Monday, January 9, 2012

Kale - My new meal buddy

Ever since the Fall popped around, I've pretty much had kale everyday.

I grew two types of kale in the summer - baby kale and just regular kale.  The baby type was lovely in salads and sandwiches, where as the kale is great sauteed, roasted or in a baked dish.

Now, a bit about my eating habits.  I'm back to my regular schedule where I prepare my meals by the week.  I find that if I pre-plan my meals I make wiser choices on what I buy, how much I buy and what I cook.

I have another thing to admit.  I'm ridiculously cheap at times.  I can't stand seeing people put things to waste.  We had a number of luncheons at work and they used kale as a garnish and they were going to throw it all out!  You can eat that stuff!  So I took it all (about three large plastic bags full) and froze what I couldn't use immediately.

I'm not the type of person who gets tired of eating the same thing everyday.  I can eat the same thing for lunch and dinner - I'll go ahead and toot my own horn - I'm a great cook.  I've been using my slow cooker for the most part and it's one of my favourite kitchen tools.  I love eating soups and stews.  They're hearty, good for you, easy to make, and you can fill em with great stuff.  

So, I've made the following items over the past weeks and everything had kale in it:

Week 1: Minestrone Soup
Week 2: Butternut and sweet potato soup with roasted walnuts, fennel and fried kale chips
Week 3: Thai Curry stew with sauteed kale, roasted almonds and root vegetables
Week 4: Lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choi, five spice marinade tofu stew in a spicy chili sauce and pickled kale
Week 5: Borscht
Week 6: Kale, sun-dried tomato, pecorino cheese, green olives, mustard seed, red onion quiche
Week 7: Quinoa salad with sauteed onions, kale and tofu

What the hell is so great about kale?  According to WHFoods, kale has some of the following benefits:

Antioxidant-Related Health Benefits
Kale's cancer preventive benefits have been clearly linked to its unusual concentration of two types of antioxidants, namely, carotenoids and flavonoids. Lutein and beta-carotene are antioxidants that protect our body.  Recent research has also made it clear that at least 45 different antioxidant flavonoids exist in kale.

Other stuff about kale according to
  • Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system
  • It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration
  • It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer
  • Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll

 Nutritional Value of cooked 1 cup of kale (boiled and without salt) from Happy Juicer:
Vitamin A(IU) 13621
Vitamin A (microg retinol activity equivalents) 681
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.138
Vitamin B12 (microg) 0
Folic Acid (microg) 0
Niacin (mg) 0.5
Riboflavin (mg) 0.07
Thiamin (mg) 0.053
Vitamin C (mg) 41
Vitamin E (mg) 0.85
Vitamin K (mg) 817
Calcium (mg) 72
Copper (mg) 0.156
Iron (mg) 0.9
Manganese (mg) 0.416
Magnesium (mg) 18
Phosphorus (mg) 28
Potassium (mg) 228
Selenium (microg) 0.9
Sodium (mg) 23
Zinc (mg) 0.24
Protein (g) 1.9
Fibre (g) 2
Water (g) 91.2
Carbohydrate (g) 5.63
Energy (Kcal) 28
Lipids (fats) (g) 0.4
Cholesterol (mg) 0

 Care to share your recipes???

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