I have been meaning to write a post about kale for a while.
As 2013 began, I had a few friends inquire how best to eat kale. Be it resolved to eat more kale? It may be many moons later, but there is no better time than to eat more greens than yesterday. Or if you need a greener boost, how about upcoming St Paddy’s Day? ;)
I have talked about vegetable ratings before (Nutrition Action’s winner of the veggies is kale followed by other leafy veggies) but Dr Fuhrman’s ANDI (aggregate nutrient density index) score is probably more widely disseminated. Whole Foods has started to rate its produce by publicizing ANDI scores. While not a perfect system at all, it prioritizes nutrients per caloric cost. I agree with Anthony’s musings on the ANDI scores which suggests this may confuse people. Focus on whole foods, primarily vegetables and legumes with occasional fruits, grains, nuts and seeds. Why battle it out between greens, when one should try to rotate through them all? Kale, yes, but also Swiss chard, spinach and collards. Throw in Romaine lettuce and mixed baby mesclun greens. Go Asian with baby bok choy or another Asian green. Try out chicory to see if you like it more than me. ;)
I had elaborate plans to create a green eating guide, but as I waited, procrastinated, let life happen, others posted great greenery cooking summaries. Lindsay recently posted videos on how to strip and cook kale. I also found this nice guide from Epicurious. I will not reinvent the wheel but I will continue to share my green eats.
As I told my friends, be persistent. You may not like all greenery preparations right away. Instead of a raw kale salad, try kale chips. Add kale to your soups or stir fries, instead. Or
hideblend it into a smoothie or baked good. Slowly integrate them into your diet until you find something you like.
Here is a lengthy list of ideas for numerous greens. Raw, cooked, I’ve got you covered for your greens. Once I started, I just couldn’t keep away any of my favourites. I even limited myself to leafy greens. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts are for another list.
Soups, Stews and Curries:
Stirfries, Skillets and Pastas:
Pizza topping (kale chips!):
As a side:
Inside a wrap with peanut dressing
As a wrap:
Plain Kale Chips (with a video)
The options with greens are endless. I continually find new recipes and new favourites.
Case in point: this Indian-spiced Chickpeas and Kale. Not authentic Indian but authentically good. Cumin, cardamom and ginger augment garam masala to create a quick dish with chickpeas and kale. A touch of tahini adds a hit of creaminess that transcends its small amount. The greens are wilted in a stir fry but fully flavoured and juicy. Paired with chickpeas, this makes a complete meal.
What is your favourite way to eat greens?
Indian-Spiced Chickpeas and Kale
Adapted, barely, from Fat Free Vegan
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup tomato, chopped (100g, I used cherry tomatoes)
6 cups kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped (3 oz prepped)
1/2 cup broth, divided (I used the broth from the chickpeas)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp Aleppo chile flakes. or to taste
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 tsp tahini
1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions. Sprinkle with salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until they brown. Add ginger, garlic and cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds are fragrant, around 2 minutes. Add tomato and deglaze with any juices. Cook another 2 minutes.
2. Deglaze with a further 1/4 cup of broth and stir int he kale. Cover. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir and cook until kale is bright green.
3. Stir in the remaining broth, cooked chickpeas, ground cumin, cardamom and chile flakes. Stir until well combined. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
4. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add the garam masala and tahini. Stir until well combined and can be tossed with the remainder of the ingredients. Combine so that the kale is well covered with the tahini.