Lately I just can’t seem to get enough green, curly kale into my system. Actually Curly or Dark Russian long leafed, Red kale, doesn’t seem to matter. I am power–chowing this nutrient dense super food like it is the latest fad. There’s plenty of chewing but I Gotta Have My Greens!
If kept in a cold spot in the fridge, wrapped in a wet paper towel inside a Ziploc bag Kale will not only keep longer, it will become slightly sweeter to taste. The key with kale is to remove the curly leaves from the huge rubbery stem. Stems are good treats to give to your dog as a chew stick. Chop the kale and have plenty of other greens, nuts, seeds and fruit on hand for a real satisfying meal.
Particularly interesting lately, is my desire to have my kale raw and in salads. I have also learned that those pesky unpopular Brussels Sprouts are rather tasty raw. Like tiny cute cabbages, also when kept cold will sweeten up. Sliced very thin with a food processor or mandolin they add some added crunch to a tasty Kale Salad.
I enjoy chopped fresh kale as a replacement for romaine lettuce in a classic Caesar Salad with bacon bits and croutons. Add some protein like grilled chicken on top can make it interesting.
Kale chopped and tossed into pasta water during the last five minutes of cooking time is an easy way to get wilted greens on the table topped with your favourite pasta sauce or drizzled with oil and garlic and parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, a few pine nuts or walnuts to finish off the flavours. So fresh, flavourful and such a gourmet-style dish, enough to impress your dinner date or family in an instant.
TASTY KALE SALAD
The addition of raw sweet beets, golden or purple will jazz up the look of your salad and give it a sweet edge. Sliced red or orange peppers are a real hit too. Fresh roasted almonds are a nice touch as well for added protein. I have used cold rotisserie chicken or hot-off-the-grill chicken on top of the salad just before serving to make it a complete one dish meal.
- 4 cups kale, ribs removed and finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts thinly sliced
- 4 med grated cooked or raw red or golden beets or thin sliced sweet peppers
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or 1 chopped fresh apple or pear
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled – optional
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil