I love shopping at the Farmer’s Markets this time of year. There are so many new vegetables available, many of which may intimidate most of us. In comes Kale. Looks simple, like lettuce, and it’s dark green which the brain says, “that’s got to be really good for me. But why? And how do I prepare it so that it actually tastes good?”
First for the “why.” Well, with all the toxins surrounding us, we need to support our liver’s ability to neutralize and detoxify harmful chemicals. Scientific studies have shown that sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, both sulfur compounds, can do just that. And Kale is chalked full of these wonderful compounds.
And, I can’t go without mentioning the benefits Kale can have to eye health….as I reach for my reading glasses. Note to self: buy some kale! Kale contains the most concentrated source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids protect the eyes from harmful UV light and also against cataracts.
So let’s “see” how we can prepare a delicious kale dish. I can’t take credit for this recipe, but I can attest to the simplicity and flavor factor that I’ve tested on many a guest.
Dark Leafy Greens with Caramelized Onions, Raisins and Pine Nuts
From One Bite at a Time by Rebecca Katz
6 cups kale, stemmed, and cut into bite-size pieces
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, cut into quarter moons (about 1 cup)
¼ tsp sea salt
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup raisins
1 TBS toasted pine nuts
Cover the kale with cold water and set aside until ready to use. In a large, deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and cook slowly until the onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, just until aromatic. Add the raisins and stir for about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of water to loosen all the flavorful bits from the bottom.
Begin adding the greens to the pan with a pinch of salt, continuing to add as many greens as will fit in the pan. The water that adheres to the greens will be enough liquid to wilt the greens. Taste the greens, add an additional tablespoon of water, if needed, cover the pan, and cook the greens until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste again, adding of pinch of salt or a drop or two of maple syrup, if necessary.
Arrange the greens on a plate and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. Serve hot. Don’t forget to pour the cooking juices over the greens before you add the nuts—more nutrients!
Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 15 minutes • SERVES 6
Storage: Store for two days in the fridge in an airtight container
Per Serving Calories: 109; Total Fat: 5 g (1 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated);
Carbohydrates: 15 g; Protein: 3 g; Fiber: 2 g; Sodium: 129 mg
(Karen Roth, MS, NC holds a Masters of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition and is an active member of the National Association of Nutritional Professionals, the American Holistic Health Association and the Menopause Type Network®. Offices located in both Santa Clarita and Sherman Oaks, CA. For more information visit: www.karenrothnutrition.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and on Twitter)