Kale Is Still on Top for Nutritional Benefits!

— Written By

Kale is in season and is continues to rein as the “Queen of Greens” mostly due to the versatility of its nutritional benefits!! Kale has loads of versatility and is low in fat and cholesterol, as well as an excellent source of fiber. Besides calcium, iron and vitamins A and C, these greens also supply vitamins E, K and B6, thiamin, folate, riboflavin, magnesium, manganese and potassium.

Likewise one cup of cooked, boiled and drained kale contains 130 calories, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams each of sugars and protein. Ounce for ounce, kale is a good source of fiber, with 1 cup providing 3 grams, or 10 percent of the daily value of dietary fiber.

If you want to sneak in some kale, freeze the fresh product and break up into soups, casseroles, and shakes, adding extra nutritional benefits to many of your meals.

These recipes range from the simple to something more diverse, making it easy for you to make the smart choice to add kale to your menu!

Winter Kale Slaw

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 2 bunches kale, stemmed and shredded (6 cups)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and shredded (2 cups)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint (optional)

Directions

In a medium skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring, until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, drizzle kale with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Using your hands, massage kale until dark green and tender, about 5 minutes. Add apples, sweet potato, beet, scallions, parsley, mint and reserved toasted sesame seeds and toss. Season with salt to taste. Slaw can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Serves 6.

Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad

(Gluten free and vegan)

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 3 cups cooked wild rice blend, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 cups baby kale, chopped
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup shallot, minced
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T. water
  • 2 T. local honey
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • ⅛ t. black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine all of the salad ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss together just before serving. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.

Serves 8.

To save time, the wild rice blend may be cooked a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Winter Fruit Kale Salad with Orange Ginger Dressing

For the Salad

  • 5 cups kale (packed), stems removed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Orange zest from an orange listed below
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 cups romaine lettuce (packed), chopped
  • 1 medium pomegranate, arils only
  • ½ large orange, peeled & diced
  • ⅓ cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted

For Orange Ginger Dressing

  • ½ cup orange juice, not from concentrate & no sugar added
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large orange, peeled & diced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add kale, olive oil, orange zest and salt. Massage with your hands for couple minutes until the amount of kale shrinks a bit. Add romaine lettuce, pomegranate, orange and almonds. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, food processor or Magic Bullet, add Orange Ginger Dressing ingredients and process until smooth. Pour over salad, toss and enjoy.

Serves 5. Each 1 cup serving contains Calories 170, Fat 9.2 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 62.0 mg, Carbohydrates 21.0 g, Sugars 9.9 g, Fiber 4.8 g, Protein 4.9 g.

Mushroom and Kale Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ounce pancetta
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • ¾ cup unsalted beef stock, divided
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 8 cups chopped kale
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 uncooked no-boil lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add 8 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes, stirring to combine. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Add basil and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf). Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.
  2. Place pancetta in a food processor; process until finely ground. Remove pancetta. Place mushrooms in food processor; process until finely ground.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add pancetta; cook 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring to crumble. Add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, mushrooms, and ¼ cup stock. Increase heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes or until almost dry. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half.
  4. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining ½ cup stock and remaining 2 garlic cloves; bring to a boil. Add kale; cook 10 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Spread 1 cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; top noodles with all of kale and ¾ cup sauce. Arrange 2 noodles over kale and sauce; top with mushroom mixture and ricotta. Top with remaining 2 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles; sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
  7. Turn on broiler (do not remove dish from oven). Uncover; sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes; sprinkle with parsley and pepper.

Serves 4. Each serving contains  Calories 454, Fat 13.5 g, Protein 24.1 g, Carbohydrate 61.2 g, Fiber 8.3 g, Cholesterol 26 mg, Sodium 654 mg.