“Eat More Kale”—the Superfood behind the slogan

Monday, May 6, 2013

You’ve probably seen the merch around campus: stickers, t-shirts, buttons and more with the “eat more kale” slogan stamped on the center. You may have even heard of the lawsuit last year when Chick-fil-A insisted the kale slogan was too similar to their “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign (lest people start eating kale instead of chicken!). The hearty green has received a lot of attention over the past few years. It’s one of my favorite foods, and I encourage everyone to make it part of their diet.

            So, what’s the buzz on kale? This incredible superfood is not just another diet or trend. Kale is packed with nutrients and health-promoting components to help nourish your body. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk and 10x more Vitamin C than spinach. It is low in calories and carbs, while high in vitamins and antioxidants. One serving of kale provides 5% of the recommended daily intake of fiber, overshadowing comparable protein sources such as meat that contain almost none. The consumption of animal products contributes to inflammation in the human body, leading to many adverse health conditions including arthritis and heart disease. Kale has huge anti-inflammatory properties to help protect against these outcomes.

No wonder a Vermont farmer started the “Eat More Kale” slogan a few years ago—people should eat more kale. Try braising it, steaming it, or baking it as a casserole. Try out my favorite kale dish, Cheesy Kale. The recipe was developed by Dan Winans for UNH’s HMGT 403: Food and Beverage Management lab. I was introduced to the recipe freshman year and have made it many times since— it never fails to satisfy and is a great way to introduce non-kale eaters to the wondrous superfood!

 

Cheesy Kale Recipe

Yield 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

2 bunches                   kale, stems removed and chopped

1 large                                     onion, small dice

2 tablespoons                        butter

1 cup                           apple cider

12 ounces                   white cheddar cheese, grated, split into 8 and 4 ounces

4 cups                         multi grain bread, cut into ½ inch cubes

To taste                      sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon              butter, to butter the pan 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Butter a 2 inch half hotel pan or a pan of equivalent size.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of butter then the onion, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sweat the onion approximately five minutes or until the onion is translucent, not brown.
  6. Add the chopped kale, increase the heat to high and season the kale before it wilts.
  7. Continue to cook the kale stirring occasionally. 
  8. The kale will need to cook approximately five minutes maybe more, maybe less, until it is tender. 
  9. If the pan dries out add some cider a couple of ounces at a time.

10.  Once the kale is cooked, toss it with the bread cubes and 8 ounces of shredded cheese. 

11.  Spread the kale mixture evenly in the prepared hotel pan, then top with the remaining 4 ounces of cheese. 

Place the kale dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until it is heated through and the cheese on top is light brown.

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