member of the lily family, which includes onions, chives, shallots and leeks, and is one of the oldest cultivated plants, appearing as a staple in the Sumerian diet according to Sanskrit documents written over 5000 years ago. Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman literature is rich with reference to garlic acting as an aphrodisiac as well as promoting health, courage and bravery.

Garlic scapes taste (duh) like garlic, but a bright, fresh, verdant version of it. You can use them anywhere you’d use regular garlic.  Scapes can be enjoyed both raw and cooked and luckily may last up to a month in your fridge.

Mix chopped garlic scapes with some of the fresh dill you may have gotten with cream cheese, for a yummy spread,  add to sliced sweet peppers and mushrooms for a quick stir-fry, trim and chop and add your scapes to a salad or scrambled eggs, or mix them into another late spring/early summer pesto.


GARLIC SCAPE PESTO AND FRESH MOZZERELLA GRILLED CHEESE
{courtesy of A Thousand Threads}

Makes about 1 cup

10 garlic scapes, finely choppedgp
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you’d like)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you’d like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.

Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months.

GRILLED CHEESE

1 loaf of sourdough bread, sliced
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (or more if you like a lot of cheese and plan to make more than about 3 large sandwiches)
1 cup garlic scape pesto (below)
Butter

For one sandwich: Butter two slices of sourdough bread on one side and smear with a generous amount of pesto on the other.  Place an equally generous amount of mozzarella between pesto-smeared sides and toast over medium heat to taste.


MORE GARLIC SCAPE RECIPES:  Pasta With Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas, Garlic Scape Edamame Hummus, Garlic Scape, Cilantro, Swiss Chard Pesto, Creamy Garlic Scape Dressing, Zucchini and Garlic Scape Relish, Grilled Garlic Scapes With Herb Roasted Potatoes

 

 

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CSA Week 3 :: All That Lettuce and Kohlrabi Too

lettuce wrap

 

So by now you’re probably wondering what to do with all that lettuce?  Am I right?  Two weeks ago, you were thinking… thank heavens fresh greens… and now you are wondering what can I do with all this lettuce besides my usual salad.  In honor of our third week of lettuce, here are a few recipes for shaking up your lettuce routine a little bit.

Leaf lettuce make great wraps and substitutes for bread or salad bowls.  You can wrap just about anything in leaf lettuce.  Chicken, egg or tuna salads.  Taco salads, buffalo chicken, black beans and avocado (pinch a little cilantro out of the herb garden for this one!), cashew chicken, the possibilities are endless.  Instead of your typical BLT sandwich, wrap your B and your T inside your L.  You can even slice your head lettuce in half and slap it on the grill.  Just coat it with some olive oil and your choice of seasonings or a vinaigrette and grill, flipping each minute or two until browned and then serve whole or chopped in a salad.

PicMonkey Collage

RECIPES:   Classic Wilted Lettuce, Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Dressing, BLT Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps, Taco Lettuce Wraps, 15 more lettuce wraps.


kohlrabi-1

KOHLRABI:  Okay, so the web search showed up about a dozen responses to Kohlrabi that were something along the lines of ” a vegetable that looks like it came from Mars” to “What the heck do I do with this strange stuff in my CSA box?”  I have to admit to never having tried Kohlrabi before.  So here is what I’ve learned.  Kohlrabi is in the Brassica family, the same family as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.  Do you see a bit of the family resemblance?  It originated in northwestern Europe, most likely in Germany. In fact, the name kohlrabi is made up of two German words: kohl meaning cabbage and rübe meaning turnip. The word kohlrabi literally translates to “cabbage turnip.” However, unlike the turnip, kohlrabi is not a root vegetable. The large bulb is actually part of the stem, not the root system.

So what is so good about this absurdly strange vegetable?  It’s another of those “powerhouse” vegetables I keep referring to.

Kohlrabi is a carbohydrate-rich food. It has approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates and almost 5 grams of this is from dietary fiber. Because of this, it is not only a good source of energy but it is also beneficial for good digestion. Looking to lose a little weight?  Here you go at 36 calories in a cup.  And those 5 grams of fiber in that little shell  help promote bowel regularity by maintaining healthy intestines and colon. Fibers are also important in preserving the population of good bacteria. All these functions help contribute in lowering the risk of digestive problems, hemorrhoids and colon cancer.

In addition, a cup of raw kohlrabi contains approximately 140% of the RDA for vitamin C which is an instant immune system boost.  Add to that a host of the B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate, these play a role in increasing metabolic rates and maintaining healthy skin and hair.  Then, it’s high in potassium. The reason that’s a big deal? Increased potassium intake & decreased sodium is associated with reduced blood pressure levels and increased bone mineral density.  Potassium is also associated with muscle and nerve functions. It assists in storing carbohydrates, which are used as fuel by the muscles. Nerve transmissions and nerve excitability relies heavily on an adequate level of potassium in the body.


PREP TIME: Here’s the benefit to Kohlrabi versus all those greens we’ve been getting. Kohlrabi can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days. However, If you wish to keep them fora  few more days, then keep them in the refrigerator.  Just before cooking, remove any leaves and trim the stem ends. The leaves can be added to salads or sauteed greens. Peel the skin using paring knife into slices or cubes, depending on the recipe.


RECIPES:  The round bulbs can be steamed, stuffed or stir-fried; added to soups; or sliced and baked. Raw kohlrabi “chips” are crisp, sweet and mildly tangy, making them sensational with vegetable dips, or in salads and slaws. And don’t forget the greens: They make tasty, nutritious additions to salads and stir-fries.

KOHLRABI FRITTERS WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE
{courtesy of The Blooming Glen Beet}kohl

Yogurt Dill Sauce
1/3 cup yogurt
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt to taste

Combine ingredients and chill up to 30 minutes before serving.

Kohlrabi Fritters
Shred 4 kohlrabi bulbs into a colander and sqeeze out excess moisture. In a separate bowl combine 2 beaten eggs,3 Tablespoons dried bread crumbs1/4 cup chopped spring onion (you can add in some green garlic too if you have it), 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste. Add kohlrabi by the spoonful and mix until egg is coating the entire mixture. Heat 4 Tablespoons of olive oil in skillet until small bubbles appear. Form fritter mixture into two-inch balls and drop into skillet. Press gently with spatula to flatten. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.


KOHLRABI TOPS AND BULBS WITH MUSHROOMS AND LENTILS
{Courtesy of Urban Vegan}

1 bunch of kohlrabi bulbs and greenskohl2
1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp smoked paprika
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2  cups cooked lentils, or 1 15 oz. can of your favorite beans, drained and rinsed
About 5 scallions greens and whites, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Peel kohlrabi bulbs. Cut into 1/8-inch slices, then julienne. Trim tops and set aside.  Heat oil over medium in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Stir in Spanish paprika to color the oil and cook for about 4 more minutes or until garlic is soft.  Add mushrooms and kohlrabi bulbs.  Stir, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Check moisture level from time to time: you may need to add salt and/or water or broth [1 T at a time] if mixture gets dry.  Add greens and scallions. Cook covered until soft, about 15-20 minutes more, again checking moisture level and adding broth or water if it gets too dry. Stir in lentils for the last 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve warm or room temperature.


MORE RECIPES:  Mozzerella and Roasted Kohlrabi Crostini with Lemons and Shallots, Kohlrabi Slaw with Dill, Crispy Kohlrabi Medallions, Grated Carrot, Kohlrabi and Radish Salad, Kohlrabi Turnip Gratin, Kohlrabi Fries


 

 

Week Two CSA: Parsley and Swiss Chard

parsley PARSLEY:  Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, folate, and iron.  Parsley is also good for digestion. As with other bitter herbs, parsley stimulates appetite and your digestive tract.  Parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system, too.  It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. However, the herb contains oxalates, which can cause problems for those with existing kidney and gall bladder problems.  Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure.  The folic acid in this herb is like a tonic for your heart.  Use parsley daily, and you’ll feel relief from joint pain, that’s because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties. Parsley tea relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion.   Parsley tea proved useful in the trenches (WWI), when our men got kidney complications. Parsley was reputed to have sprung from the blood of the Greek heroArchemorus, the forerunner of death.  There is an old superstition against transplanting parsley plants.  The herb is said to be dedicated to Persephone and to funeral rites by the Greeks.


PREP TIME:  Fresh parsley should be washed right before using since it is highly fragile. The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and swish it around with your hands. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.  Fresh parsley should be kept in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. If the parsley is slightly wilted, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before storing in the refrigerator.


PARSLEY RECIPES:  Parsley is so much more than a garnish on your plate.

 

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
{courtesy of Gimme Some Oven}chimichurri-sauce
1 cup fresh (flat-leaf) parsley leaves, tightly packed
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, tightly packed
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup good-quality olive oil

Place all ingredients in food processor except for the olive oil. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a jar or bowl, and whisk in olive oil until combined. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

**Pairs well with steak, chicken fish or seafood.

 

SAFFRON CHICKEN WITH PARSLEY AND LEMON
{courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen}
2 boneless, skinless chicken breastssaffron-chicken-7-kalynskitchen
1 large or 2 small onions, cut in lengthwise slivers (this is a little more onions than original recipe)1 T olive oil
1 tsp. butter (optional, but it adds a lot of flavor)
pinch saffron (about 1/4 tsp. or less)
3/4 cup chicken stock (this is a little more chicken stock than original recipe)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice (this is a little more lemon than original recipe)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts and cut in 1/2 strips on the diagonal to make small cutlets.  Peel the onions and cut into lengthwise slivers and chop parsley. Use a heavy frying pan which is not too large and has a tight-fitting lid.  Heat the olive oil and butter, then brown the chicken quickly over medium-high heat.  (Don’t let it cook long enough that the outside starts to get hard.  The chicken does not need to be cooked through.) Remove chicken to a plate, add onion, and brown over very low heat until edges of onion pieces are turning golden, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove browned onions to another plate. Add chicken back to pan, and cover with onions.  Heat chicken stock, add saffron and stir to dissolve, then pour over chicken and onions. Simmer on very low heat with pan covered 30-45 minutes. Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, and a tiny bit of additional water if needed, and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve hot, over rice if desired.


MORE PARSLEY RECIPES:    Parsley, Kale and Berry SmoothieButtery Lemon Parsley Noodles, Parsley Pinenut Pesto, Parsley Soup, Roasted Carrots with Parsley Butter


SwissChard SWISS CHARD:   First of all the name Swiss Chard is a little misleading.  The botanist who discovered and then named it hailed from Switzerland; however, its origin is farther south, in the Mediterranean region, specifically Sicily.  This tall leafy vegetable is a part of the goosefoot family — aptly named because the leaves resemble a goose’s foot. Other members are beets and spinach.  It goes by several other names including silverbeet, Roman kale, and strawberry spinach.

Chard is a great source of vitamin K, A and C, and is a wonderful cauldron of potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber. It is high in antioxidants, making it (once again) another great super food. AND it’s low in calories. A single serving is merely 35 calories, yet contains more than 300% of your daily vitamin K needs and more than a third of your daily value of vitamin C.  Swiss chard also offers fantastic antioxidant protection in the form of phytonutrients known as carotenoids. Specifically, the beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin found in chard help maintain eye health and may reduce the risk of cataracts.  Aside from supporting your eyes and immune system, chard helps maintain bones and may protect against osteoporosis, thanks to the  high doses of vitamin K and magnesium as well as a good amount of calcium.  And to top it off it is also rich in a multitude of B-complex vitamins (especially good for vegetarians).

A note though…Swiss chard contains oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people.  So it is advisable to avoid eating chard in people with known kidney stones.


PREP TIME:  Chard is an extremely perishable leafy vegetable, so it should be used as early as possible once harvested.  As I always say with greens, rinse thoroughly in cool water and pat dry.  Fold each leaf in half lengthwise; cut out hard vein.  This part can be eaten as well, but you may want to chop it up and start it a bit ahead of time, to cook evenly with the leafy parts. To easily chop Swiss Chard roll up the leaf lengthwise and slice across into strips.  You can usually store Swiss Chard in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.


RECIPES:  Swiss chard has an earthy salty, yet bitter taste.  Mature  leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sautéed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling.  Try Swiss chard in smoothies, frittatas, as a side or in soups.


Swiss Chard Gratin
{courtesy of Whole Foods Market}

2 bunches Swiss chard leaves, chopped (about 8 cups packed)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oilsc1
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, more for the baking dish
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon whole wheat bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chard leaves in a saucepan with the water and cook over medium heat until leaves are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Set chard aside. In the same saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. When butter has melted, whisk in the flour until blended. Whisk constantly for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and reserved cooking liquid. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in half of the grated cheese. Stir in the cooked chard and transfer to a buttered 9×9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.


Swiss Chard and Ricotta Pizza
{courtesy of Real Simple}sc2

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bunches Swiss chard, thick stems removed and sliced and leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 cup ricotta

Heat oven to 450° F. Rub the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Press the dough into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle on the prepared baking sheet. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the chard leaves, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.  Dollop the ricotta on the pizza and top with the chard mixture. Drizzle with olive oil.


MORE RECIPES: Cream-Braised Chicken With Swiss Chard and Potatoes, Light Swiss Chard Frittata, Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas, Sausage and Swiss Chard Strata, Swiss Chard, Garlic and Gruyère Pizza,  Baked Potatoes With Ricotta, Swiss Chard and Toasted Garlic


 

 

 

CSA Week One: Radishes, TatSoi and Kale

 


 This Week’s Harvest

bagged lettuce mix
bagged Asian greens mix
kale
radishes
head lettuce
tatsoi “Asian spinach”


Radishes_in_basket RADISHES:   Besides being the first bright bit of color in the spring there are many benefits to eating radishes.  They are a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate and Potassium. Radishes are a naturally cooling food and are highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months.   Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate stagnant food and toxins built up over time.   As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (same family as broccoli and cabbage) radishes contain phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are cancer protecting.  Radishes have a calming effect on the digestive system and can help relieve bloating and indigestion. With a very low calorie count, less than 20 calories in an entire cup, radishes are a great way to add nutrients, fiber and tons of flavor to your meals without compromising your health and with a high water content and lots of vitamin C as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes can help keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy all summer long!

PREP TIME:   Radishes take minimal prep time, just cut off the tops and use a stiff vegetable brush to scrub them under cold running water.  But don’t discard the greens to the compost just yet, they can be eaten as well!!


RECIPES:  Besides slicing them into your spring salad there are many ways to use your radishes both in hot and cold dishes and appetizers.

 

Herb Goat Cheese & Radish Tartines:  rad
{courtesy of  Tartelette}
Makes 2 tartines per person
8 slices of your favorite bread
8 oz plain goat cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch radishes (about 6 to 8) cut into thin slices

Grill or toast the bread and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and herbs until well blended. Spread some of the goat cheese mixture on the tartines, top with some radish slices.

 

Roasted Radishes with Radish Greens
{courtesy of Food & Wine}
3 bunches small radishes with greens attachedrad2
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender. Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat  until they are wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and season with salt.


More radish recipes:   Pickled Radishes, Cinnamon Sugar Radish Chips,  Radish Butter,  Bok Choy and Radishes, Salmon with Cucumber Radish Relish, Chicken Arugula and Radish Pizza, Asparagus & Radishes with Mint, Roasted Radishes with Chive Vinaigrette, Radish Leaf Pesto.


tatsoi-organic-seed TATSOI:  is among the most popular of oriental greens but you might not have heard of it until it showed up in your weekly share.  In fact you may have even eaten Tatsoi in your store bought mixed greens and not even known.  Tatsoi is not only full of flavor, but very tender and can be used in salad mixes, in soups and in Oriental stir-fry.  Tatsoi tastes like a milder version of mustard greens and has a texture similar to bok choy. It’s low in calories yet high in minerals, vitamins, and health-promoting antioxidants. 

PREP TIME: As with any greens be sure to rinse them well, wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.


RECIPES:   TatSoi can be used with any other green that you might like to make a salad, such as spinach, arugula or watercress or even also be substituted for any recipe calling for spinach. Its tangy and peppery notes pair well with citrus, crisp cool ingredients such as apple, fennel and mint.

 

TATSOI AND ARUGULA SALAD  WITH MUSTARD DRESSING

{Courtesy of Raw on $10 A Day}

tat soi leavestat1
 arugula leaves
2 green onions
1 carrot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
 Toss together the greens and onion, and carrot. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over salad.

GINGER BEEF STIR FRY
{courtesy of Blue Apron}GingerBeefStir_20Fry_BlueApron_high_feature
1 Cup Jasmine Rice
8 Ounces Tatsoi
3 Scallions
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Bunch Basil
1 Small Piece Ginger
10 Ounces Top Round Steak
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
In a small pot, combine the rice, 2 cups of water,and a big pinch of salt. Heat to boiling on high, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Fluff the finished rice with a fork.
While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the tatsoi into bite-sized pieces. Slice the scallions. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Pick the  basil leaves off the stems. Thinly slice the steak.
In a large pan, heat some oil on high until hot. Add the sliced beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer the stir-fried beef to a plate, leaving behind any juices in the pan.
In the same pan used for the beef, add a little more oil and heat it on medium-high. Add the garlic andginger; cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Stir in the tatsoi, soy sauce, half of the hoisin sauce, and half the scallions. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and coated in the sauce. Add the stir-fried beef back to the pan and cook until heated through and coated in the sauce. Remove from heat.
Divide the rice between 2 plates. Top each with the beef and tatsoi stir-fry. Garnish each with the basilremaining hoisin sauce, and remaining scallions. 


 kale1KALE:  By now everyone has heard of Kale.  It’s been called  “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse” for good reason. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content.  Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.  Kale is high in Vitamin K.  Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting.  Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants.  Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.   Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.  Kale is great for cardiovascular support and eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.  Kale is high in Vitamin A which is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.  Kale is high in Vitamin C which is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.  But you may not k now that Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility.  And lastly, Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.


PREP TIME:  Rinse kale leaves under cold running water.  Wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag  in the coldest part of the fridge. Kale tends to get more and more bitter the longer it is left at room temperature, so keep it cool!  Kale is very sensitive to ethylene, formed naturally from certain other produce, so store it away from those items.  A 1- to 1 1/2-pound bunch of kale yields 16 to 24 cups of chopped leaves. When preparing kale , remove the tough ribs, chop or tear the kale as directed, allowing some water to cling to the leaves. The moisture helps steam the kale during the first stages of cooking. Chop leaf portion into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths for quick and even cooking.


KALE RECIPES:  It’s pretty hard NOT to find a kale recipe.  I found recipes galore.   Do a quick search on the internet and you will find headings like “41 Ways to Cook with Kale”  “50+ Kale Recipes” and of course “365 Days of Kale“.  There was even a “10 Kale Recipes That Actually Taste Good” on the Fox News site….go figure.

 

BASIC SAUTEED KALE
{courtesy of Eating Well/Kitchen Daily}

1 ⅓ tsp 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped

basic-sauteed-kale-6391/2 cup water
2 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
3 tsp sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add kale and cook, tossing with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add water, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Push kale to one side, add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the empty side and cook garlic and crushed red pepper in it until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in vinegar to taste and salt.


CASHEW KALE
{courtesy of Kicking Cancer In The Kitchen}

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large carrot, thinly sliced into rounds (about 1/2 cup)cashew-kale-recipe 2 bunches kale, thick stems removed, thinly sliced (about 8 cups) 1 garlic clove, minced 2 to 3 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce) 1/2 cup raw cashews 1/4 cup raisins

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the carrot for five minutes. Add the garlic, kale, tamari, cashews and raisins and sauté a few minutes until cashews begin to soften.


More Kale Recipes:  Kale Berry Smoothie, Sweet Potato Kale Hash, Garlic Lemon Kale Pasta, Kale Pizza, Kale Chips with Flavor Options, Kale and Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Baked White Chedder Mac and Cheese With Kale and Bacon, and more