Kale harvest

Why I Love Kale

Why do I love kale?

Well, it’s the first thing I’ve been able to grow out here in the desert that hasn’t been decimated by the local fauna.  Apparently, they find spinach much tastier than kale.  Here’s my last harvest of kale for the year:

Kale, swiss chard and green onion
You might notice that there’s also some swiss chard and a green onion tucked in there. It looked as pretty as a floral arrangement!

Second, it’s AMAZINGLY HEALTHY for you!!!  It’s high in fiber, iron, and anti-oxidants and low in calories and fat.  It can help to lower cholesterol and fight asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease.  It’s high in vitamins A & C and is also high in calcium.

Are you interested in eating more kale but don’t know how to incorporate it into your diet?  Here’s a few ideas:

-Add raw kale into your salads.  Cut out the center rib, and then rip/cut the leaves into smaller bite sizes to mix in with your regular selection of greens.

-Throw kale into soups and stews.

-Add it into smoothies.

-Sauté kale as a side dish with garlic (Thanks Ruth, for the idea!  She recommends it sauteed in coconut oil.  Yum!)

-Make kale chips:  Remove the ribs.  Cut leaves into chip-size pieces and then lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Toss to coat.  Spread your kale on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 275˚, turning once about halfway through.

-Make a kale and pasta toss.  This a quick dinner that is really tasty.  The kids always wolf this down even though it’s got all that green in it.Pasta and Kale Toss (11 of 11)

KALE AND PASTA TOSS (serves about 3 adults – or 2 adults and 2 kids)

1 large bunch of kale, washed and chopped (ribs removed)

1/2 lb pasta, choose your favorite (I like elbow, my kids love the bow-ties, etc.)

3 Tbs olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup almonds, chopped or slivered

Dash red pepper flakes

Salt and Pepper

-Get a large pot of water boiling.  Add a couple of pinches of salt.

-Next, fill a large bowl about 2/3 full of ice water

-Throw your washed and chopped kale into the boiling water.  Stir it in for about 30-40 seconds.  It will turn a bright green and begin to wilt a little.Pasta and Kale Toss (2 of 11)

-Quickly, take your kale out of the boiling water and immediately into the ice water.  This will put a stop to the greens cooking and losing their beautiful color.Pasta and Kale Toss (3 of 11)

-Don’t dump out your hot water!  Use it to cook your pasta after you’ve got the kale in the ice water bath.

-Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium low heat and add the olive oil.

-When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes.  Cook only about 3 minutes.  You don’t want to scorch the garlic.

-Drain the kale and add it to the skillet with the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes.  (Lots of popping and sizzling is normal!)Pasta and Kale Toss (5 of 11)

-The pasta should be done about this point so go ahead and drain it.  Add the kale mixture to the pasta and mix well.

-Add the lemon juice, almonds, and parmesan and stir well.

-Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.Kale and Pasta Toss

4 Comments

  1. I plan to go to the farmers market this weekend, and I’m sure kale will be prominent! I love this recipe idea for dinner!

  2. I love kale, too and use it a lot. Your pasta toss sounds great!!
    The last time I made sautéed kale with garlic I used coconut oil. Luscious!

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