It's the first week of April and I already have harvested enough kale to last my family and two other friends for a week.
1. It's very easy to grow. Kale can grow through the winter in mild winters - like the ones that we have here in Washington. Plant it in the fall and then it will be poppin' by early spring.
2. It's super nutritious. Kale is touted as a superfood in numerous nutrition publication and by nutritionists the world over.
3. It's versatile. I use kale in different ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
4. It's pretty. People buy ornamental kale to decorate their yards, but I think that even the edible kinds are pretty and it's nice to see some green in the fall and early spring, when nothing else is really growing quite yet. It comes in different varieties with various types of leaves and coloring.
5. It's yummy. My husband would probably debate me on this, but I love kale. It has a bit more flavor, in my opinion, than lettuce. If it is prepared correctly it is delicious and my two and five-year old will eat almost all of the stuff below enthusiastically.
Kale can, at least in Washington, last through the winter. I actually planted this kale last September, as the season was winding down here and it grew (albeit very slowly) over the entire winter. Once the warmer weather of spring hit, it was in full glory and I have been eyeing it hungrily for a couple of weeks now.
One of the main question I get about this vegetable is what to do with it.
A note on all of these ideas: I trim out the tough middle part of the kale and just use the leafy section, unless otherwise noted.
So here is my list of ways that I use this superfood:
1. In a smoothie:
2. In an omelet/scramble:
3. In quiche:
This is delicious. A hit with my whole family.
4. As a salad:
Yummy!!! Add some dressing and you have a meal. Again, the possibilities are endless. I just usually use whatever jumps out at me when I open the fridge for my salads.
5. In a couscous or quinoa salad:
6. In place of rice with lentils/stirfry/ etc.:
7. In fried rice:
Here is a link to a fried rice recipe that you can build from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Egg-Fried-Rice/. I use this more as a guide than anything. I usually have some pre-made rice from a recipe earlier in the week and I use that rather than making the rice on the spot. I also add whatever jumps out at me in the fridge and in this case, I am adding some fresh kale to the mix. This is a great way to sneak some kale into my kids' diets.
In these pictures, I am just adding some kale to fried rice I made over the weekend. my fried rice had red bell peppers, zucchini, corn, onions and garlic in it and today I have more kale to deal with, so I am adding that to the mix as well.
I added some apples and cucumber slices and dinner (plus some left-overs) was served.
8. On a burger/sandwich in place of lettuce:
9. As a side: stir fry with salt and pepper
10. As a chip:
11. As a garnish
I have to add that I went out to eat with my sister in the midst of this kale craziness and, even there, I could not escape this prolific vegetable. They have kale and goat cheese tart and macaroni and cheese with kale and corn - I tried the later and it was DELICIOUS. I took a picture just for another kale idea:
If you still have more kale than you can use: check out my post on how to save it for the winter: http://roselynrobison.blogspot.com/2014/06/preserving-kale-chard-and-spinach.html.