Saturday, 2 March 2013

Kale - A Superb Super Food!

Kale, Kale the Magical Food!!  For those of you who are newer to the Natural Health scene or perhaps stuck in a bit of a 'Veggie-Rut' you may be unfamiliar with this wonderful Veggie or maybe it is just starting to hit your Food-Radar.

This member of the Cabbage Family (like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Collard Greens) is rich in Iron, Vitamins' C and K, beta carotene (antioxidant) and Calcium!  It even helps lower your cholesterol levels with its bile acid sequestering resins.  FUN FACT: The Calcium in Kale is actually more easily absorbed by the Body than the Calcium found in Cows' Milk! All of these Vitamins and Minerals help to build strong bones, healthy immune systems and keep us overall healthy and happy!
*Stay tuned for more of a breakdown on Vitamins and Minerals in a future post.

This Wonder-Veggie handles colder climes well so is a perfect crop for our Cold Canadian winters, as Kale actually takes on a bit of a sweeter taste after it has been exposed to a frost. There are both Dark Green (that's how you know there is Vitamin K in there!) and Purple varieties available, but the Dark Green is probably more commonly found.  It can be used to create delicious soups, salads (check below for a delicious recipe I recently tried), stir fries, you can even make your own Kale Chips (a much healthier alternative to Potato Chips, for a quick recipe check out this link!  Add some to your morning Smoothie to get an extra serving of veggies in with a Calcium boost to boot!  Check the Wikipedia link in my Sources for more background on how Kale has been used in dishes from Around the World.

I recently purchased a box of Organic "Freggies" (there's that slang again) from Real Food Market ( here in St. John's, NL and with it came a Lovely Fresh bunch of Kale.  I actually bought a Large Fruit & Veg box and split it with a friend (great idea for those of you in 1 or 2 person households if smaller versions aren't available), so we BOTH got a Lovely bunch of Kale each!

 Kale isn't always readily available here on 'The Rock' so when I get it I am so excited!  I have tended to add it into my Smoothies and lately have been stuck in a bit of Food Rut myself.  The past few weeks have been just so busy getting ready for the Big Move (my Hubby and I are relocating to sunny Bali!) that I haven't been putting much thought into my meals...that being said I have been sticking mostly to Smoothies, Salads and Stir Fries (the 3 S's!) I haven't been experimenting that much with my ingredients. So when I got this fresh batch of Kale I wanted to try a new recipe with it.  I found this delicious recipe for Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad from

Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad Recipe (serves 4)


1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz. sliced Pancetta, diced
1/4 C Champagne Vinegar
1/4 C Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp of Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper
1 Small Head of Radicchio, shredded
18 oz. Bunch of Kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
2 tart yet sweet Apples, sliced into thick matchsticks
3/4 C Pecans


1. Combine olive Oil and Pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring frequently until Pancetta is golden and crispy.  Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave Pancetta to side to cool.  Add Champagne Vinegar, Maple Syrup, Salt and Pepper and whisk well.

2. Combine Radicchio, Kale, Apples and Pecans in large bowl.  Toss while slowly adding dressing little by little.Garnish with Pancetta.

Now of course I made some alterations as I am a Vegetarian so I negated the Pancetta all together.  I also didn't have Radicchio, Pecans or Champagne Vinegar..but No Worries!  I substituted Walnuts, Red Onion (Purple for Purple!) and Apple Cider Vinegar in for those items and the Salad turned out fabulously!!  And it only took like 5 minutes to put my Delicious Salad together too!

So next time you buy something and aren't sure what to do with or you feel like trying something new with an old favourite, I suggest simply googling recipes that contain that item...and don't fret too much if you are missing particular ingredients because you can always sub in something new for a bit of culinary excitement!  If you are looking specificly for something to do with Kale, might I suggest checking out as they had a whole list of recipes for Kale that sounded good!

And if you have any tasty recipes for Kale please feel free to share below in the Comments Section!

Eat Happy, Eat Healthy!

Sources & Links:
Becoming Vegetarian: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegetarian Diet, Vesanto Melina & Brenda Davis

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