Kale in 3 delicious ways

Kale is unarguably the most popular leafy vegetable, sort of a celebrity in the leafy world, touted for its health benefits. I have to come to like it too, but after some trial and error. It somehow grows on you… And, here’s how I have come to really like it:
raw kale

 

I first tried it raw – well, it wasn’t as much fun! 

I tried in a smoothie – whoa, I don’t think so! 

Massaged it with olive oil – it was alright!

Then I lightly steamed it in olive oil – Hmm, that’s good.

Later I steamed in butter – Yum, that’s very good – man, anything tastes better in butter, right?

and then I lightly steamed over sautéed garlic – WOW, that’s awesome! 

More successful experiments have been done since then – will post them on the blog, so keep visiting.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

  • This might sound redundant, but I will mention anyway – It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, very good source of Beta carotene, folate & Manganese, and fair amounts of some B-complex vitamins, calcium & iron.
  • Kale, like most leafy greens, is low in calories.
  • But, its most valuable contribution is like other CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES – it has the potential to protect against cancer. Other CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, collar greens, mustard etc. More info on these coming up in the GOOD TO KNOW SECTION.
  • Because it has good amount of vitamin C, the iron from the kale can get absorbed well.

HOW MUCH TO EAT?

Well, the more the better… and, eat a variety…

Try to consume at least 2 cups raw or 1 cup cooked per person at a time, at least 3-4 times a week.

If you have 1 cup cooked greens for lunch and another cup for dinner, that equals 2 cups for the week. 

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

 

brussel sprouts raw. 2jpg

 

brussel sprouts raw

 

RAW VS STEAMED OR SAUTEED

  • Although raw form would seem like the best way to consume leafy greens to get the most of the nutrients and phytochemicals, some of them may not be palatable and universally accepted in the raw form. If you don’t like it raw, lightly steaming and sautéeing the greens would still provide most of the health benefits – as its increased palatability would encourage you to eat it in more quantity and more often!
  • Addition of oil/butter can facilitate the absorption of fat soluble vitamins- A, D, E, K whichever present in the greens.
  • Overcooking/ cooking for longer time can cause greater loss of nutrients and phytochemicals. Similarly with finely chopping them – so cut them into large pieces.
  • Boiling leafy greens in water and/or discarding the water would lead to significant loss of nutrients and the phytochemicals that have potential anti-carcinogenic properties. Most of greens have high moisture content and can be cooked without the addition of water.

So, if you haven’t tried kale before or disliked it the last time you ate, then here’s a great way to start..

BTW, you can do the same with spinach or other leafy greens. Leafy vegetables are the fastest way to get yourself to eat more veggies – cook in no time, just a bit of preparation needed, and with the right spices or herbs or just oil/butter, you have a great dish ready in no time. Hope, you have your greens a couple of times a week!! Enjoy!

Steamed Kale (ready in 10 mins)

steamed kale 2

Ingredients (Serves 2 )

1/2 bunch Kale (about 6 large leaves or 3 tightly packed cups, ~90-100g)

1 tbsp butter/ olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)

Salt & black pepper

 

Method

Wash the leaves well to remove any dirt/ residue. Drain well.

Strip off the leaves from the woody stems, by holding the leaf base and pulling it towards the tip of the leaf. Chop the leaves into large chunks – keep the pieces large, so as to retain maximum nutrients. 

Heat oil/ butter in a pan and add the chopped kale. (Add garlic, if you would like to add and let it sizzle and then add the kale). Mix well and cover to let it steam for 2-3 minutes, just so it softens a bit. No need to add any water as leafy greens have a high moisture content. If you cook longer, then it will lose more nutrients and become very soggy & pale. 

Season with salt & pepper and enjoy! 🙂 In case you use butter, use less salt as butter contains some salt.

Per serving : 85 Cals | 2 g protein | 1 g fiber | 7 g total fat 

steamed kale

Sautéed Kale/ Salad (ready in 12 mins)

brussel sprouts & kale salad (10)

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1/2 bunch Kale (about 6 large leaves or 3 tightly packed cups, ~90-100g)

8-10 brussel sprouts, optional

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & black pepper

Salad toppings:

12-14 nuts (cashew/almond) or 3-4 walnuts

1 tbsp a few raisins / dried cranberries

red onion pickled in lemon juice, optional

 

Method

Wash the brussel sprouts and dice them into halves. Chop the garlic.

Wash the kale leaves well to remove any dirt/ residue. Drain well. Strip off the leaves from the woody stems, by holding the leaf base and pulling it towards the tip of the leaf. Chop the leaves into large chunks – keep the pieces large, so as to retain maximum nutrients.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic. After it begins to sizzle add the brussel sprouts and saute till the brussel sprouts are lightly caramelized. Be careful not to burn or overcook them – overcooked brussel sprouts don’t taste good, believe me! 🙁

Then add the chopped kale, mix well and cover to let it steam for 2-3 minutes.

Season with salt & pepper and enjoy as a nice, green side! 🙂 Or add the remainder salad toppings and then serve as a side salad.

Per serving (with brussel sprouts & salad toppings) : 170 Cals | 5 g protein | 4 g fiber | 11 g total fat 

Per serving (without salad toppings): 85 Cals | 2 g protein | 1 g fiber | 7 g total fat

 brusel sprouts & kale salad 3

 

Kale Subzi (ready in 15 mins) 

kale subzi (19)

Ingredients (Serves 4 )

1 bunch Kale (10-12 large leaves, ~200-250g)

1/2 large onion, sliced longitudinally & halved

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp red chili powder/ paprika, more if you like it hot

1/4 tsp garam masala

3/4 tsp coriander powder

Salt to taste

 

Method

Wash the leaves well to remove any dirt/ residue. Drain well. Strip off the leaves from the woody stems, by holding the leaf base and pulling it towards the tip of the leaf. Chop the leaves into large chunks – keep the pieces large, so as to retain maximum nutrients.

Slice the onion into thin long pieces and then halve them.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the onion. Sautée on medium heat till the onions are lightly caramelized. 

Then add the chopped kale, sprinkle 1 tbsp of oil, spices and mix well. Cover the pan to let it steam for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Season with salt and serve as a filling for your wrap or serve as a side subzi. Complement with a fresh salad & dal soup/ kadhi.

Per serving: 90 Cals | 2 g protein | 1 g fiber | 7 g total fat 

 

Enjoy and leave a note! If you didn’t like- still leave a note….let me know what you didn’t like! 🙂 Or if you have a great recipe to share, feel free to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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