Hail, Hail Kale

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I’ve been trying to eat healthier foods, including lots more fruits and veggies, and trying to expand my food repertoire.  I wasn’t exposed to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as a kid; seems like mom & dad kept it to potatoes, apples, bananas, and broccoli.  (Unless you count bacon as a vegetable–we sure ate it like it was wilting fast!)  In fact, I don’t think I’d had a real cherry or mango until I was well into my adult years.

One thing I’d never tried at home was kale.  Kale is supposed to be one of those wonder foods:  it’s low in calories but loaded with nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B6, iron, vitamin K, and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.  Whew!  I was ready to experiment so I asked Hubby to pick some up on the way home.  When I say we’d never tried it before, I mean it:  Hubby had to ask the produce manager at Whole Foods what kale looks like.

He brought home a bag full of the stuff, and we dug in.  I rinsed off the leaves and broke off the stems.  I sliced and diced a clove of garlic, opened and drained a can of cannellini beans, and washed and chopped a big, juicy tomato.  I poured about a tablespoon of olive oil into a warm frying pan and tossed the garlic around for a couple of minutes.  Then, I threw in the whole bunch of kale and stirred it around for about five minutes.  I quickly discovered that kale shrinks while cooking–mental note for next time to use a lot more of the green, leafy goodness.  I tossed in the tomato chunks and poured another tablespoon of olive oil into the pan, mixing everything up.  Finally, I emptied the can of beans into the pan, and let it all simmer for a couple of minutes.  Hubby and I each had enough for dinner, and we probably could’ve squeezed a third helping out of it.  It was delicious, hearty, and filling.  It was so good that Hubby didn’t douse it in rooster sauce like he usually does; he just sprinkled a little salt and pepper on it and chomped away happily.

Now that I know how easy it is to cook with kale, I will definitely be using it more often!

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