Tag Archives: kale

Kale and Red Cabbage Salad

Carrots add colour and blend well with the pumpkin, chia seeds and hemp heartsThis tasty salad boasts several superfoods in one, making this an excellent addition to any meal. Kale has been popularized for all of the nutrients it has, and I’ve previously posted about it. Red cabbage is not often thought of as being very nutritious, but it should be. Red cabbage has a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which are anti-inflammatory and act as antioxidants. Red cabbage is also very high in vitamin C and vitamin K and can be part of a diet for cancer prevention. Cabbage (especially when steamed) has some cholesterol lowering benefits. The pumpkin, hemp hearts and chia seeds add  vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (optional if you want it a bit spicy)
  • 1/2-1/4 clove crushed garlic (depending how garlicky you like your food)
  • 1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger
  •  pinch of salt to taste
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Directions
1) In a bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients to make the dressing
2) Wash, de-stem and finely chop the kale. Use your box grater (cheese grater) to make your cabbage into smaller bite sized pieces. I like to use the “slicer” side which is the slot that is about 5 cm wide (2 inches) and 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) tall.  Peel and julienne the carrots, or if you have a spiralizer you can use it like I did. Place the kale, carrots, and cabbage into a large bowl
3) Add the pumpkin and chia seeds and hemp hearts to the bowl. Drizzle the dressing on and toss to mix everything.

This recipe was modified from here.

Kale, Ginger and Lentil Soup

ginger kale soupThe weather forecast predicted that there would be snow today, but I didn’t believe it. After the cold winter we’ve had I thought that we had seen the last of snow, but it seems we are not so fortunate. This cold weather prompted me to make a nourishing warming soup, with ginger as the highlight.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is both a great plant to use in cooking and medicinally. It has such a unique flavour and can add subtle heat to a dish. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols which give ginger its pungent taste and is responsible for many of the medicinal properties. Medicinally, ginger has a variety of different actions. One of the more widely known benefits of ginger is its ability to act as an antiemetic (reduces nausea and vomiting). This is beneficial for reducing motion sickness as well as morning sickness. Ginger can actually act as an abortifacient in large quantities. Therefore, pregnant women shouldn’t exceed 2 grams of ginger a day and should be cautious when consuming ginger.
The digestive system can benefit from ginger. It acts as a digestive stimulant, helping individuals who have weak digestion. This plant can increase blood flow to the digestive tract, normalize peristalsis, and help relax smooth muscles. This leads to some relief from intestinal gas buildup, and stimulates the release of enzymes involved in digestion.
Gingerols have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger can help decrease pain and increase mobility in arthritis sufferers. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger.
The root of the ginger plants contains the medicinal benefits and is the part that is used in cooking. I was surprised to learn when I was in Hawaii that the flowers are beautiful. The flowers of the ginger plant can vary between a brilliant red to white. The picture below is the yellow ginger plant that I came across. I was told that this particular specifies is invasive, and not a welcome addition in Hawaii.

Hawaiian ginger

The recipe below is to make a lovely ginger and kale soup. You can adjust the recipe to your tastes and add or omit items to taste and availability. For instance if you don’t have kale you could try adding spinach or even parsley. Potatoes could be added for an interesting texture. Soups are quite forgiving.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

• 1/2 white onion (chopped)
• 2 carrots (chopped)
• 1 cup lentils (you can try quinoa instead)
• 6 cups organic vegetable broth or ideally use homemade broth (If you are buying stock, look for gluten and dairy free if you have sensitivities. Chicken broth can be substituted for vegetable broth)
• 2 tbsp grated ginger
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 tbsp oil
• 1/2 bunch kale, remove the stems, finely chop
• 1-2 bay leaves
• 2 tsp dried basil (You can also try a blend of rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme)
• salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1) Roughly chop the onions to your desired size. Dice the carrots into cube sized pieces.
2) Peel and crush the garlic. Peel the skin off of the ginger and grate the ginger against the small holes of a cheese grater. The skin of ginger is quite delicate and can be peeled using a small spoon.
3) Sauté the onions and carrots in oil of your choice until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
4) Add the vegetable broth, bay leaves and lentils (or quinoa). Let everything come to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
5) Wash, chop and de-stem kale. Stir kale into soup then cover for 4-5 minutes.
6) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Note: This soup doesn’t provide an individual with a large dose of ginger, but if you are taking ginger as a tea or in a more concentrated form, certain individuals should be cautious. Individuals who have gallstones should be cautious consuming ginger. If you are on certain medications such as anticoagulants then you should contact your naturopath before taking ginger as a supplement.

If you have morning sickness or other pregnancy related complaints you want help with, book an appointment with me to discuss your concerns.

Kale Chips

Kale chips, plateOh how I love Kale! It’s an amazing food in that it is cram packed with so much nutrition. When considering the amount of nutrition per calorie, kale is one of the most nutritious foods a person can consume. One cup of kale has much more than your daily requirement of vitamin K and A. Kale is in fact one of the best sources of vitamin K and plays many roles in your body. It is important for proper clot formation, keeps your bones strong and helps prevent calcification of your arteries. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also contains a good amount of calcium, iron, vitamin B6 and potassium. There is a high fibre content of kale that binds bile acids, lowering an individuals cholesterol. This reduces risk of heart disease.

Kale is very high in a variety of different flavonoids. These flavonoids act to provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This is important to help prevent and combat chronic inflammation and disease. Another reason to love kale is that it helps to prevent cancer. Kale contains a compound known as glucosinolate. Glucosinolates has been shown to prevent cancer of the prostate, colon, breast, bladder and ovary.

Despite the fantastic nutrition found in this leafy green, kale may seem like an intimidating vegetable. Its leaves are curly and rubbery, not quite what most people are used to compared to its delicate lettuce counterpart. If you’ve ever tried to eat kale raw you may have decided it will be on the top of your “what not to eat” list because it can be bitter and tough. Raw kale may not be for those new to this super-food. An easy and delicious way I like to introduce people to this nutrition powerhouse is to make kale chips.

Basic Kale Chip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
2.Wash the kale leaves and tear the leaves off of the thick stem and rip into smaller pieces.  Spin the leaves in a salad spinner until they are entirely dry. It is very important to ensure the leaves are dry! If you don’t have a salad spinner, shake off the excess water as best you can and allow the kale leaves to air dry a few hours.
3. Drizzle leaves with the melted oil and rub the leaves to coat each one individually. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Do your best to make sure none overlap or are folded as this will affect how crispy they turn out.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the leaves are crisp and dark green. Watch the kale closely at the end of cooking to make sure it doesn’t burn.
6. Remove the kale and allow to cool.

Tips:

  • It is very important to allow kale to fully dry before baking it. If you don’t, you will likely end up steaming kale resulting in mushy leaves versus the nice crispy texture that is desired.
  • Be vigilant in watching the kale as the end of the cooking time approaches. Browned kale tends to be bitter and kale can quickly go from crispy to burnt.
  • I have had some success baking wilted kale, finding it will turn out somewhat crispy. Firm kale does yield a better chip though.
  • Kale is one vegetable that you should buy organic because it commonly contains pesticides that are toxic to the nervous system.