"Ummm, I think it is a type of seaweed," I replied
And I was wrong.
Kale is a powerhouse superfood loaded with nutrients, anti-oxidants, vitamins, cancer preventatives, fiber and it comes from the cabbage family.
And it scared me just a little.
Although I have been cooking for many years, there was always a certain section of the produce aisle that was a little too leafy for me to explore. You know the section that has all the greens like collards, dandelion, and all varieties of kale. Looking more like foliage than food, I had no idea what to do with it.
I have found that kale is a great ingredient and is very versatile. It can be added to soups, stews, and stir-fries for added flavor and fiber. It can also be made into chips as a healthy option to potato chips.
My favorite dish so far from the 21-Day Kickstart by Neal Barnard, MD has been the spicy baked beans with kale I made Sunday night.
This dish is perfect for tailgating and crisp, fall afternoons of football!
Spicy Baked Beans with Kale
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle, diced
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cups low-sodium vegetarian baked beans ( I used Bush's)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Over medium-high heat, saute the onion until it browns.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic, chipotle, kale, pepper, and cumin sauteing until the kale is soft.
3. Add the thyme, beans, and maple syrup, sauteing for 1 more minute.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve with a side of kale chips for easy dipping!
Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Cut leaves from stems of kale and break large leaves into smaller, chip-size, sections.
3. Toss gently with olive oil and pinches of salt to taste.
4. Lay on a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until edges are brown and kale is crispy.