Veggie Experiment #2: K is for…Kale!

Have you ever tried kale?

I tried it a few years ago, and really liked it…but haven’t had it since (well, I might have had it in a restaurant since then, but I haven’t prepared it at home).

The first time I tried prepared Kale, I got it from the mecca of Texas grocery stores: Central Market.  If you’ve never been to a Central Market grocery store before, just know this-it’s bigger and better than every grocery store you’ve ever been too.  Just like they say everything in Texas is…

The kale I had from Central Market was already prepared (their “prepared foods” section, alone, is the size of  most grocery stores!).  It was a very simple dish-sauteed al dente with a little oil, garlic, and a few other seasonings.  It was REALLY good!

But, like some other veggies, kale has been off the radar from my repertoire.  That is, until today.

Inspired the other day, by a Facebook post by The Nutrition Twins (check out their website!) on kale chips, I decided to do a little kale experimentation of my own.

I purchased both red and green (organic) kale at the grocery store yesterday.  Then today, I set out to make my own kale chips.  Here’s how I did it:

Kale Chips

  • Kale
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasonings of choice (I used a variety: curry powder and salt, Mrs. Dash, Steak Seasoning, Basil Garlic seasoning)

Heat over to 350 degrees.  Wash kale, remove stem ends and arrange on baking sheets. Brush kale with olive oil, then sprinkle seasonings on.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.

Meanwhile, while the kale chips were baking, I decided to stir fry the remaining kale.  Here’s the recipe I came up with…

Sauteed Kale a la Apricot

  • Kale, ends trimmed and cut up, about 4 cups
  • Olive or other oil, 1 Tablespoon
  • Garlic, 1 clove minced
  • Ginger, 1 teaspoon finely chopped
  • Apricot preserves, 2 teaspoons
  • Sesame oil to drizzle
  • Soy sauce or gluten free Tamari to taste

Heat oil in pan and add garlic and ginger.  Add kale and sautee.  Add apricot preserves and continue to sautee until al dente.  Drizzle sesame oil over kale and add soy sauce/Tamari to taste.

Eat!

So, how did it taste?

Frankly, I thought the kale chips, while really fun to make, were just “OK“.  The curry powder and salt version tasted the best.  But, I’d encourage y’all to try making your own kale chips some time, as there are many foodies out there who RAVE about them. (I did find an alternative to making them on your own that I’ll share at the end of this post.)

I thought the sauteed kale was really good.  The apricot and ginger provided a nice contrast to the slight bitterness of the kale.  I would definitely make this again, and serve it along with an Asian inspired meal.

Nutrition FYI or Why You Should Add Kale to your Diet:

  • Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and contains large concentrations of sulforaphane and isothiocyanates.  These sulfur-containing phytonutrients have been implicated as helpers in the neutralization of potentially carcionegenic substances.
  • If you follow a gluten free diet, kale, like all veggies, is naturally gluten free.
  • Kale is a highly concentrated source of the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may promote vision health.
  • Kale is also an excellent source of the following nutrients: Vitamin K (*check with your physician or dietitian if you are on blood thinners before consuming large amount of veggies containing Vitamin K as they may interfere with your medication), Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Manganese.
  • Kale is naturally low in calories, but is a good source of fiber (2.6 grams per cup)
  • For more great information on Kale check out The World’s Healthiest Foods.

So, there you have it.  Kale in a nutshell.  Try it.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

P.S. As an alternative to making your own kale chips, here is a product you may want to try: Raw Guru Kale Chips.  I was hesitant about trying these, but thought I would get some to compare to my home baked Kale Chips.  Well…these were REALLY good.  ADDICTIVELY good. I had the Bombay Curry and the Ranch.  Both were yummy, but I think I liked the Ranch the best.  And the nice thing about these chips is that you can pronounce all the ingredients in them…

P.S.S. If you want to use up ALL your kale (stems and all) see if you can find a furry friend or two to share with.  I promise you will make them VERY happy!

Have you ever tried kale before?  Kale chips?  Kale:like it or leave it? If you like kale, what are your favorite ways to serve it?

I would LOVE to hear from you!  Please click here to leave a comment, ask a nutrition question, or leave a suggestion for The Spicy RD.  Or, if you enjoyed the post, please share it below!




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Comments

  1. I am looking forward to picking up some kale at the Farmer’s Market this Sunday – thanks for the recipe ideas! Your photos look lovely:)!

  2. The Spicy RD says:

    Great! Let me know what you do (or Chef D does :-) w/ the kale. Thanks for commenting on the photos…having fun w/ the new camera.

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