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I used to hate kale. I thought it was just plain gross! Recently though, my tastes are changing and kale has become a surprising favorite of mine. I never would have thought it!

Kale is part of the cabbage family and it is filled with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that are good for you. Kale is a good source of protein and fiber. It has folate which is good for the brain and it has more vitamin C than an orange. No wonder why it is called a “super” food!

If you’re not sure about kale but want to give it a try, here’s a good recipe to get you started. It’s how I make an old Italian dish called “greens and beans”.

Here’s What You Need:

  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 medium to large white onion diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 large bunch of kale (would make about 10 cups packed) – chopped
  • 1 cup or more vegetable broth
  • 3 cans of cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) – drained (I don’t drain them – I like the juice)
  • 1 teaspoon or more of cooking sherry or sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese – grated (optional)

Preparation:

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and dried crushed pepper; stir until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more, tossing with tongs to coat with oil.

Add 1 cup broth, cover, and simmer until greens are just tender, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if dry, 1 to 10 minutes, depending on type of greens. Add beans; simmer uncovered until beans are heated through and liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and serve.

Notes Regarding This Recipe:

  • I put chopped white onion in with the garlic and crushed pepper and actually saute for about 5 minutes
  • I usually use 2 big bunches of kale
  • I chop the greens into small to medium pieces
  • I don’t drain the beans. I like the flavor of the juice from the beans
  • I cook the kale until it turns dark green and is soft

I don’t eat bread, but if you do, a loaf of Italian bread or garlic bread goes nicely with this dish.

And if you still cannot stomach the idea of kale, you can use fresh spinach for this recipe. I don’t think it is as good but it works. Whatever you do, be sure to add plenty of fresh veggies to your diet. They are yummy and oh so good for you!

ENJOY!

More healthy recipes for 2015 will follow…

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