Kale is the new green

Marin Mama Cooks

Hi everyone! I’m Jackie of Marin Mama Cooks, and I’m here to share some nutritional facts on kale as well as some delicious kale recipes that will not only get you eating kale, but also get you to love kale.  Paradise Foods is helping you out this week by offering organic curly green kale on special this week for only $1.99 a bunch.  That is one great deal folks, so make sure you take advantage of it as it will not only benefit your wallet but your health as well 🙂

We all know dark and leafy greens & vegetables are nutritious, but kale stands a head above the rest. It’s one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which is one of the antioxidants believed to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease and certain age-related chronic diseases.  One cup of kale has only 36 calories and zero grams of fat, which makes it a great diet aid and that one little cup also provides a whopping dose of vitamins A, C and K.

Kale is also an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium.  Eating kale is a great and easy way for women to get their calcium in, especially if they are not big fans of dairy.  There are so many different varieties of kale out there so you have lots to choose from.  Below are the two types I eat the most, lacinato/dinosaur kale and curly kale (the one that is on special this week).

Kale is high in protein, which is probably why I can sometimes eat one to two bunches of kale and call it dinner.  It’s also high in fiber so it helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and keep you full for a good amount of time.

Kale has so many other nutritional benefits that I could go on and on, but I’m not a nutritionist.  So, lets just end this nutritional post by saying that kale is “king” among the vegetables and call it day.  Sound good?

The Marin IJ, recently interviewed me for my blog, and the first question that the interviewer asked me was, “what’s your obsession with kale?”  I laughed, (you know that kind of snicker laugh that John Travolta does in the movie Grease) because I honestly didn’t think I was obsessed with kale.  I mean, I have a few kale recipes posted, but nothing to over the top.  Do six recipes equate a kale obsession?  Maybe they do, but I don’t care.  I would rather be obsessed with kale than obsessed with chocolate, (well, I am a bit obsessed with that as well, but that’s another post).  I thought I would share with you some of my favorite kale recipes!  All you have to do to view the recipes is click on the link below the picture and it will take you directly to the recipe on my website.

green smoothies

lacinato kale salad

vegan kale, cranberry, apple & toasted almond salad

kale salad with tahini & lemon dressing

I hope that these recipes inspire you to give kale a try.  If you do try one of these recipes, please comment below or at my blog and let me know how you liked them.

Don’t have time to make one of these delicious kale salads or smoothies?  No worries, Paradise has you covered as they have a delicious freshly prepared kale salad in their deli case.  Want to make your dinner plans even easier?  Paradise has opened their outdoor grill for the season so you can grab some grilled chicken, ribs or steak to go along with that salad.  Now, how easy is that?

Marin Mama signing off by saying cheers to you and your health!

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Marin Mama Cooks Recipe: Kale Salad

lacinato kale salad

I know this photo is not quote on quote “food porn” quality or pinterest worthy, but I guarantee it’s tastebud worthy.  It’s so tastebud worthy that I was literally licking the bowl after this salad.  I never thought I would be licking the bowl of a kale salad, but I was licking this one, seriously!  Who am I these days?  When did I start getting excited over kale of all things?  You won’t even realize that you’re eating kale as the garlic and lemon take away the bitterness of the kale.  You might surprise yourself and find that you just ate a whole head of kale with this salad.
I was interviewed the other day for the Marin IJ and the first question that the interviewer asked me was, “what’s your obsession with kale’?  I laughed, (you know that kind of snicker laugh that John Travolta does in the movie Grease) because I honestly didn’t think I was obsessed with kale.  I mean I have a few kale recipes posted, but nothing to over the top.  Do six recipes equate a kale obsession?
So, I did the phone interview the other day, and today the photographer is coming over to take the pictures for the paper.  He is going to photograph me while I make this salad and my sausage skillet pizza (see photo below).  I’m a bit nervous about being photographed cooking as I am not a pretty gal when I am cooking.  I get all flustered and crazy messy as I am constantly using my apron and clothes as a towel.  This time I have to look pretty and relaxed while cooking.  I’m not sure I can pull that off.
So let’s get back to this salad.  I made this for lunch on Monday because I had too much birthday cake over the weekend as we celebrated Zoe turning 12.  I wanted to do a mini Monday cleanse, so I made this salad for lunch and then paired it with some of my cauliflower soup for dinner.  I couldn’t have been happier and my body was thanking me for this mini cleanse.
This salad pairs with just about anything because the dressing is so simple.  It’s also a great make-ahead salad.  I made it in the morning and had some for lunch then refrigerated it and had some for dinner as well.  It’s the perfect bring to work salad because it gets better as it sits.  Do you hear this Yvonne?  Here is a salad you can bring to work!   Yippee!
Lacinato kale salad
Recipe adapted from Dr. Weil
  • 1 bunch Lacinato/dinosaur kale, large stems removed, thinly sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt & pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste – If you don’t like things spicy you can omit the red pepper.  I loved it though.
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese – you can use more or less here, it’s up to you.  I used about 2/3 cup as I love cheese!
Ok, I thought I would treat you all to some step-by-step photos for de-stemming kale as well as cutting it into thin strips.  Thank you to Cathie for photographing me 🙂
Grab a stalk of freshly washed and dried kale, holding it by the stem with one hand while placing the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves.  Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off.
 See how easily the leaf pull away from the stem?
Here is how to cut your kale into thin strips.  You can also use this technique for any sort of lettuce and herbs.  Take the kale leaves and lay them on top of one another and then roll them up tightly.
 Take your knife and slice the kale into thin strips until you get to the end.
Aren’t the kale slices so pretty?
Throw your kale slices into a large bowl.
This recipe calls for the juice of one lemon.  Now, if I was to hand squeeze the juice out of a lemon, I would not get ton’s of juice, but when I use my hand juicer below, I get an ample amount of juice. I would highly recommend picking one of a hand juicer.  You can literally find them anywhere from your local kitchen supple store to your grocery store.
Now lets move onto the dressing.
Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following:
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch (or more to taste) of red pepper flakes
Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.
Pour the dressing over the kale and mix well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing.  I actually massaged my kale a bit so the kale really absorbed the dressing.  You don’t have to go crazy massaging this kale salad.  When I say, “massage” your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.
After your kale is well tossed, add 2/3 of the parmesan cheese and toss again.
Let kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour.  This salad can be made hours ahead of time, even in the morning.
I think my body and taste buds are both thanking me today, as this salad is uber healthy and uber delish! This is such a simple salad but sometimes it’s the simplest things that turn out the best.
If you’re a fan of kale or just want to try more recipes that include kale, then check out my other kale salad here and my kale smoothies here .
Please let me know how any of these recipes turned out for you.  I would love to hear what you thought of this salad as well. My friend Cathie tried this for the first time the other day (and she is not a kale salad fan). She was amazed that she was eating kale as it tasted so good.  She is now a kale salad fan!
I want to make you one as well if you’re not already!
Have a blissful weekend and please include some kale in your plans 🙂