Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for February 11th, 2012

Eating Kale – Cooked and Raw

Posted by terrepruitt on February 11, 2012

I have heard about kale chips for I don’t know how long.  I know I have heard about them for a long time.  I had just never gotten around to making them until recently.  After I completey burned beyond salvage, the first batch, I carefully baked the second batch.  I was not impressed.  They were ok, but not something I would actually want to eat enough to make them.  But one of my blog readers, Mike over at Perception is Reality Corner, asked about eating kale raw.  I told him that I had seen information about some nutritional differences between cooked kale and raw kale so that probably means it can be eaten raw.  It is so close to a lettuce (it is considered part of the cabbage family) but it is all the same, right?  I asked him to report back after he had tried it.  He said it was a little bitter, but he liked it.  So on my next trip to the store I bought another bunch of kale.  We have been eating it a lot lately.

With the second batch I bought, I mixed it with a bit of lettuce we had and we ate it in a salad.  It might be bitter raw, but some of the lettuce in the batch was bitter anyway so I couldn’t tell the difference.  I am used to eating lettuce that is bitter so to me it didn’t matter if I was eating bitter lettuce or bitter kale.

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia dance, Nia workoutAt the store where I have been purchasing the kale it comes in a rather large bunch so I can use a lot and still have a lot left.  My next dish was a bunch of veggies; mushrooms, onions, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and kale mixed with quinoa.  Because I think quinoa lacks any type of flavor and I didn’t add enough flavoring to the water when I cooked it, I threw some feta on top of this dish to add an additional layer of flavor.  The vegetables were packed with flavor, but not enough to withstand the nothingness of the quinoa.

Next kale dish was left over rice that I cooked with some zucchini and chicken.  I put the kale in last because I don’t like it really soggy.  I like for my leafy greens to still have a little form to them when I eat them.  They might not have any crunch left, but they are not just a soggy green mess on my plate.  This dish was really yummy.  I put a little bit of feta on it and some chopped water chestnuts.  It was so good that my husband was happy I didn’t go out to get bread because I sent the leftovers to work with him for his lunch.  I always talk about when I was “on my home from Nia” because I tend to run all my errands when I am on my way home from my Nia class.  So if I don’t have a class I don’t always get out to the store when we need something.  So breadless, my hubby got our leftovers.  He didn’t mind because it was really good.

Since then I taught a Nia class and I went to the store and bought bread and what?  Yes, MORE kale.  So today when I couldn’t think of what to have for lunch I decided to use up some leftover steak in a sandwich.  I made a sandwich that I cooked in my panni press.  I thought to take a picture, but I didn’t because I wasn’t going to post about it but then . . . here I am.  Anyway,  I put cheese, steak, and a pile of kale in the sandwich.  This was not so great.  While the flavor was good–of course, what wouldn’t be good meat and cheese—I didn’t rip up the kale enough so as I bit the sandwich the kale came out in big pieces.  I was not able to bite through it.  So to fix that, next time I will tear up the kale into little pieces.  But using kale on a sandwich just like lettuce worked.

Then tonight – and this is why I decided to blog about cooking with kale – I added kale to our meal again.  This time I used mushrooms and pasta instead of zucchini and rice.  And it was just as good.  I cook the base vegetable first, the one I want to cook the longest, in this case the mushrooms, then I add the chicken (it was already cooked so I was just warming it), then I rip the washed kale into pieces and toss it in the pan.  I even turn the heat off at this point.

So that is how I am adding another green to my diet.  How about you?  Have you made the kale chips?  Have you eaten it in a salad?  Kale in your pasta?  What are you doing to add kale to your diet?

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