4 Ways to Use Kale This Holiday Season
Kale has been the obsession of every health nut for quite a while. Who can blame them? As one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, it’s certainly earned its title as a super food.
Sautéed Kale and Cranberry
When picturing holiday foods, cranberries tend to be at the top of everyone’s list. So why not jazz up your sautéed kale by adding these holiday berries to the mix. Sautéed kale is one of the easiest ways to prepare this green, and by far my favorite. So impress your family members by serving them something not only high in vitamins K, C, and A but also, phytonutrients (I’m not quite sure what they are either, but you’ll certainly sound smarter by mentioning them, thanks cranberries).
Add oil and onion to large skillet. Stir and sauté over medium-high heat (350 degrees in an electric skillet) until onion is clear. Add cranberries and garlic. Continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add kale. Pour or squeeze orange juice over top of kale. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes until kale is wilting and hot.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Courtesy of FoodHero.org
Kale and Artichoke Dip
For those of you who are looking for a healthier appetizer to serve your party guests, boy do we have one for you. A twist on your classic spinach and artichoke dip with fewer calories and all of the creamy goodness.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
1 1/2 cups thawed, squeezed and chopped frozen kale (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup thawed and roughly chopped frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 ounces)
3/4 cup shredded low-fat Swiss cheese
3/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Large pinch cayenne pepper
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
Multi-grain corn tortilla chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine kale, artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, milk, all but 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan, cream cheese, Worcestershire, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic in a medium bowl. Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and lightly golden (20 to 25 minutes.) Let set for 5 minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
Courtesy of Food Network Kitchens
Roasted Pumpkin and Kale Salad
So there may be a little “Basic Bitch” in all of us when it comes to pumpkin. Because I am all about that life. I will eat or drink anything pumpkin related, and yes this does include Jones Soda’s limited edition pumpkin pie flavor soda (one of their better holiday beverages in my opinion.)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
5 cups chopped kale
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
14 oz. pumpkin chopped in bite sized chunks
1 teaspoon Moroccan seasoning
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
olive oil spray
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the pumpkin and Moroccan seasoning. Spray the pumpkin pieces with olive oil, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. While the pumpkin is baking prepare the other ingredients. Combine the chopped kale, lemon juice and 1 pinch of salt. Massage the kale (yeah, that’s right massage it, seriously) for 1 minute until it’s all covered with the lemon juice.
Then, prepare the balsamic reduction. Pour the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to boil reduce the heat and simmer until vinegar has reduced by half and taken a syrupy consistency. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Set aside. After 20 minutes remove pumpkin from oven. Combine the kale, pumpkin pieces, onion slices and walnuts. Top with with the balsamic reduction and serve.
Courtesy of Vegie Project
Sausage and Kale Thanksgiving Dressing
A great way to sneak nutrients in to the children in your family who just don’t do veggies. We all have one, and no one is going to turn down this amazing variation of traditional thanksgiving dressing. Carbohydrates and meat, what more could you want? I guess a stuffing that has both antioxidant nutrients and anti inflammatory properties may also be beneficial… Maybe.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 pound sweet Italian fennel sausage, casings removed, broken into small pieces
3 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale, leaves trimmed and chopped
1 pound stale onion focaccia, cubed
1 large egg
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or turkey stock
1 cup diced parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup shredded
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the leeks and squash and season with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook until the leeks are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the kale, toss and cover until the kale wilts, about 4 minutes. Add the focaccia cubes and the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and toss until the butter melts. Whisk the egg and chicken broth in a bowl until smooth; stir in the diced parmesan and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the broth mixture over the bread mixture; cook until the liquid is absorbed by the bread (should be about 1 minute.) Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Scatter the shredded cheese evenly on top and bake until golden and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes before serving.
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Everyone knows it is important to try and incorporate healthy food items in your every day diet. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to balloon out. Think about how far ahead you’ll be on your yearly New Years Resolutions if you don’t have to lose those ten pounds you put on in all the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In conclusion, let them eat kale.