Do you like kale? I just started eating it last year and I still haven’t developed a taste for it, but I’m working on it! This week the 38 Power Foods blog group is talking about kale. This leafy green vegetable is a member of the Brassica family, just like broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. The aggregate nutrient density index score (ANDI) for kale is 1000. As a comparison, spinach scores 739, and blueberries 130. While the author at Fooducate points out that index scores don’t tell the whole story about any particular food, the nutrient density of kale can’t be denied.
In addition to being packed with nutrients, kale offers cardiovascular support, a lower risk benefit for cancer; cholesterol lowering ability, anti-inflammation benefits, eye health support, and it aids the body’s detoxification system.
Look for small leaves because they are less bitter. The best way to cook them is by steaming for 5 minutes. Cautionary note*- People with kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid kale as the vegetable has a high amount of oxalates, which can crystallize in bodily fluids and cause health issues.
About the recipe: I borrowed the idea for kale salad with peanut sauce from Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients, a book from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Healthy Living Magazine. I used the same ingredients for the salad, but the sauce is my own.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: about 4 to 4-1/2 cups
3 to 4 kale leaves (about 3 cups when sliced)
1 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Ingredients for the sauce:
¼ cup natural peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder’s Al Natural)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon hot chili oil
2-½ teaspoons minced garlic
1-½ tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon tamari soy, or lite soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
1. Prepare the vegetables – Wash the kale well, drain, remove the center ribs and discard them. Slice the kale crosswise, thinly. Peel the carrot, discard the outer strips, and then continue peeling into 3 to 4-inch strips. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and then remove the seeds and the white membrane. Slice the pepper halves lengthwise, and then into strips about 1/3-inch wide. Finally, slice them crosswise.
2. Make the dressing – Place the sauce ingredients in a blender and process until it is smooth.
To Serve: Place the washed kale in a salad bowl along with the sliced carrots and the bell pepper. Toss with the dressing and enjoy!