Saturday, October 3, 2015

Counting Down to Kale Day 2015

Wednesday, October 7 is National Kale Day. NOW is the time to plan your celebration in honor of this amazing leafy vegetable.

Started in October of 2012, National Kale Day exists to celebrate the nutritional benefits of and different ways to cook and prepare kale.

What are the benefits of this nutritional powerhouse?

Just one cup of raw kale contains just 33 calories while providing…
  • 134% of your daily vitamin C needs
  • 684% of your daily vitamin K needs
  • 204% of vitamin A

and is also
  • is an excellent source of calcium and iron

  • is a cool weather vegetable with a long growing season, and, in fact tastes even sweeter after a frost.
  • is easy to grow.
  • can be locally sourced when warm weather crops have disappeared from the market.
  • is relatively inexpensive.
  • is “hearty.” When stored in a loose bag in the refrigerator crisper, it can last up to a week. 
  • comes in dozens of colorful varieties.
  • can be prepared in many ways.

To learn more about this superfood, go to the Kale Day website and download the 2015 Kale Hero Toolkit. The kit includes a number of simple, delicious recipes for kale, as well as all you ever wanted to know about this leafy green vegetable. One of my favorite recipes is the one for Fall Cheddar Apple Kale Quesadillas.

In celebration of Kale Day 2015, let me share with you my new favorite kale recipe: Kale Salad with Apples and Cheddar by Martha Rose Shulman in the New York Times.

Have you ever purchased the bagged kale salad complete with dressing packet and wondered how you could replicate it (or even improve on it)? Wonder no more. This is the recipe for you.
A close-up after serving

A few notes:
  • The trickiest part is chopping the kale; I recommend using a knife rather than a blender. 
  • Use curly kale rather than Lacinato (also known as Tuscan or Dinosaur).
  • Be sure to remove the tough stems.
  • I used a Macoun apple and
  • extra sharp cheddar.
  • I tossed in a handful of dried cranberries for extra color.
  • Be sure to mix well at least 15 minutes before serving.

The salad makes four generous servings. It makes a great next day as a leftover although the parmesan won’t be as visible.

I suspect you will say “goodbye” to that bagged mix. This is zestier and so much cheaper. Also, with the nuts and cheese it can make a complete meal.

If you are trying to:
  • Go meatless
  • Support your local farmer
  • Eat cheaply 

or simply 
  • Eat well

Give Kale a try this Wednesday!

Happy Meatless Monday. Happy Kale Day 2015. Have a great week!

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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