Veggie Vitals: Kale, the New Spinach?

A couple of summers ago I joined a food co-op.  It was located right here on campus and once a week I received a bag of organic fruits and vegetables.  I never knew what would be included and even when I saw the items sometimes I still didn’t know what they were.  That was how I was introduced to Kale.  It appeared one day in the bag.  I had always thought kale was seaweed. Nope.  That would be kelp.  Googling the veggie I found that it is considered to be a wild cabbage and is touted to be one of the top healthy foods.

Great – but I still didn’t know what to do with it.  Back I headed to Google to find some recipes for this quite hardy looking green.  Turns out there were quite a few.  I gave kale chips a try – not really a fan.  But I did find a recipe for kale quinoa salad which quickly became a favorite request of my mom for family gatherings.

Here is the quite impressive list of nutrient you can receive from a single cup of raw kale, containing 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein:

  • Vitamin A – 206% of the RDA
  • Vitamin K – 684% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C – 134% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6 – 9% of the RDA
  • Manganese – 26% of the RDA
  • Calcium – 9% of the RDA
  • Copper – 10% of the RDA
  • Potassium – 9% of the RDA
  • Magnesium – 6% of the RDA
  • 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1, B2, and B3, iron and phosphorus

And here is the recipe for kale quinoa salad:

  • 10 kale leaves, washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa (I find that 1 cup is plenty, but the original recipe called for 2 cups)
  • 1 cup pecan or walnut halves
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds, currants, or craisins
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 glove minced garlic
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour this dressing over the kale leaves, being sure to give them a good coating.  Add the remaining ingredients.  (Make sure the quinoa is cooled.)  Enjoy.