Possibly one of the best vegetables you can eat, kale is abundant with vitamins A, K, C and B6. Other great nutritional A-listers include manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium and just one cup will give you 3 grams of protein. Kale is also an indispensable source of Omega 3 and has more iron per calorie than beef. Plenty of reasons to be consuming this versatile vegetable on a regular basis.
Part of the Brassica family (which also includes wild cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), kale comes in a few forms. Curly kale is the most common seen in supermarkets and greengrocers, but other types include Lacianto (Black kale), Red Russian and Redbor. It can be eaten raw in a variety of salads, although its health benefits are improved slightly when steamed for 5 minutes. I add it to dishes a lot in the last five minutes of cooking, which softens it nicely without overcooking it. In the supermarkets you can buy it whole or ready-chopped in bags. The ready-chopped way does add a touch of convenience for the busy cook and I do often get it this way myself. Just remember ready-chopped doesn’t mean ready to eat, so wash it before use.
Kale is a great way of getting your belly full without consuming a high amount of calories – one cup is just 33 calories, as well as containing 10% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3 fatty acids.
I have prepared two recipes below which contain the raw and steamed versions of this ‘Queen of Superfoods’. Both are perfect for the summer weather and both are incredibly easy to put together with, apart from steaming the kale, no cooking whatsoever. I hope you try these out and enjoy them.
Kale and Spinach Tabbouleh Sandwich
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Chilling time: 1 hour.
- 65g fresh baby spinach
- 50g chopped kale
- 100g quinoa, cooked
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered (orange rapture are also good)
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- ½ cucumber, diced
- Handful of coriander, chopped
- 4 tbsp almond yoghurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 Pumpkin seed bread rolls (or rolls of your choosing)
- 8 baby gem lettuce to serve
Simply put all the ingredients apart from the lettuce and the bread into a large mixing bowl and combine. Cover and leave in the fridge for one hour for the flavours to amalgamate. Cut the bread and put a small drizzle of olive oil on each side. Place two gem lettuce leaves on the bottom layer, then put a large spoonful of the tabbouleh onto the lettuce, put on the top layer of bread and enjoy.
Kale and Pineapple Smoothie
A delicious and healthy summer drink that will get kale into everyone. Steam the kale using a steamer for 5 minutes once the water has come to a gentle boil. Once the five minutes is up drop the kale straight into cold water to stop the cooking process.
Makes 1 Litre
- 1 pineapple, diced
- 1 cup steamed kale
- 1 cup almond yoghurt
- 6-8 ice cubes.
Put all of the ingredients, including the ice cubes, into a blender and process until smooth. Simple as that. Enjoy!