Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kale Krazy

If it's possible to fall in love with a vegetable, kale would be my muse. Seriously--this is a hardy, hard-core, leafy green that is delicious and can be prepared in numerous ways. It is choc full of Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Beta Carotene and some other things that we can't even pronounce. 100 grams of fresh kale leaves contain 200% of the recommended daily levels of Vitamin C. Take that, oranges! It has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable and until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. Long live the Queen of Vegetables!

Before becoming vegan, I cringed at the idea of eating any vegetable that does not start with "po" and end in "tato." Dark green leafy vegetables? As we say in New York, forgedaboudit! Now I can't get enough of this stuff. It has a wonderful texture and a deep, rich, almost peppery flavor. You can use it to liven up any meal. 

So here are a few of our favorite ways to prepare this green goddess: 

Kale Chips
These are a tasty, crunchy replacement for greasy potato chips and can be used as a topper on...well, anything. Explore your own favorite flavors by mixing up the spices you use. 

1. Prep the kale. Simply wash, pat dry and cut into bite size pieces.
2. Arrange pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly drizzle olive oil on top of the kale and toss it about with your hands, making sure it all gets coated evenly. I recommend using a Misto if you've got one. 
3. Sprinkle salt on the kale. I highly recommend using Himilayan pink salt.
4. Cook in the oven at 250 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. 

Note that the kale will become very soft before it begins to crisp up! Don't panic if you check on it and it seems limp. Give it time and it will turn crunchy and delicious. After you give the basic recipe a try, explore other spices like garlic powder, paprika, cumin, etc.

Description: http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/05/15/chipskale_custom-00f6fddd0bf6fcfe5067b15cb2c4e8a72a8e3278-s6-c10.jpg

Sauteed Kale
This is an old school, super easy way to prepare kale. The dark green color will become even more vibrant as it cooks. 

1. Prep the kale.Wash, pat dry and cut into pieces that are roughly 1-2 inches long. Prepare what looks like about twice as much as you need. It will greatly reduce in size!
2. Using a saute pan, cook the kale over medium heat (no oil necessary). Optionally, add minced garlic, salt and pepper.
3. As you are cooking, gradually add a tablespoon or two of water. The kale will absorb the water as it becomes tender. 

Andrea's Kale Salad 
No cooking required! The recipe for this zesty salad is a creation by my bestie, Andrea.

One large bag (or head) of kale
2 tbs Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids
The juice of one lemon
One clove of crushed garlic
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

1. Prep the kale. Simply wash, pat dry and cut into bite size pieces.
2. Put all of the ingredients except the kale into a large bowl and mix well.
3. Toss in the kale, coating it well.
4. Serve immediately. 

Got any delicious kale recipes? Send 'em our way and we'll add it to the blog!

Enjoy and happy kaling,

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