I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kale is where it’s at. All my fellow health-seekers out there already know the deal, but if you haven’t heard the good word on this super-veggie, listen up. Like its cruciferous cousins in the brassicacaea (say that three times fast) family—bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage—kale contains high concentrations of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, important for safeguarding those peepers, and Vitamin K, essential for bone health and blood clotting. It is also a rockstar when it comes to phytochemicals and essential minerals like magnesium and calcium, which are especially crucial for us gals as we age and start to lose bone density. All of these healthy bits and pieces combined make Kale a key food in diets geared towards cancer prevention.
Clearly, this isn’t my first kale rodeo—exhibit A: Honey Ginger Carrots and Kale, and more recently, exhibit B: Lentil, Barley and Kale Soup—but my latest attempt to keep kale interesting and appealing is a winner for worker-bees in search of a healthy packed lunch. Top it off with some roasted chicken or your favorite type of beans and you’ve got a satisfying meal that will keep you full and energized all the live long day!
Kale Caesar Salad
What You’ll Need:
- 6 cups chopped organic kale (bulky stems removed)
- Roasted Garlic “Caesar” Dressing:
- 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
- 1 tbs capers
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 3 tbs olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- 1 small head roasted garlic (plus 1 tsp olive oil for roasting)
- salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It:
- Garlic first. Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel off the outer layers of a whole garlic bulb but leave the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic heads, exposing as many cloves as possible. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the exposed cloves and massage to coat. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
- While the garlic is roasting, clean kale leaves thoroughly and pat dry. Remove woody stems and rough chop into bite size pieces.
- In a small food processor, blend together anchovy paste, capers, Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon, spinach and roasted garlic (note: use a small fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins). Taste for saltiness and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
- In a large bowl, pour dressing over kale and massage for a minute until all leaves are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.
- Serve with a wedge of lemon and an extra dose of freshly ground pepper.