By now, you, me and almost everyone else has fallen deeply in love with kale… or not. For many, the reasons behind a sudden love-affair with this spectacular superfood remain still something of a mystery.
If you’re one of those few who have yet to succumb to its charms, here are a few facts that just might change your mind:
- Kale has more vitamin C than an orange;
- It’s a great source of “good” fats (like alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), the omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential for boosting brain health, heart health and reducing type 2 diabetes);
- It has more vitamin A than any other leafy green;
- It has more calcium than a container of milk;
- It’s full of iron (which can be made even more bioavailable with a splash of lemon juice); and
- It has multiple nutrients and cancer-fighting compounds that are great at combating inflammation and preventing the formation of arterial plaque (especially when dressed up with fats like avocado, olive oil or parmesan cheese, which can make fat-soluble carotenoids more available to the body – boy! maybe I got too technical here).
Still not convinced? We have several recipes at Cooking Journeys that easily get enhanced with a handful of tenderized kale* and become a hearty lunch or a nice side dish. The following recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy all the bounty of nutrition that kale has to offer, as either a side or a light and lovely lunch.
Kale Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
1 lb. (500 g) Tuscan kale, stems and centre ribs removed, cut into small bite size pieces.
1 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved (not a fan? what about roasting diced butternut squash?)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (30 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
1 tablespoon (mL) grainy mustard
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place prepared kale in a large bowl and dress with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Massage with your hands and set aside.
2. Toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast until tender and charred in spots, 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, add the sliced shallots to a small sauté pan and cook for 1-2 min. over medium heat . Transfer to a small bowl and add vinegar, honey and mustard. Whisk well and set aside.
4. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to the large mixing bowl with the kale, shallots mixture and toasted walnuts – toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.
* Keep tenderized kale in your fridge in an air-thigts container for 2 or 3 days and add it to soups and salads.