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Why Kale you ask?

Black Lactina and Purple & Green Kale

Black (Lacinato), Purple & Green Kale

For those of you who are not familiar with kale, it’s a leafy green vegetable abundant in many vitamins and nutrients. Kale is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and is similar to collards, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli. It provides the body with 45 different flavonoids and carotenoids that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Kale is highly abundant in many essentially nutrients, especially vitamins K, A and C as well as manganese and dietary fiber.

I like to think of kale as a “superfood” due to its’ cardiovascular support, it’s ability to lower cholesterol and its’ anti-cancer properties (specifically bladder, breast, colon and ovarian). Kale also supports our bodies natural detoxification systems which are very important in eliminating free-radical damage from the body. Free-radicals are those elements that enter our bodies from the environment; things like exhaust fumes, pesticides on foods and second hand smoke, to name a few. Free-radicals are highly destructive once inside the body and capable of causing numerous health issues, so that’s why eating vegetables containing antioxidants like kale, is so important.

To achieve maximum benefit you should aim to eat cruciferous vegetables 4-5 times each week (1-2 cups per sitting). Kale, like most cruciferous vegetables, should only be steamed lightly- less than five minutes to maintain their optimum nutritional value. Kale is best when added to salads and soups or even used as a topping for pizza and nachos. I also like my kale raw in my morning smoothie (the smooth, “black” or Lacinato type is best). I hope you try the recipe I’ve included for Yam and Kale salad. It’s delicious and of course, nutritious!

YAM AND KALE SALAD

  • 2-4 jewel yams, cut into 1-inch cubes with skin on (depending on the number of servings you need)
  • 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon reserved
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • handful of unsalted cashews (optional)
Directions
1. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion and garlic until the onion has caramelized to a golden brown, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, using a double boiler, steam yams for approximately 8 minutes. Add red peppers and shredded kale and continue steaming until yams are fully cooked, 3-5 minutes.
3. Mix oils, Bragg’s, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Once veggies are cooked place in a bowl and coat with oil mixture.
5. Add sesame seeds and cashews. Serve warm.
Enjoy!
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