Let’s talk kale!

Every time I mention kale to my mother she groans and rolls her eyes saying “I don’t like kale.”  Talk about a role reversal. I tell her (like a mother would), “I just don’t think you’ve given it a chance or had it prepared the right way.”  Personally, I’ve just learned how to massage my kale and it has made kale easy, quick, and delicious.

Of course, every time I’ve told people I’ve been massaging my kale they look at me like I’m crazy, except my niece in Oregon who is the one who actually inspired me to do this. She credits me with inspiring her to explore the world of good food many years ago.  Now she’s returning the favor and turning me on to her favorite ways of making things.  She and her husband have the flair for the creative when it comes to cooking.  You wouldn’t believe the number of vegetables they can put in a blender and get their kids to eat!

On this past trip she talked about how she makes a salad with kale by massaging it.  I had heard of this process before but I’d never tried it.  For some reason I’ve always found kale a little mysterious.  I guess because I never had it growing up and it isn’t something that you see a lot in restaurants.  

So here’s how easy it is.  Rip the kale leaves from the thick stem and put them in a bowl.  Pour a little olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on top and massage for a minute or so. The tough cellulose structure breaks down and the leaves begin to wilt.  You will feel and see it happening while you massage. This process changes the flavor from kind of bitter to soft and mellow. Add other vegetables to the mix and perhaps a bit of lemon juice or vinegar and you have a great, easy salad.

Why am I so crazy about kale?  Besides being tasty, kale is one of the best vegetables you can eat.  http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale Read more about it on WebMD. 

NOTE:  Vitamin K found in kale can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should consult their doctor before adding kale to their diet.

Before I end I have to give you the link for the recipe for Spicy Kale-Almond Pesto and White Bean Pasta that a friend fixed for me last week.  It was absolutely incredible.  It’s from Delicious Living at http://newhope360.com/recipes/spicy-kale-almond-pesto-and-white-bean-pasta. Note: I used 8 oz. of pasta, not 4 oz. as called for in the recipe.  I soaked the beans in lemon juice while I did everything else.  I added cherry tomatoes on top. Yum!

If you have a favorite way to make kale, please let me know in your comments below.

Enjoy!

 

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4 Responses to Let’s talk kale!

  1. You can also make chips out of kale. Remove the stems, and if the leaves are really large, cut them into smaller pieces. Drizzle the kale with a little olive oil and whatever seasonings you prefer; toss to coat; then lay out each piece on cookie sheets and bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. They’re a crunchy treat!

  2. I LOVE kale too! My brother taught me the massaged kale salad method a few months ago and I prepare it often. My favorite add-ins are dried cranberries, almonds or pecans, and chopped apples. I also sometimes crumble in a little fresh Goatsbeard chevre.

    I also love to cook kale. My favorite method is to wash and dry the leaves and slice them into ribbons about 1 inch wide. Put a little olive oil in a skillet and add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes right away. This way, as the oil slowly warms it will coax flavor out of the garlic and pepper flakes without turning them bitter. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, add the kale and salt to taste. Saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. The kale will shrink down a lot and will release quite a bit of juice. You can stop cooking at this point, in which case you will have a little bit more texture. You can drain off all or most of the juice if you like. Or you can cover the pan and let the kale cook over the lowest possible heat for awhile longer. The longer it cooks the silkier it will become, but don’t cook it to death!

    The kale prepared this way can be eaten as a side dish, or can be used atop polenta or tossed with pasta. For a slightly heartier version, stir in cooked white beans or chickpeas and warm through.

    There are many varieties of kale. My favorite is “dinosaur” or “lacinato” kale. I find it a little milder in flavor and texture than the curlier varieites. Kale is available from several vendors at the Columbia Farmers’ Market, including organic selections from both The Salad Garden and Share Life Farms. Kale should be available well into the winter. It is about the easiest and hardiest vegetable to grow in this area.

    I haven’t had great luck with kale chips, though I love the idea. Will try that again soon using Angela’s instructions!

  3. By Any Chance, do you have even more topics like the following 1 termed, Let’s talk kale!

    | Tasting Mindfulness? I just would like to read even far more
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  4. you can look on my link to recipes on the website. i don’t have a lot of blog pieces like “let’s talk kale” but thanks for letting me know you liked it. i can try to do more in the future. best wishes, lynn

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