All Hail Kale

Curly kale
Image via Wikipedia

I stopped by my local outdoor farmers market this past Saturday to pick up a few fresh veggies. Unbeknownst to me the market hours are 8:00am to 3:00pm and are strictly enforced. Failure to pack up and vamonos by the witching hour can result in the farmer being fined, or possibly even losing their license.

As I was leisurely meandering through the produce 5 minutes to 3:00, deciding on what to buy, I noticed that all the price signs had already been removed in preparation of closing the stand.

I innocently asked “How much is this?” and “How much is that? to which the busy “farmers” quickly barked out prices while loading their truck.  As I was delicately selecting the greens to put in my bag, the “farmer” impatiently said to me “Lady, how ’bout I give you the rest of whats left in that box (motioning to the large box of Kale) for 5 bucks…. deal? As you all know I love a good deal, this farmer had himself a DEAL!

I triumphantly lugged home several pounds of fresh organic kale home with me ready for some good and healthy eating.

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It is chock full of:

  • Beta carotene – fights cancer, heart disease, prevents cataracts, boosts immunity, fights asthma, depression, helps immunity, high blood pressure and arthritis
  • Vitamin K – helps with the clotting of blood
  • Vitamin C – good for your skin helps immunity, combats free radicals,
  • Lutein – good for your eyes
  • Calcium – good for you bones, brain and nervous system

Kale also has great antioxidant properties (great for your skin, fights cancer and good for your cells and heart) and is considered an anti-inflamatory.

Although not as popular as cabbage, Kale or borecole is actually a form of cabbage. In fact the name “borecole” finds its origin from the Dutch wordboerenkool” (farmers cabbage).

The great thing about Kale is that is a very fibrous vegetable and can hold its own against other strong flavors. Some green leafy greens like spinach are more delicate and wilt easily. Not kale. Kale is a very strong and hearty green. All Hail Kale!

As it was a dark and rainy day, I decided to make a rich and hearty kale and spicy sausage stew.

I chopped up a few links of spicy sausage and fried them up in my cast iron Dutch oven. I was lucky enough to pick up Di Paola’s free range spicy turkey sausage at the same farmers market, however, any spicy sausage will do. After the sausage was browned and cooked through, I pulled them out of the pot and set aside for later. I then sautéed 1 medium chopped onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic in the same pot (with the sausage dripping) in a little olive oil. I then dumped in my roughly chopped cleaned kale, 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water. I let the goodies come to a boil and then poured the cooked sausage on top of the greens and simmered the stew for 20 minutes of so.

This Kale and spicy sausage stew was the closest thing to heart-healthy, hearty, low- cal and low-carb comfort food you can get.

Next up – Homemade Kale Chips  (What else am I going to do with the other 3 lbs of Kale?)

Chow for now!

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