Sunday, January 15, 2012

eat your greens

Last month I decided to start spotlighting different fruits and veggies--why we like them, and how we eat them. (I kicked things off with pomegranate)

This week I want to talk about greens.
We love greens. 
Now had you asked me a few years ago....I would have gagged. 
I didn't understand how to eat them.....or why you would want to. 
When I thought of "eating your greens", I imagined soggy spinach in some kind of cream sauce.
no thank you. 

This post will focus on kale, but most of the "recipe" ideas can be also used for collard greens or chard.

So what's so great about this stuff?

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
[source]
It is a SUPER vegetable....so really, how could you pass it up?
And it sure is pretty....
kale1 copykale2 copykale3 copy
How to prepare it:
Very easy.
Wash.
The larger the leaf, the tougher the stem, so I usually just take the green right off the stem.
Chop into bite size pieces--perfect for almost any recipe you'll use it in. 
kale4
How to eat it: 
-Make a salad! Toss it with your favorite salad ingredients and a good vinaigrette.
-If it's your first experience with kale, it is a bit more chewy and hardy than a usual salad of romaine or baby lettuces, so mix a little bit of kale into your regular salad.
-Put it in your smoothie. You won't even know it's there.
-Make kale chips. Theses disappear so fast!
-saute' it in a little olive oil and garlic until it softens, give it a squeeze of lemon.
-put sautéed kale in your favorite pasta dish or on your pizza!
-buy Whitney Ingram's cookbook (coming soon!)--it has a delicious recipe for braised kale.
(cookbook update! many of you know I am photographing Whitney's cookbook. We have 4 shoots left, and we should have information for pre-orders soon....eeeeek! so exciting!)

Throw kale right into your soup!
this may be the easiest way to warm up to kale or any other green (and the best way to hide it from your kids!) Start out small--chop it up tiny and only add a cup the first time. If you like it, add more next time. (remember it may look like a lot at first....but it shrinks down to nothing.
chickenandkalesoup copy
Chicken Soup with Kale and Barley
if you are new to the blog (welcome!), just a disclaimer: most of my "recipes" are very loosely written, and are basically just me throwing stuff in a pot. feel free to interpret them as you like.

1 leek, finely chopped
4 carrots, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups chopped kale (or collard greens or chard), chopped into bite size pieces
2TBS chopped fresh thyme
1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
1-2 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup barley (you could use any grain you have--maybe wild rice or bulgur)
6 cups chicken stock
juice of 1 lemon
s&p

saute' in olive oil: leek, carrots, kale, and chicken pieces until onions are tender and chicken begins to brown on the edges
add garlic and herbs, s&p. cook for a few minutes.
add stock, lemon juice, and barley
bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
Let simmer on low for a few hours, until the barely is tender.

top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

other soups with greens:
butterfly soup
chicken and white bean soup

How do YOU eat your greens?

24 comments:

Clandestine Road said...

Kale is my favorite food. I wish I could be buried in it so I'd have to eat my way out of it.

I love it marinated in lime juice and put atop a fresh tortilla with some black beans, jalapeno, cilantro, and some sour cream with a dash of lime juice. I love it in soup and I love it roasted with roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta as a salad. I could go on, and on, and on. :)

Great soup recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Angela

GirlRural.com said...

This soup sounds SO good! I'm a big kale fan. I have to say that kale and red potato casserole is on my short list of favorites. This soup will be our Friday night try. Thanks!

whitneyingram said...

I made braised kale just tonight! Oh it was good!

Next veg you need to take on- kohlrabi.

whitneyingram said...

And beets. I have never made beets. I love eating them, but I have only had them at restaurants. Feature beets.

jody said...

This is fantastic! Timing could not be better, on Saturday I bought a big bunch of kale at the farmers market, because I knew it was good for me, but I wasn't quiet sure what to do with it! Thank you this is perfect! xx

Kaitlyn Luce said...

I love kale! And chard and spinach and and and...

I just really love my fruits and vegetables. I like eating plants. I love kale with garlic and olive oil, same with spinach.

Kasey said...

I am currently having a love affair with kale. Can't get enough of it! It's in smoothies, salads and soups over here.

Agree on beets. Tell me how to eat beets, please!

the crew said...

delightful! We had kale chips last night and my kids devoured them!

Great ideas!!

Rebecca Jane said...

I've been wanting to try kale for a while now, but I never knew how to prepare it... I'm definitely going to try some of these recipes this week!

I absolutely love greens. I usually eat them as a salad, but sometimes I wilt a little spinach, mix it with scrambled eggs and add feta cheese on top. So good!

Mommy Papi and Babies Sauri said...

I am a huge fan of "Green Drinks" and I've vowed to have at least 2 a week. It's Ari's fault over at the Diva Dish. She started it.

I've not tried it in a salad yet but I think it may be a way to sneak some into our dinners without the kids being freaked out. It at least looks like lettuce.

Thanks for sharing the options. Great list!

Mommy Sauri~
http://casadesauri.blogspot.com

Rachael said...

I REALLY need to eat more greens! I'm really bad at eating the things you actually NEED to!! But I like that idea of putting, Kale for example, tossed into a salad, or in a smoothie...so I'm more likely to eat it!

Rachelle said...

we've only ever juiced our kale. i have never eaten it any other way. but now i will darn it. we will eat our kale!

becca said...

ah, love the photos. love kale!
you have the nicest recipes. I like the idea of throwing it into soup. what do you think about hiding it in a vegetable chili?

Darcee said...

Favorite green is kale!! I like it simple, in salads of all kinds, or sauteed with onions and garlic, tossing all kinds of other things into it. Also, an awesome kale and sweet potato soup that I LOVE. Yay kale!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Kale is very popular here in Brazil, is one of the side dishes served with feijoada - it's simply sautéed with a bit of finely chopped bacon and chopped onions. Delicious!

Janssen said...

I love Smitten Kitchen's potato gratin recipe (http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/simple-potato-gratin/). I do chard and goat cheese and mushrooms and it's so good I could die.

The Webbs said...

oh my heavens, that looks heavenly.

right now i am eating left overs from dinner last night... kale soup too!!

the simplest easiest meal around.
a head of kale, pound of spicy sausage (im not huge on sausage but this is amazing!), potatoes, onions, garlic, and chicken stock. its that easy. throw in any leftover herbs you have laying around and call it good. please try this. its amazing. i also like to add cheese on top-i think tomatoes inside would be divine. today is kale chips! hooray for eating our greens!!

Hays said...

i'm sold.

bring on the kale!

barb said...

My grandfather mixed it with a little oatmeal and then in with a pork roast. We loved it.

Hannah said...

I love eating greens. :) We're big fruit + veggie people over here. And we're super blessed because my grandpa has a huge garden, twenty one apple trees (apple cider + sauce making days are one of my faves), and several raspberry/blueberry patches. so good. Food tastes so much better fresh! and we've done kale with bacon...not so healthy, but delicious! ;)

Jay said...

I had kale for the first time earlier this month. It's pretty good but I had never heard of it until earlier this month.

Cassidy said...

Great tips! I love Kale I make green smoothies everyday and usually always use a cupful in them! That soup looks pretty amazing too!

http://fitcraftystylishandhappy.blogspot.com/

Krystina said...

Sheena, friend -

I just want you to know that this soup has become my number one for all things cozy and get-better. I'm telling you, I've made it a half dozen times so far and still it's the warmest most nourishing soup I can put my hands to. It's been with me to family gatherings around the fire, just before stuffing our bellies with toasty marshmallows. It's been with me when my hubs and I have had the sniffles. It's been with me to bless a friend when she has come down with the flu. And best of all? It's made it into my little black moleskin, where the best-of-the-best recipes get jotted down in my handwriting for generations to enjoy. And your name is there ... "Sheena's Cozy Chicken Soup." (Not many get chosen for the book. Select few, in fact.)

You are a gift! And I completely adore who you are. Thank you for sharing your family meals with us. I know my own growing family will enjoy your generosity for years to come!

<3

Hillary said...

A year later and this recipe is still one of my favorites! We went vegan last March so I make a few adaptations, but it still tastes amazing. Last night I used collards, onions, carrots, barley, and white beans cooked in rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Seriously...so good. I am so glad you shared this!