For the first week of February, we decided that this week’s vegetable is going to be Kale! I know, I know. We can almost hear the groans coming from our computer. But don’t fret, we are here to change your opinion on the amazing superfood that kale is!
Kale is high in beta carotene, vitamin K and C, as well as its rich in calcium. Kale contains sulforaphane, which is a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. It also is a source of indole-3-carbinol, which is a chemical that boosts DNA repair in the cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale also contains elements that lower the cholesterol and decrease the absorption of dietary fats. Kale is also an important vegetable due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Fun Fact: Interestingly enough, kale, along with broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi are all derived from Brassica oleracea AKA wild cabbage! This includes the condensed shoot (=cabbage), flower cluster (=broccoli), lateral buds (=brussel sprouts) of wild cabbage. They have undergone hundreds of years of selection by humans picking the desired traits. These traits are selected based upon the genotype (what the plants “code” is) of the wild cabbage. That has therefore lead to the formation of different groups within the wild cabbage species that grow into the green vegetables we love to grow and eat!
Check out this healthy kale and quinoa salad recipe that is delicious and easy to make!
Quinoa Salad with Kale and Feta
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dried cranberries
olive oil, for cooking
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced (discard the tough ribs)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
a squeeze of lemon
In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover for 15-20 minutes. When finished cooking, add the cranberries and cover with the lid and set aside to cool.
In a medium pan over medium heat, drizzle olive oil into the pan and saute the onion for a couple of minutes, until soft. Add the kale to the pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes until it has wilted. If desired, add a small splash of water to the pan to create steam and cover for a few minutes. Season with salt. If you added water, remove the lid and cook until the moisture has evaporated. Add the kale and onions to the quinoa, along with the feta and almonds. Drizzle with oil and lemon and season with salt and pepper. Toss and serve immediately.