All foods used in recipes are veganic, organic, or at the very least pesticide free.
Nutritionally, kale has outrageous amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. It also has mega amounts of Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.
It is hugely anti-inflammatory and 4 cups of kale has approximately 25% of your recommended daily intake of Omega-3 EFA's.
Also, contrary to what you may have heard, kale has minimal amounts (0.2%) of oxalic acid.
Nutrition + Prep
For taste and nutritional density, kale is definitely one of my favorite foods! A good sized daily serving of raw chopped kale is the size of a dinner plate full of salad.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids or ALA are essential to our health. What this means is that they are not produced naturally by our body and therefore must be consumed in the form of food. The Standard American diet provides more than enough of the Omega-6 EFA's and generally not enough of the Omega-3's. Any plant foods that contain copious amounts of Omega-3's are great foods to include in your diet. Exactly what do EFAs do?
Whereas Omega-6's have a hardening effect on your cells, Omega-3's keep you flexible! Although both are necessary, the right balance is essential. The ratio range of Omega-6's to Omega-3's is 4:1 to 1:2. A typical western diet contains more than 20 times the Omega-6 fats than Omega-3 fats. Eat kale for a bio-available, plant food source of essential fatty acid Omega-3s!
When eating kale in a salad, try to eat it as close to room temperature as possible. And, the smaller you chop kale, the better. I eat all parts of kale. The stems are sweet and add texture when they are cut into thin disks. So lets start with cutting the stem. Cut a small piece off of the end of the stem and then discard. Cut the stem into small thin disks.
Your objective for the leafy part of the kale is going to be bite-size pieces. For a salad this is teaspoon size bites. For wilted kale, tablespoon size bites or larger are OK. Roll the kale into a lengthwise cylinder so that you can manage it better. Cut across the cylinder of kale in small 1/2" slices. When done, turn your cutting board and crosswise chop the cut kale into smaller pieces. You are done! Now place the chopped kale in a salad bowl or on your plate.
GarlicRaw garlic is a little different than cooked garlic. There is much more heat and some garlic has a biting sensation. Ayurveda considers garlic to be medicine and only administer it when necessary. The western and european world use it copiously! My feeling is somewhere between the two worlds of thought. Less is better when using raw garlic. Although garlic adds great depth and flavor to raw foods, start with a small amount. It might bite you when you were expecting savory.
How to Prepare Garlic
Place the garlic close to the vertical edge of your chopping board. Right side of the board for right handers and left side for left handers. The clove should look like an arch, rounded or convex side to the ceiling. Hold the knife by the handle with your cutting hand and turn the blade so that it is parallel to the cutting board (not in cutting position). Center the part of the broad flat blade that is closest to the handle over the garlic clove. Press down hard with the heel of your free hand (the one not holding the knife handle) onto the flat side of the knife blade that is on top of the garlic clove. Keep pressing until the clove splits. When the clove splits the flavor of the garlic is released and it is now easier to peel. Chop or mince finely and add to recipe.
Remove papery skin, chop into a few pieces, place into garlic press and squeeze. Add to recipe.
I use both methods some times when I want a really fine mince. I squish the garlic first with the traditional method, remove the papery skin, roughly chop, and then mince in a garlic press.
Simple Kale SaladA nutritionally powerful salad with a simple dressing : serves 1-2 people
Kale salad is something I enjoy at all times of the year and is a good base salad for your main meal. This recipe is very simple and quick to prepare. I easily eat this much salad as an individual portion. :-) I prefer green or red curly kale as it snuggles up nicely to the dressing. Certainly, you may add anything to the salad, start first with simple though, you will learn to love the flavor. Remember to make this salad about 30 minutes before serving so that it has time to get to know the dressing and to return to room temperature.
Olive Oil Dressing : MixIngredients are approximate, taste and adjust.
1/4 cup olive oil (you may use much less)
½ lemon – squeeze juice from the lemon with a lemon squeezer, manual press, or juicer
sea salt, dash of cayenne
1 garlic clove (med-large depending on your taste) - minced or pressed
Mix spices, lemon, and garlic into the olive oil in a small dish.
Vegetables : ChopSeveral leaves of kale (green curly, red curly, Lacinato, Lacinto, or dinosaur) to make 4 cups
Chop kale into bite sized pieces or smaller. See Prep instructions above.
Place chopped kale on your dinner plate or in a large salad bowl. Pour salad dressing over the kale and toss until well coated. Serve when the salad is close to room temperature.
My favorite organic add-ons!
avocado (much!), red bell pepper (much more!), shredded vegetables such as sweet potato or butternut squash, minced broccoli, tangerine, tangelo, or grapefruit.
Although I suggest olive oil, you may use hemp or flax seed oil or a combination of the oils.
Also, try with a creamy avocado or nut seed dressing. Recipe soon!
Warmed KaleOn a cold winter evening I love this side dish. I loved my cooked version so much I converted it to raw and it is nearly the same. You may use the same dressing as above for the Kale Salad or try something even simpler.
Chop the kale in slightly larger pieces. No need to worry about returning the kale to room temperature.
Place a few tablespoons of water in a wide sauce pan (enough to cover the bottom of the pan).
Heat to simmering with the lid on.
Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the heat source. Take 3 deep breaths.
Add the kale. Place the lid back on the pan. Wait a few minutes and then stir.
Dish the kale onto plates and then add a tablespoon or so of the above salad dressing. You might want to try adding a little raw Nama Shoyu or tamari sauce instead of sea salt.
A simpler version (my usual) is to sprinkle some sea salt or Nama Shoyu and squeeze a little lemon on the kale and eat! Seriously delicious.
This dish is technically raw and all of the vitamins and nutrition have been retained, yet it is brilliantly green and warm with a different texture. This same preparation is also excellent with mustard greens or spinach. The mustard greens are absolutely divine. The lightness and delicate nature of these greens require no actual cooking.