“Kale has many health attributes,” says Pam Dowker, a registered dietician with Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. It’s important for vision, bone health and contains cancer-fighting compounds. “It packages a lot of vitamins and nutrients into one vegetable.”
Kale contains vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, manganese, magnesium and fiber. Eaten regularly, cooked kale can help reduce cholesterol, Dowker says. She recommends eating leafy greens such as kale two to four times a week and suggests adding it to soups, stews and stir fry. She offers these simple kale recipes:
Quick Oriental Kale
(Makes 4 portions)
Plunge 1 lb. of chopped kale into boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain very well. Toss with 1 Tbsp. of toasted sesame oil and 1 tsp. of reduced-sodium soy sauce.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/16 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- With a knife or kitchen shears, carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place kale in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Rub the oil evenly on the leaves.
- Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- 8 oz. uncooked farfalle (bowtie pasta)
- ¼ c. oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
- 1 ½ c. chopped onion
- 8 oz. hot turkey Italian sausage
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
- 14 oz. can of fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 16 oz. package of fresh kale
- 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ c. shaved fresh parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain, reserving 1 c. water and keep warm.
- Drain tomatoes in a small sieve over a bowl, reserving 2 tsp. oil. Slice tomatoes.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add tomatoes, reserved oil, onion and sausage to pan and cook for 10 minutes or until sausage is brown, stirring to crumble.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add seasoning, pepper and broth to pan.
- Stir in kale, cover and simmer for five minutes or until kale is tender.
- Stir in pasta, reserved cup of water and beans.
- 1 lb. fresh kale, tough stem removed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Caramelize the onions: Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a sauté pan over medium low heat and add the onions. Cook very slowly on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned; do not burn.
- When finished, remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a separate sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped kale and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add the onions and, if desired, the lemon juice.
- Toss together.
- Remove from heat and serve.