Kale Salad

 

I love the health benefits of kale, but have heard a lot of complaints from folks who say that it’s difficult to cook. This recipe took me under 10 minutes to prepare, and it’s ohhhh so delicious! Thanks to Lisa for the inspiration of the basis of this salad!

1 bunch of fresh Kale de-ribbed and chopped- any variety

2 TBSP olive oil

2 tsp salt

1/8 cup lemon juice

2  chopped figs (optional)

2 apples chopped (core removed)

handful of chopped crasins

1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano

1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta (optional)

 

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil and salt together in a small bowl

Add lemon juice mixture to Kale and massage into Kale until fully coated

Fold in chopped apples, figs, & crasins

Mix in Pecorino and Pancetta

Wait 15 minutes before serving

 

What’s the deal with kale? Would pop-eye kick the can of spinach for a bunch of kale???

Kale is a super green whose varieties are not all GREEN! There’s the deep purple Redbor Kale, Red Russian Kale, and the Kamome Red Kale. The red varieties seem to take on more of a purple/pink hue than red.  Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, collards, and cabbage.

The Huffington Post Canada published an article in July of 2013 comparing spinach and kale. The results indicated that Kale has an overall edge, but that Spinach is a little better for pregnant women due to it’s high folate content. Here are some highlights from the Huffington Post article.

Vitamin A: Spinach is a great way to get vitamin A, important for skin and eye health, into your diet — a one-cup serving provides 56 per cent of your recommended daily intake (RDI). But kale is a vitamin-A powerhouse, giving you a whopping 206 per cent of your recommended intake for the same serving.

Vitamin B6: Kale also beats out spinach in for vitamin B6, though less dramatically. The former has 9 per cent of your RDI for this essential vitamin, thought to be related to heart and brain health, though spinach still provides 3 per cent of your RDI.

Vitamin C: Remember that tip about vitamin C? You’ll get a little in your salad anyway when you eat kale, which has 80.4 mg or 9 per cent of your RDI per one-cup serving compared to spinach’s 8.43 mg or 1 per cent. Vitamin C is important for tissue repair health all over your body.

Vitamin K: We might not think about vitamin K very often, but it’s important for our bodies — it helps protect our bones and is key in blood clotting. Both of these vegetables are a great way to get more in your diet, especially kale, which has 684 per cent of your RDI. Spinach has plenty as well, with 181 per cent.

Important: if you’re on blood-thinning medication like warfarin or need to restrict your dietary vitamin K for any other reason, talk to your doctor before eating vitamin-K rich foods like these.

Folate: Folate, known as folic acid when it’s added to foods and folate when it occurs naturally — is particularly important for women of child bearing age, as it’s related to the prevention of neural tube defects in developing fetuses. Spinach is the winner here, with 15 per cent of your RDI in every cup. Kale is still a source, but a less impressive one at 5 per cent for the same amount.

Calcium: When people think calcium they think dairy, but it’s actually found in many vegetables as well. A cup of kale provides 9 per cent of your daily calcium needs, compared to 3 per cent for spinach. As well, spinach has compounds that could impede absorption so it shouldn’t be your key source of the mineral.
Getting enough vitamin D is important too—your body won’t absorb calcium properly without an adequate amount of vitamin D.

Copper: Copper is a trace mineral, so we don’t need a lot of it in our diets, but we do require it for the production of red blood cells; it’s also related to nerve and immune health. Kale is a good way to get it, with 10 per cent of the RDI in a cup, while spinach also has a little bit at 2 per cent.

Manganese: It’s another mineral our bodies need in small amounts, and kale has you covered at 26 per cent of the RDI per serving. Spinach isn’t too shabby either, giving you 13 per cent of your daily manganese, important for forming connective tissue and hormones.

Bottom line- both greens are power houses, be careful with your consumption of either green if you’re on blood thinning meds (vitamin K is for “clotting”) and if you have osteoporosis or any other calcium deficiency. Eat foods rich in calcium at meals opposite your kale or spinach dining days.