I consider kale to be one of the healthiest foods that you probably aren’t eating. Collectively, leafy greens, including spinach and romaine lettuce, are all excellent choices – but if you only choose them on occasion, consider giving them a more frequent spot on your plate.
By eating just 1 cup of chopped kale (a large handful) you would take in 206% of your daily vitamin A needs, 134% of vitamin C, and 684% of your vitamin K! It’s also rich in minerals like manganese, copper and provides almost 10% of the calcium you need for a day. Have you heard of lutein and zeaxanthin? These two potent antioxidants are also found abundantly in kale. And all of this nutrient power for only 33 calories? Good deal! Why not pick up a bunch on your next grocery trip? You’ll find it near heads of lettuce or other leafy greens.
So once you’ve bought it, how does one go about eating kale? I have a buddy (that’s you AC) who eats it raw in salads, but I prefer mine cooked. My favorite way is simmered in soup. You can add some chopped kale to boost the nutrient content of any soup, go ahead and add it to chicken, minestrone, lentil or other vegetable soups. Or try this recipe for a warming, satisfying meal.
Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Kale Soup
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic
10 -12 oz. package Al Fresco chicken sausage
(I used country style breakfast variety shown, but others would work)
2 portobello mushrooms caps
8 oz oyster mushrooms (can substitute other mushrooms)
4 large kale leaves
12 cups water
Better Than Bouillon chicken base or 12 cups chicken broth (3 quarts)
(salt, pepper, red pepper to taste)
Start by removing the kale stems with a knife. Discard the stems, and chop the remaining leaves (see top photo). Rinse the leaves in a colander, and set aside. Slice the chicken sausage on an angle and set aside. Peel and mince the garlic, and chop the mushrooms. (Leave larger pieces for a chunkier soup).
In a large soup pot, heat garlic in olive oil over low flame for 3 minutes. Add chicken sausage, and cook for another few minutes, stirring. Finally, add the mushrooms, kale and 8 cups water (or broth). Raise heat to bring to a boil, and stir in 3 Tb of bouillon concentrate. Once soup is boiling, reduce heat and cover. Allow to simmer 30 minutes, then add the remaining water and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
I served mine with a pinch of grated Asiago
Serves 6 (large bowls)
Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 9 grams carbohydrate (2 g fiber), 13 grams protein