Kale Tabouli

kaletabouli1 Did you know that kale is such a nutritional rockstar that it has its own day?  Yep, October 7th is National Kale Day! Ok, it’s a bit crazy but hey, everything else seems to have its own “National Day” so why not kale? Kale is really amazing in the nutrition department boasting so many vitamins and antioxidants for your body that it just boggles the mind. Here’s my top 5 good for you facts about kale….

  1. It is only a mere 33 calories per cup.  You can chop it up and add it to your dishes for an almost calorie-free nutritional boost.
  2. It is loaded with antioxidants.  It contains a lot of beta carotene (Vitamin C) which is known to reduce oxidative damage in the body.  Oxidative damage is believed to lead to aging and many diseases including Cancer.
  3. Kale contains substances that bind bile acids to lower cholesterol levels. Steamed kale is particularly effective for this.
  4. It contains Vitamin K which is crucial for blood clotting.  This is good if you’re an accident-prone gal like myself (hello tree-trimming incident this Fall).  So, your cuts heal faster without as much blood loss.
  5. Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin.  People who have diets rich in these two nutrients have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common eye disorders as we age.

Kale is quite easy to add to your diet.  Try chopping it up small and adding it to your salads like the tabouli salad I’m sharing here.  It is also great in smoothies, its taste disappears and it adds tons of nutrition. chicken.kofta4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Kale Tabouli
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian main course, Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa or couscous - cook according to package directions
  • ½ of an English (seedless) cucumber - diced
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes - diced
  • ½ of a red onion - diced
  • 1 bunch of curly leaf parsley - chopped (flat leaf parsley works also)
  • ½ bunch of kale, stems removed - chopped (see notes below on stem removal)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. To de-stem the kale:
  2. Fold the kale leaf in half length-wise so that the stem runs along one side. Run your knife right next to the stem to remove it in one piece.
  3. Cook the quinoa or couscous according to package directions and place on a plate to cool.
  4. For the dressing:
  5. place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  6. For the salad:
  7. Mix all the remaining ingredients into a bowl along with the cooled quinoa/couscous.
  8. Add the dressing and toss it with the salad to combine.
  9. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

So you go kale…..I’m polishing your crown as we speak.

5 Delicious recipes to help you love kale

Kale Collage I’ve more than made peace with kale; I’m actually enjoying it and not just because its a nutritional powerhouse but because it’s delicious.  It’s delicious in these recipes anyway! I still live by the belief that people who eat kale are beautiful.  The “kale glow” if you will. Click on the photos below for the recipes.  I hope you enjoy them and here’s to you developing a new love……for kale. kale_farro_salad swiss.chard.pasta.3 kale.pesto.crostini1 kale.pesto3 kale 1

Kale Pesto Crostini

kale.pesto.crostini1

How adorable are these?

We went to an annual picnic at our friends’ cottage this past weekend and these crostinis were a major hit.  I made 40 pieces and they barely made it out to the appetizer table.  Adults and kids just gobbled them up!  I was asked many times “what’s the green stuff?”  You tell them “kale pesto” and you’ll look like a total rockstar for using such a unique ingredient!

They are simple especially if you make the kale pesto ahead of time.  You can prebake the baguette rounds and store them in an airtight container until ready to use them.

kale.pesto.crostini3

Kale Pesto Crostini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 French baguette, sliced diagonally into ½ inch thick rounds. (I get 35-40 slices per baguette)
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • kale pesto - see the link to this recipe in the post
  • 20 grape tomatoes - sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 wedge of Romano cheese for grating (garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the baguette rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
  4. Bake them for approximately 7 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
  5. Allow the baguette rounds to cool enough for you to handle them.
  6. Spread a layer of kale pesto onto each round.
  7. Top with one grape tomato, seed side up.
  8. Grate the romano cheese over the tops of the rounds (I grate my cheese using the microplane, it works perfectly).
  9. Serve the crostinis on a large platter and watch them disappear!

 

 

 

Kale Pesto

kale.pesto1Pesto can be a whole topic on its own.  It is so versatile in the ingredients you can put in it and the dishes you can put it in.  My favorite uses for pesto are mixing it into pasta as a sauce, a sandwich spread, stirred into soups for added flavor, served on crostini as an appetizer and as a pizza sauce.

This pesto uses kale and it’s flavor is surprisingly bright and fresh with the lemon juice.  It has been very well received by the people I’ve served it to.

I welcome your comments once you’ve tried it.  And please feel free to share your uses for pesto, there’s always room for more!

Kale Pesto
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: pesto, sauce
Ingredients
  • 4 cups tightly packed chopped kale (I used already cut bagged kale)
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • juice of ½ of a lemon (approximately 2-3 Tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Romano cheese
Instructions
  1. Toast the pine nuts in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until they begin to lightly brown (they'll begin to smell like popcorn).
  2. Place kale, pine nuts and garlic and lemon juice in the food processor. Pulse until blended.
  3. Add the salt and pepper.
  4. Turn on the food processor and stream in the olive oil. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a bowl. Stir in the cheese. Serve.
  5. Note – if you’re not going to be serving it immediately, wait to put the cheese in until you're ready to serve it.

kale.pesto3

Green Goddess Pasta

 

swiss.chard.pasta.3

How many nutritious greens can you get into a pasta?  I’m not sure but I’ve used two powerhouses here.  They are kale and swiss chard to be exact.  By now we’ve all heard the health benefits of kale but swiss chard is often overlooked as it’s less known than some of the other greens.

Swiss chard is most common in Mediterranean countries and an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C.  It is also full of magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber.  It’s stems come in a variety of colors making it beautiful on the plate if you steam or roast it with the stems attached.

kale.pesto5

swiss.chard.1

Summer produce lends so well to quick pasta dishes.  Forget those heavy tomato sauce laden pasta dishes.  This light summer pasta is delicious and healthy and a snap to throw together.

This one uses my kale pesto and has a bright flavor with the lemon that is added to the pesto as well as the lemon juice and zest that’s mixed through the dish.  If you’d like to add meat, try some Italian chicken sausage as I’ve done below.  You could also substitute spinach for the swiss chard.

swiss.chard.pasta.5

I think I might be overdoing the summer pasta dishes but they’re just so beautiful with all their colors.  And again, they come together so quickly.  They’re just perfect for a weeknight meal when you get home from work and don’t really feel like cooking.

Green Goddess Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a beautiful and bright summer pasta dish that packs a real nutritional punch with kale and swiss chard.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, What's For Dinner?
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • ¾ box of whole wheat spaghetti - cooked according to package directions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large bunch of swiss chard - tough stems and ribs removed, rough chopped
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (omit if you don't like the heat)
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • ⅔ cup or more kale pesto (get link to recipe in this post)
  • juice of ½ of a lemon
  • zest of 1 whole lemon
Instructions
  1. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet.
  2. Add the swiss chard and the crushed red pepper and sautee it until wilted and tender, approximately 5 - 7 minutes.
  3. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water.
  4. Drain and rinse the pasta with warm water.
  5. Add the pasta into the skillet with the swiss chard.
  6. Add the kale pesto and stir it gently into the pasta using tongs.
  7. Thin the pesto with the pasta water (very gradually) if needed in order to make it mix well.
  8. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and gently toss it into the pasta.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...