Stephen’s Kale & Garbanzo Salad with Portabellini Mushrooms & Grape Tomatoes

Kale and Garbanzo salad (raw)

Looking for a delicious and super nutritious dish that’s easy to prepare and won’t leave you feeling hungry? My kale and garbanzo salad with portabellini mushrooms and grape tomatoes will surely please the palate and satisfy the stomach.

Kale and Garbanzo SaladIngredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 large portabellini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 8-10 grape tomatoes
  • 4-5 cups kale (chopped fresh)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, dices
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • Olive oil to saute
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onion & garlic in olive oil over medium heat for five minutes or until onions soften.
  2. Add kale, mushrooms, and garbanzo beans along with paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté for an additional five minutes.
  3. Add grape tomatoes, white wine and lemon juice and deglaze the pan, allowing ingredients to simmer and liquid to be fully absorbed.
  4. Scatter chopped basil leaves, lemon zest, and adjust salt & pepper if necessary.
  5. Enjoy warm.

Kale and Garbanzo Salad (plated)

The creamy protein and fibre rich garbanzo beans work well with hearty, meat-like chunks of portabellini mushrooms to provide a satisfying bite. Add a few leaves of the world’s most nutrient-dense food on earth (read more about this here) with a few grape tomatoes for colour and taste and you’ve got a killer combo. The finishing touch of lemon juice and zest brightens the dish, increasing the intensity of flavours, and add a necessary tang to round out all the goodness colliding in this one salad. Your body and taste buds will thank you for it.

One love,

SC

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All Hail the Kale, Queen of the Greens!

curly kaleThere has been much chatter about kale. A form of cabbage with green or purple leaves, this nutritional powerhouse has much to boast about, and it makes no excuses. After a recent post incorporating kale into a smoothie, I decided to pay this leafy vegetable some overdue attention and dig deeper into its hidden secrets. And boy was I impressed! I’ve always heard about kale in many of my hours spent being hypnotized by Cooking Channel or Food Network, but never thought that kale would be available yet affordable in Jamaica. I was even more shocked when I found out that a friend of mine’s dad grew kale in his back yard in the country. 

Varieties

Also known as borecole, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties, and is hands down one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around.

Curly kale has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is usually deep green in color. It has a lively pungent flavor with delicious bitter peppery qualities.

Ornamental kale is a more recently cultivated species that is oftentimes referred to as salad savoy. Its leaves may either be green, white, or purple and its stalks coalesce to form a loosely knit head. Ornamental kale has a more mellow flavor and tender texture.

Dinosaur kale is the common name for the kale variety known as Lacinato or Tuscan kale. It features dark blue-green leaves that have an embossed texture. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste than curly kale.

Health Benefits

So, what really is all the hype about? Let’s see (adapted from MindBodyGreen.com)

1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.

2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.

5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

7. Kale is high in Vitamin A.Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.

8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.

9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

Whew, that’s a pretty big shoe to fill! For those of  you thinking about incorporating kale into your diets, here are a few suggestions:
Selecting and Storing

Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems. Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavor. The leaves should look fresh, be unwilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a more mild flavor than those with larger leaves. Kale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available, and at its peak, from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring.

To store, place kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days. The longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.

Preparation Tips

Rinse kale leaves under cold running water. Chop leaf portion into ½” slices and the stems into ¼” lengths for quick and even cooking.

To get the most health benefits from kale, let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit can further enhance its beneficial phytonutrient concentration.

NB: For maximum flavour and nutrition, kale is better steamed. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a rapid boil chop greens. Steam for 5 minutes and toss with your choice of dressing and optional ingredients. 

I am excited to see what new recipe ideas I will come up with. I’ll be sure to post them so check back regularly. In the meanwhile, you can check here for some amazing recipes (images below) or scour the internet at your own will.

One love,

SC

ShakeItUp – Berry Kale Smoothie w/ Flaxseeds & Goji Berries

Kale-Blueberry Power Smoothie

This concoction came about after deciding to pick up kale in one of my supermarket runs with bestie Corve. I’ve always heard about the much-acclaimed superfood and decided I would buy it then try to come up with a recipe. Even though I had originally planned to use in a cooked dish, it ended up in one of my throw-in-what-you-have smoothies.

berry kale smoothie

To my pleasant surprise, it was super tasty. And no doubt super nutritious! With co-superfoods flaxseeds and goji berries, this is as good as it gets! A sprinkle of cinnamon rounded out the flavours pretty well while adding yet another healthy dimension to the mix. Shockingly enough, there was no need for sweeteners.

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Try it and let me know what you think.

One love,

SC