According to the ANDI Scores – one of several indexes of nutrient density (nutrients per calorie) – kale and collards are the highest rated foods, meaning they are considered to be the most nutrient dense foods. In addition, kale is a member of the cabbage family and so it contains all the anti-cancer benefits that come packaged in cruciferous vegetables.
So including more kale (and collards) in our diets, is a no brainer. But how?
My favorite kale recipe these days is as simple as it gets: Simply Roasted Kale. Roasting kale makes kale slightly sweet and really delicious! And you can use roasted kale in salads, as a side dish, or just to decorate the dinner plate!
To make roasted kale, you just bake raw kale in the oven and remove it from the oven when some of the edges of the kale get brown and crisp.
1 bunch curly (preferably organic)
Note: I think curly kale works better in this recipe than dinosaur kale. It’s sweeter and doesn’t burn so easily.
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the woody stems from the kale and reserve the stems (freeze) to use in making a vegetable soup stock; leave the tender stems attached to the kale leaves. Wash the kale and then rinse it well. Place the kale in a salad spinner and spin it just a little. You want to leave some moisture on the leaves. Tear the kale into generous pieces. (The pieces collapse a bit when roasted so you will have smaller pieces after roasting.) Place the kale pieces into a bowl and toss them with just a teaspoon of olive oil, until all the leaves have a touch of oil on them.
Place the pieces of kale on a baking sheet (as shown above).
Bake the kale at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes. Use tongs and turn the kale pieces over and bake for about another 8 minutes.
Serve the roasted kale fresh from the oven.
If you need to store the kale, that’s OK, but it will lose the slight crispness that you get when it’s fresh from the oven.
And…if you want to make kale chips, here are some good recipes:
Enjoy and be healthy!
The calendar says fall and the abundance of summer veggies has tapered off…so it’s time to start making hearty soups again! Yesterday my husband and I had lunch at the Lebanese Taverna where they serve a wonderful Lentil Soup (Shorba Addas) that’s rich in greens (spinach?) and spiced with lemon, garlic, and cilantro. With this soup on my brain today, I picked out a Food and Wine recipe to make a lentil soup like the Lebanese Taverna’s.
But instead of making the recipe as shown, I made the soup using Monamifood Garlic Flavors Cubes, Cilantro Sauce Flavor Cubes, and Zesty Citrus Flavor Cubes – which meant I didn’t have to run to the store for any ingredients; just open my freezer! It made it easier and faster to whip up this soup for a Sunday lunch…and, if you ask me, it made this wonderful soup even more delicious than it was when I made it by following the Food and Wine recipe!
This recipe makes a LOT of soup, so you will have plenty left over to give to friends or freeze – or both!
2 cups small green lentils, picked over and rinsed
* Small (really tiny) green lentils are available in our Whole Foods store in the bulk section. But this variety of lentils is not essential. I have used brown lentils before, with good results.
16 cups water (yes, 16 cups!)
3 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base (or Vegetarian No Chicken Base)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 very large onions, diced
2 pinches of crushed red pepper
4 Monamifood Cilantro Sauce flavor cubes
1 bunch organic kale (curly variety), stemmed and torn into small pieces
2/3 of a 16-0uncd bag of frozen chopped organic spinach
In a large stockpot, place the lentils, water, and Better Than Bouillon Chicken (or No Chicken) Base. Partially cover and cook over medium heat until the lentils are barely tender – about 25 minutes. (Do not over cook the lentils or they will split and the soup will be grainy!)
Note: Unless you have two, large (11-inch diameter), non-stick saute/frying pans, you will need to saute the onions in two batches. If you were to put all the onions in one pan, they would steam rather than saute.
While the lentils are cooking, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large 11-inch non-stick skillet. When the oil is hot, add half of the diced onions and one pinch of the crushed red pepper; saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to get lightly browned. Remove the onions from the pan and set them aside.
Cook the remaining onions with a pinch of crushed red pepper in the same 11-inch non-stick skillet. When the second batch of onions start to get lightly browned, add these onions — and also the reserved onions — to the pot with the lentils. Stir to mix.
Continue to cook the soup over medium heat. Add the cubes (Garlic, Cilantro Sauce, and Citrus) and stir the soup while the cubes melt. Taste and add a little more Better Than Bouillon Base, if desired.
Add the chopped fresh kale and cook for about 3 minutes. It will soften and turn a lovely deep green color. Then add the frozen spinach and simmer for another minute or two.
Individually season the soup at the table
Individually season the soup at the table! Just pass a small pouring container (creamer, perhaps) containing a few defrosted Monamifood Zesty Citrus Flavor Cubes and a small bowl with a few defrosted Monamifood Cilantro Sauce Flavor Cubes.
Enjoy and be healthy!