Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Wilted Kale and Avocado salad

You know how they say you should try to eat one of the cruciferous veggies every day? They have been shown to be some of the richest in potent cancer-fighting compounds of all the veggies!

I used to think “How on earth?” I mean, who likes those mean dark green leafy things? And cabbage is nice smothered in mayo I guess, and broccoli is okay, but you cannot eat it every day….”  I don’t actually consciously try to eat these every day…..but since I totally fell in love with eating mainly plants, I eat them a lot more often than I did…and when you up your intake of leaves and vegetables,  and learn different ways to love them, you will probably find you do eat some cruciferous veggies most days.

Kale actually binds with bile acids and accompanies “bad” cholesterol out of the body. That’s what I have been told in several places, and I believe it, because leafy greens are so kick-butt-fantastic! Kale possesses this ability whether raw or cooked, though it seems that when steamed, it binds with the acids in greater quantity. Having said that, when raw, none of the active anti-oxidant compounds or enzymes have been dminished or destroyed by the cooking. In short, balance is good. Eat it both ways, if you wish 🙂 But honestly, it is so good like this!

Okay, I’ll try to be quick. A wilted kale salad is raw kale that has had a nice salty/acidic marinade massaged into it, and left. The leaves wilt down and become more tender.  The acidic element can be vinegar or lemon juice…Don’t forget some salt. It helps the softening of the cell walls.

My favourite Kale and Avocado Salad Ever (one version of it, anyway)

  • 2 very big handfuls of curly kale (thick stems removed)

Massage in, with clean hands:  A good splash of balsamic vinegar, and the juice of a small flavoursome orange. Sea salt, a couple of good pinches. Then add:

  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes, snipped into pieces
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped into pieces
  • red onion, diced

Leave to wilt down, though really, it’s not necessary as such. If you are in a hurry, make sure your kale is finely chopped, and your marinade well massaged in, and you are good to go. Your final piece, to be added just before serving (so it doesn’t go a horrible, unappetising brown) is:

  • A small avocado, diced (or mashed)





Oh my goodness, this is so delicious.

Of course, this is just a salad, so substitute, add or take away whatever you like….but make sure you have an acidic/salty element for your kale leaves, and may I suggest that the avocado is Not Optional, just because it’s so darned tasty, and so good for you. But mainly because it’s tasty.

So how about it? A different topping for your jacket potato, or just as is….Eat leaves, and feel the love.

Low-fat Kale Chips….aka Thursday night cabbage

Although why anyone would pass up an opportunity to eat one cup of nuts in one sitting is beyond me….Here is a low fat version of the recently posted Cheesey Kale Chips.

  • 200g curly kale, thick stems removed
  • 3T extra virgin Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, ground with
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt*

*I would possibly use 1/8t from now on.

Work the oil through all the leaves with clean hands; sprinkle the seasoning all over the leaves and mix again. Dehydrate till crispy, or bake until crispy. 200g of curly kale became about 80g of chips.

Though I have never done baked versions, these certainly should work better in the oven than the cashew coated ones, as they are less soggy to begin with, and will not kind of braise in the liquid; watch them carefully as they turn from crispy to burned very quickly,by all accounts.

These are a lot more delicious than I expected. I really like them, though still prefer the creamy-nut version. Obviously, out of the two, these win for cost and fat intake. Maybe these can be Thursday night kale Chips.

"Cheesey" Cruciferous Crunch!

Friday Night cabbage..or…Kale chips

Once I was talking to my brother about snacks and the like, and- I forget where the conversation was going, or in what context, but he said, drily (or is it wrily? sarcastically? someone get me a dictionary!)…he said “Oh yes, we love a bit of cabbage on a Friday night”.

I had a little (inner) chuckle, and I thought- “Should I tell him what I was eating with my friend last Friday night?” I didn’t. I thought it would take too long to explain and he was on his way to work. So I dedicate this post to my brother Seth. This, Seth, is my Friday Night Cabbage. And it’s Really. Really. Good! And I am not the only person who thinks so. I’m just saying.

I actually cannot even put into words how good this tastes. And it’s dehydrated cabbage. And it’s awesome. For real. Do my kids eat it? No. Steady on! Not yet, anyway….But that’s ok… All the more for me.

Drying Methods:  These are done in a food dehydrator. I have a food dehydrator (I know). You just leave it running overnight, or during the day and take them out when crispy. You can do them in the oven; either by using your oven almost like a dehydrator, on a very low heat, or on a full heat, watching very carefully so they do not burn. However, I have never done it, and I have it on good authority from two friends who tried this in their oven that they turned into a brown soggy mass of unappetising….something not very appetising. I would look up specific recipes online for BAKED kale chips if you plan to try this. I will post some links at the bottom of the post for the oven version. 

 Dehydrated “I can’t believe dried cabbage tastes this good” Cheesey Kale Chips

(Yes, this is quite a decadent recipe, with one cup of nuts. It is so worth it. You can do far lower fat versions, with just a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a very little, and spices of your choice.)

  • 1 cup cashew and/or brazil nuts
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 t turmeric (optional).
  • 1 clove garlic.
  • 1 t onion powder. 
  •  1/3 cup Nutritional yeast (for your cheese flavour)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 200g kale.

Remove the very thick tough stalks from your kale leaves.

Blend everything except the kale in a blender till you have a silky smooth yellow creamy, cheese tasting mixture. Try not to eat it all with a spoon. Massage it well into the leaves. Dehydrate until crispy. Eat, and weep for joy. (Definitely NOT to be eaten in public. Check your teeth well after eating! )

(It does make lots more than this)

Oven Issues. The problem with an oven is that it is going to brown and burn the leaves before they have a chance to dry out. In particular, this marinade, because it is very wet, and the salt has drawn out the liquid from the leaves and they basically steam-burn instead of drying out into crispy green heavenly deliciousness. I repeat, I have never done it, but plenty of people do baked versions, so here are some links. For a very basic version, use 1Tablespoon of olive oil to about 100g kale, plus salt/spices of your choice. 

You have got to love this stuff.

Dry it, blend it, steam it, eat it raw……eat kale! A Truly Super Food.



Wilted kale and apple salad…or… “Raw Cabbage for beginners”

Kale is definitely on my superfood list. There are a lot of acclaimed “superfoods” nowadays; many of them are highly expensive foods in powder form that you probably have never heard of. They may well be really nutritious, but I think people are put off by the price and the fact that it is totally unfamiliar. But your local market/supermarket is full of easily accessible, affordable, Truly Super Foods. So here is one of my favourites- Kale, from the Brassica family.

It contains plenty of carotenoids, sulphoraphane (a potent anti-cancer chemical), vitamin C, Vitamin A in form of beta-carotene, (100 grams of kale leaves=over 500% your RDA of beta carotene) and very high in bio-available calcium. Then, if you chop, macerate, squish, squash or pulverize it, you activate the enzyme myrosinase. (I mentioned this in my broccoli salad recipe– it is in all cruciferous veg)  The enzyme makes another cancer-fighting phytochemical (plant chemical) called Indole-3-carbinol. Kale also happens to be very rich in B vitamins, and minerals essential for bone health, and very high in fibre.

I generally use curly kale because it’s all they sell where I usually shop. It’s kind of  a tough leaf compared to, say, baby spinach or lettuce. You can steam it lightly; while some of it’s benefits are destroyed, you will still be able to enjoy others. But why not eat enjoy it raw, and bag all of the goodness including it’s live enzymes?

The best trick I ever learnt with kale is this: When you massage into the kale leaves, a bit of salt, and some acid (eg apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice), the salt and acid actually start to break down the cell walls and it starts to wilt down. Within a minute it takes on a beautiful bright green, as if it has been steamed.If you leave the leaves in the marinade for a few hours in the fridge, they soften further still. You will not believe you are munching on a big bowl of raw cabbage! It is so delicious! I have lots of versions of this salad; here is one.

Wilted kale and Apple salad (makes enough for 1; adapt as needed)

  • 3-4 handfuls of kale (per person)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt

Remove the tough stalks from the kale is desired (recommended, personally) Pour marinade ingredients over the leaves. With your hands, massage them into the kale. Really squeeze and squish those leaves and work in the salt.

Now add:

  • 2 sundried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces
  • A small chunk of red onion, diced
  • 1 dessert apple

 Leave to sit in the fridge for a few hours, ideally. Just before you eat it, thoroughly mash a small avocado, cubed, and use a fork to incorporate it into the salad. Taste test, and tweak your seasoning as you wish. Enjoy!

Lady who lunches. Alone. No matter.

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