KALE! Why we all need kale

Kale!

Lacinato Kale

By Traci Coulter

I’ve never blogged before – so it’s a pretty big deal if I sat down and started writing something that I hope that other people will read (other than a press release or pitch).  But this topic just had to be discussed.

Russian Kale

A few months ago, I was at my favorite restaurant in LA, called Animal.  They are known for their daily menu changes, dishes that are meat, meat, and more meat, and some tattooed guys that opened this place.  There is nothing better than the oxtail poutine, pigs ears and bone-marrow – but one thing on their menu quickly became my favorite.  The kale salad.  It’s the best salad that I ever had in my life.  Tossed with the perfect amount of lemon juice and olive oil.  I could eat bowls and bowls of it.

Curly Red Kale

After a conversation about food that I had with my friend and client Tania (and creator of the fabulous Happiness Series), she told me that I needed to jump on the Kale bandwagon and fast.  She taught me about kale salad, kale smoothies, and more ways to make kale than I ever knew existed.  I started eating the stuff daily.

Curly Green Kale

And this is where it gets good.  A month ago my allergies were raging and my eyes were so itchy I couldn’t wear my contacts.  So I put the glasses on and went about my day.  One day I was at my desk working away for an hour before I realized that I never put my glasses on, things were clear and not fuzzy like they had been.  I didn’t think that I needed glasses that day.  Or the next day, or the next, or the next or today.  I’m not saying that kale cured my astigmatism, but it sure as hell is a huge coincidence that after I started eating bunches after bunches of Kale, and my vision has improved to where it was before I got my lenses.
I’m not saying that everything that ails you will be cured by eating Kale everyday, or that I ever expected to see something like a superfood change things like this… But until I figure out what really caused this change for the positive, you can bet that I will be eating my Kale.  And leaving my glasses off.

Simple Kale Salad

Kale Salad (Recipe from Whole Foods)
Serves 6

The key to this salad is finely chopping the kale leaves.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt to taste
2 bunches kale, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves very finely chopped

Method

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, chili powder and salt. Add kale, toss to combine and serve. (At Happiness Series, we sometimes add nuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts, almonds, or walnuts, and pecorino or parmesan cheese. The point is, like the smoothie, to make the salad the way you like it.)

Kale Salad with Parmesan and Hazlenuts

Bon Apetit also has a great kale salad recipe. (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2009/02/kale_salad_with_pine_nuts)

Kale Salad with Pinenuts

And besides our beloved Kale Smoothie, another easy, delicious thing to make are Kale Chips (here we like to use Tuscan or Lacinato kale):

Ingredients

  • 12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut lengthwise in half, center ribs and stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.
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About the Author: Traci Coulter is a publicist by day and New York Yankees fan by night. Told by many that she knows more about sports than most men, she will try to live without almost daily trips to the Bronx this season, and be happy watching the Yankees on TV. This is her first attempt at blogging and when it’s as easy as writing about things, like kale, that make her truly happy, we may be seeing a lot from her on Happiness Series.