Monday, October 4, 2010

Kale and Onions

I LOVE kale. It stays crunchy when you cook it (unless you cook it for a really long time), and it has a flavor that isn't too bitter or peppery. It's awesome as some greenery tossed in a soup or even as a glorious side dish on it's own (which is what I've done here).

I've seen some raw recipes that include kale, but your average raw kale is very broccoli-smelling. It doesn't really taste like broccoli once it's cooked, but I assume it would raw. The kale most often used for raw smoothies and salads is Lacinto kale, which has smaller, more slender and tender leaves. It's not found around here, so maybe one day I'll try this regular stuff raw in a salad. Maybe...

Also, Kale can be dehydrated or oven-baked to make kale "chips". It sounds crazy, but they're awesome. You put a little oil and some seasoning on them and they crunch right up and are completely addictive. I've usually made them in the oven, but I'd like to make a batch in the dehydrator because I think they might hold their shape a little better. I'll post a recipe for them and I'll weigh in on the different methods. I still got half a bunch of kale in the fridge right now that's speaking to me.

And now for those nutritionistas: Kale is a nutrient-packed green. In a 1 cup serving of chopped (raw) kale you'll get a decent amount of calcium, about 90 mg or 9% of your RDA, plus 206% of your RDA of Vitamin A, 134% of your RDA of Vitamin C, 2 grams of protein, no sugar, no fat, and only 33 calories. It's also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, iron (and all us ladies need our iron), folate, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has a very low glycemic index and is a strong anti-inflammatory. One cup of cooked kale winds up equaling about 2 cups of raw. (Source).

Anywho, this is what you really came here for, a recipe, right?

Kale and Onions:
1/2 of a large bunch of kale, tough stems removed, ripped to pieces, and washed
1/2 a yellow onion, very thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or 3 tsp. minced)
2 Tb. olive oil
1 1/4 c. vegetable broth and/or water
1/4 c. chopped almonds
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
Sea salt to taste

1. In a large pot, saute the onion over medium-high heat until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic and saute 2-3 more minutes or until fragrant.
2. Add the kale and the vegetable broth, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until kale is tender and broth has evaporated.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 and toast the almonds until golden brown. About five minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. To serve, top half the kale with 2 Tb. almonds, 1 Tb. vinegar, and sea salt. Can add more vinegar according to your preferences. Makes two nice-sized servings.
Enjoy!

Ahh, kale. Tasty, tasty kale.

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