Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Krazy about Kale!

I had a quite the lovely weekend. I spent most of it wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt, curled up on the couch, catching up on all of my favorite TV shows; this of course was only after cleaning and reorganizing the house in preparation for holiday visitors. While lounging, I came across a recipe for a green beans and kale dish by @GDeLaurentiis that I just had to try.

Surprisingly, when I mentioned the recipe to my mother-in-law, she ran to the refrigerator and pulled out a bunch of kale. They recently signed up for Farm Fresh to You, a great program that delivers local, organic fruits and veggies straight to your door, and had received kale in their most recent shipment. Lucky for me, they hadn't used it yet because they didn’t know what to do with it; lucky for them, I knew just what to do. 

The dish was great. So great that after dinner I immediately sent the recipe to my dad so he could buy the ingredients so I could make the dish again on Thanksgiving. Consider me krazy about kale.

There's good reason to be so hooked on kale. Kale is awesome. It’s a leafy green related to cabbage, collards, and broccoli and it comes in many varieties: curly, ornamental, or dinosaur (cool, right?!). Kale is especially great in the winter months when fresh vegetables are few and far between. Kale and other dark leafy greens thrive in colder weather.

Kale is associated with many anti-cancer benefits, is rich in eye-health compounds, and contains heart-healthy fiber. One serving (1 cup fresh) contains 36 calories, 15% of your daily calcium, 5 grams of fiber, 180% of your daily Vitamin A, 200% of your daily Vitamin C, and 1020% of your daily Vitamin K (*Note: for those on anti-coagulants, be aware of the Vitamin K content of kale and talk with your physician before adding kale to your diet!). Needless to say, kale is a nutrient-packed powerhouse.

Kale will be one of many vegetables served at my family's Thanksgiving dinner - how can you integrate new, healthy foods into your family's diet?  

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