Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"The Healthiest Vegetable on the Planet? Don't Mind if I do..."

Hall leading into the BEST breakfast buffets
at The Greenbriar

Hi Family and Friends!

Buffets have always been a crowd-pleaser.  I mean, common… who does not love the huge amounts of food, ridiculous ice-sculptures, chocolate fountains, festive holiday/celebratory decorations and perfectly-placed greenery.  What many of you do not know, however, is that the healthiest vegetable on the planet (per the Center for Science in the Public Interest) is often passed. 


Unfortunately, kale is very bitter when consumed in its natural state.  Not only that, but it is often used as the “perfectly-placed greenery” on the buffet table for decorations.  Now, rather than simply gnawing on the super food whilst waiting in queue for the prepared food, I will share with you one of my favorite recipes that will yield the most flavor and health benefits from consuming said greenery.

As humans, we perform the most efficient and effective when we follow a diet that reflects how we were created to eat: foods in their most natural state.  In today’s “hustle-and-bustle,” number-crunching, deal-making, competitive market and world, eating healthy can be a challenge.  Fast food restaurants spring up like weeds, produce can be expensive and spoil quickly if not consumed immediately… the cost benefit of eating healthy (cost being both time and money) simply is not enough for the majority of Americans.  Result?  Increase in illness, obesity and lethargic, lack of concentration/motivation.

Pass me a plate of those gooey cheesy fries and bacon-laden burger?

I think not.

Kale Salad with Sauteed Purple Potatoes,
Butternut Squash, Broco-flower, Carrots, Daikon
Radish and Baby Yellow Squash
In all honestly, we as humans need a “cheat day” when maintaining a healthy life-style.  While I would probably advise against Mark’s mother-load of all sammiches: Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns, In-N-Out Burger for meat and What-a-Burger TaterTots mashed in between… a sloppy burger and fries are ok… just in moderation.  I enjoyed sharing fully-loaded cheesy fries and BBQ burger on Sunday evening for dinner.  But right back to an egg-white omelet with fresh vegetables, kale and whole-wheat toast with almond butter for breakfast.  (Sorry, UM… I’m too young to die just yet!) 

But I digress… Kale.  The best way to consume kale is raw; however, the taste of raw kale is not exactly palatable nor enjoyable.  Rather than frying kale to make kale chips (great garnish – but be careful when consuming, as they are doused in oil).  Ergo, my favorite kale salad recipe… while maintaining the best taste and preserving the nutrients of kale:

3 Bunches of Kale – Cut leaves away and discard rib
Lemon juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Filet Mignon with Asparagus, Broccoli, Zucchini,
Edamame, Kale and Edible Flowers
(Had to)

Simply cut the kale into strips and sprinkle with lemon juice, EVOO and salt/cayenne.  Allow to marinade for about ten minutes.  The acid of the lemon essentially “cooks” the kale – breaking it down to be more palatable.  I adore the salad for the follow variations:

Veggie Kale Salad – Add beets, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, celery, cilantro/herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, carrots, banana peppers, asparagus, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.

Fruit Kale Salad – Mandarin oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, figs

Nuts/Seeds – Cashews, almonds, pine nuts

Proteins – Scallops, shrimp, salmon, chicken, beef

Cheeses – Parm, Fat-free Feta, low-calorie small cubes

Reduced Balsamic vinegar

Whole-wheat bread-crumbs/pita chips
As you can see… the possibilities are (almost) endless. 

I admit… kale is an acquired taste.  I encourage you to try the wonder-food…

It does a body good.

Love from Dallas, y’all!

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