The “Greens and Beans” Page was created as a space to share recipes, nutrition information and hopefully inspiration to friends, family and community members who would like to incorporate these life-giving foods we grow into their diets.
KALE for BREAKFAST
We start our kale in the spring after the threat of a hard frost passes. This cooler climate seems to keep the plants happy and the leaves tender, crispy and sweet. Although kale hangs on through the hotter, dryer summer months, it grows best in the cool crisp autumn air. Like most vegetables in the brassica family, kale is sweetened by a touch of frost. Some call it the perfect fall crop.
Kale was our very first “Vegetable of the Week” for our “Greens and Beans” cooking club. Below are some suggestions based on our night in the kitchen with kale.
There were four or five recipes we trialed at that meeting and the results gave us some tips to share.
Most of us agreed that if kale has just recently come into your life, you should start off with a recipe in which the kale is cooked. Steamed, blanched or in a stir fry. You can transition to raw salads and even juicing if you become a true kale “junky” like myself. We also noticed that our favorite recipes included lemon juice, olive oil and a touch of sea salt.
1 bunch kale (lacinato or red russian) chopped
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil
2 tablespoons water
Heat oil in a pan on med/high heat, add garlic and saut’e for 1 minute, now add kale and 2tbs. of water (to prevent sticking) and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
This basic recipe is delicious on it’s own. You could also try adding one of the following to the basic recipe:
1) Fresh juice of 1/2 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
2) 2 tablespoons balsamic vinager, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup feta cheese.
3) Try adding 1 cup sliced mushrooms and 2 tablespoons tamari to the saut’e pan at the same time you add the garlic. OR
4) Add 1/2 cup chopped kale to your omelet or scrabbled aggs in the morning.
It was during a nutrition course I took that I first started really paying attetntion to how my body (and mind for that matter) responds to different foods. I discovered I am a “greens girl” through and through. How do I know? Try keeping a journal or log of what you eat and how you feel before and after each meal, snack, drink and dessert. It is time consuming but even if you track just a few days you will discover something. Over time you will be able to adjust your diet resulting in increased energy, mental clarity, digestive wellness and overall optimal health. (*Learn more about keeping a food/mood log this fall/winter at our Suppers meetings. For more information go to thesuppersprograms.org)
Here is what I found out about kale:
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K (1328%DV), vitamin A (354%DV), vitamin C (89%DV) and manganese(27%DV). It is also a very good source of dietary fiber (3g/1cup cooked), copper(10%), calcium(9%DV), vitamin B6(9%DV), iron(6%DV), potassium (8%DV), lutein and the phytochemicals sulphurophane and indoles which research suggest may protect against cancer.
These percentages are based on the average person ages 4 and older consuming a 2000calorie diet. Remember that we are all biologically individual and amounts may vary based on our indivudual needs.
As a “greens girl”, I eat kale for breakfast. Try it!
(*Just a reminder that none of the information found on the “Greens and Beans” page is medical advise. For that you should always visit witha medical professional.)