Kale, oh how I love thee.

20121121-095628.jpg

Since I have kale in the name of my blog, I thought it only fitting that one of my first posts be about this incredibly nutrient dense and versatile food. I was actually a little hesitant to have kale in the name of my blog because what if it’s just be a passing trend… I mean, it’s incredibly fashionable to be buying kale right now! But the truth of the matter is that I’ve loved greens since I was a kid. Growing up in Texas, you kind of can’t help but have a natural affinity for these leafy beauties. They’re a great source of Iron and B vitamins, and they’re availble year-round. The cool thing about Kale in particular is that you can hide it in other foods and still get the nutritional punch, without the sour face. (Consider throwing a leaf or two into a smoothie.) As you’ll see from my other posts, I’m all about sneaking lots of nutrition in my kids food when I have a chance.
Now with so many varieties to choose from how do you pick just one? Well the truth is, you don’t. But for the purposes of today’s recipes I used Dino Kale, also called Lactino Kale. It has relatively flat slender leaves and is shaped more like romaine lettuce than the curly kale you might be use to as a garnish on your old school plate. It has a bit of a waxy texture and that means it can stand up against acid well. That make it perfect for my first recipe.

Kale Salad

1 bunch dino kale
1 large fuji apple
1 lemon
1/2 dried cranberries

Wash and dry the kale then stack it on top of each other and cut it into very thin strips – crosswise. Then cube the apple into 1/2 in chunks. I like to leave the peal on since it has a lot of pectin and the peel is where the majority of the vitamins in an apple are located (it’s yet another reason to buy organic, as it’s also the place most of the pesticides are stored if you use a conventional apple).
Combine the kale and apple in a bowl and squeeze the juice from 1/2 – 1 whole lemon, depending on taste. Toss it together. Then sprinkle the dried cranberries on top and enjoy! In my opinion this salad tastes seen better after its sat in the fridge for a few hours. And the apples won’t brown because of the lemon juice.

This next recipe is something I make at least once a week. But it almost never lasts because everyone gobbles them up before they’ve even cooled!

Kale Chips:

1 bunch Dino Kale
1 TBS Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Wash and dry the kale then chop it into pieces about 2 inches long. Take the olive oil and put some on your hands then rub each leaf between your hands so that they get a nice good rubdown. Then lay them all out in a single layer on a baking pan. I have a yummy dark pan that I use for roasting vegetable. You can see it in the picture – it’s become well seasoned with so much use. Try to keep them in a single layer so they cook evenly. Otherwise you’ll send up with some soggy and some burned. Then sprinkle them with salt and put it in the oven at 350 for about 17 min. Check it after 10 and you may have to turn the leaves once depending on their water content. Notice that I left the rib (center vein) in the kale when I baked it. I like the added texture as that part doesn’t crisp up. But if you want them crispy all over then remove that before baking and reduce your bake time to about 7 min.
This is one of my favorite late night snacks! And the kids love them too.

20121121-095656.jpg

And here is my finished product! Yummy, yummy….

20121121-095646.jpg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *