Thursday, November 12, 2009

in season: kale

I'm a big fan of dark, leafy greens. I can't go a day, really, without a big bowl of baby greens or at least some served up along side whatever it is I'm eating. I'm not one of those people who needs their salad on a separate plate. No siree. Being able to swirl a little bit of the dressing in and amongst the rest of the other yummy tidbits on my plate is all part of creating my perfect bite. I realize, however, there are a lot of you who are on the other side of that argument.

Oh well. Can't win 'em all. Even though I'm fairly confident that if I had you over for dinner, I could totally change your mind.

Kale is a seriously hearty green that all too often gets the shaft by being solely used as decoration or a bed for something on a platter. But the thing is, this veggie packs serious nutrients. I apologize for getting all nerdy on you, but kale contains Vitamins A, C, K; fiber; cancer-preventing compounds sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and indoles; as well as a significant amount of Vitamin B6 and calcium.

If you're still reading (and I really hope you are), it also holds up incredibly well to a variety of cooking processes which means even when cooked, it retains a lot of its bite and integrity. And I'm all about texture.

So besides the whole it's good for you thing, it can also be seriously delicious. I'm a huge salad lover in all its incarnations, so here are two options I found to be particularly lovely sounding: one cold and one warm.

A Warm Sweet Potato and Kale Salad (loving the dijon, red wine vinegar, maple syrup play. butternut squash could certainly replace the sweet potato too.) and A Greek Kale Salad (I'm a slave to Mediterranean food).

We're right in the heart of kale season as it thrives during the fall and winter. And when something's in season it almost always means it's going to be affordable. So pick up a bunch, try out one of these salads, or whip up something of your own. Either way, you'll be doing your body and your belly a favor.


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