Seriously, kale has changed my life. Say you don’t like it? Let me convince you. You are gonna want to give it another try, or if you are a lover of it, as I am, I will reaffirm your dietary choice. I know that I am late to the party on this. Several years ago, I started noticing shirts and green bumper stickers with the word: Kale. I wondered who in their right mind would brandish a vegetable on themselves or their car? There is even an entire online store that sells Eat More Kale merchandise. Did I say years? Think of the time I have wasted not eating kale. Sigh.
So several months ago, I tasted the most amazing kale salad, ever. As a cook, I immediately begin to decipher the flavors I was experiencing so that I could recreate it. I did a pretty good job, and my version was delicious. In the process, I learned that kale is really a blank canvas, like any other green (but so much more) or for meat eaters, the way chicken or white fish is with myriad possibilities for recipes.
It can hold the flavors of Thai Curry, Mexican or Italian. Additions such as cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, beans, meat, seeds and nuts make it more yummy. Olive and avocado oils work well as does a drizzle of fresh orange or lemon juice. The possibilities are endless. My favorite, super secret ingredient is Bragg Nutritional Yeast. In my mind, Bragg brand has no equal. It adds B vitamins and boosts the protein of the kale. Did I forget to mention the protein in kale? Just another reason that kale is amazing. It also is high in fiber. This makes it so satiating. You will actually feel full from eating a salad! High in antioxidants, it aids the immune system – always a good thing for athletes.
While I am touting making a salad with kale, it can also be made into kale chips by baking. It can be sautéed with a bit of garlic and oil. Kale is also perfect for blending and drinking. The bitter taste that some folks report is easily balanced with other ingredients. Don’t give up. It is so good for you. My dogs, a papillon and a lab sit anxiously as I chop kale. They wait for whatever drops or the discards I feed them. It is one of their favorites.
Kale is my go to food for dinner, especially on a day when I have over-eaten or I am feeling heavy. I can eat a plate full of it, really enjoy it, and feel satisfied. It is also good to eat the night before a run or race as it gets things moving quickly. It also takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.
Kale is deserving of the status is has attained. It is one of the healthiest veggies on the planet.
So, get creative and make some kale.
And of course, I would be remiss if I did not include a recipe. One of my favorite options for a salad: chopped kale with onion, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, paprika, lemon pepper, and olive oil topped with raw, sprouted sunflower seeds. Be mindful: use a good bit of the Bragg Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy!
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