Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe: Lentil and Kale Soup

This recipe was submitted to my original website www.CancerRD.com years and years ago by Margaret Norrington of Bangor, ME. Thus Margaret also calls this great soup Coast-wise Kale Soup. No matter its name, it tastes great!

  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 10 cups of vegetable broth (homemade or a low-sodium store version or water)
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils (wash in colendar)
  • 2 cups of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I use Yukon Gold which taste great, look great, and also hold their shape)
  • 2 - 4 carrots, peeled and cut into coins ~1/4" thick (I added these for color and their phytochemicals)
  • 1 pound fresh kale -wash and then shred or tear into small pieces, remove stems
  • 1 package soy sausage (either links or patties - many brands available - or use a sausage made with organic ingredients of your choice)
  • Season with salt to taste if needed. I did not add any salt.
  • fresh mint sprigs
Directions:  Cook the onion with the sausages, stirring frequently until onion is tender. Heat broth, add lentils in a large pot and when broth begins to bubble, let simmer for 30 - 60 minutes until lentils are soft but not mushy. Stir in potatoes and carrots and then continue simmering for 15 minutes. Stir in the sausage-onion mixture. Let heat all together. Stir in kale ~5 minutes prior to serving. Kale should still be slightly crunchy. Ladle into bowls and place mint sprig into each bowl. 

Serve with a whole grain bread and fresh fruit and a green salad. Nothing else is needed for a nourishing and healthful meal. 

Both my husband and 17 year old son declared this recipe a keeper!! My younger son is now 29 years old, so that gives you an idea of how long we have been making and loving this soup!

Enjoy - yum, yum!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, January 30, 2012

Go for the Greens!

A new food pyramid designed by Oldways for those of African heritage features a food base of greens, featuring kale, the nutrition and taste super-star, and all other green-leafy vegetables!

I eat like this - I do!

I also love having exercise as the true base of the pyramid plus eating with others! along with the inclusion of dancing, music, sleep, sunshine, and community gatherings as essential ingredients in the recipe for a healthy life.

It is my goal (and I do pretty well) to live like this. :)

There are several foods listed that I don't have in a single recipe on my website, this blog, or my dianadyer.com blog, like breadfruit, baobab, tamarind, yucca, dika nuts just for starters, but there are plenty of recipes that feature kale and other greens, sweet potatoes, other Brassica vegetables like jicama, mustard greens, turnips and turnip greens, collard greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, radishes, and watercress. Thankfully, garlic is also on the full list!
Oldways African Heritage Diet Pyramid
Where kale and other greens are more than decoration on my plate, and now they are in a food pyramid, too!  Go for the Greens! :)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Recipe: Garlic Kale

I add greens like kale to most everything. Here is one recipe that lets kale (or any other healthy green leafy veggie) stand and shine alone!

  • 1 bunch kale (maybe about 1#)
  • 2 Tbsp.olive oil
  • 2-4 large cloves garlic (mince 10 minutes prior to heating to maximize the activity of the cancer fighting molecules)
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • black sesame seeds
  • To prepare the kale, remove the leaves from the stems and chop coarsely.
  • Wash and shake the leaves but leave them slightly damp.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan, saute the garlic (do not let it brown),
  • add about 1 cup of kale leaves, then keep adding and stirring all the kale leaves until all the leaves are slightly wilted.
Cover and cook on low heat until leaves are tender, (5-10 minutes depending on age of leaves). Stir a few times, make sure the pan does not go dry (add a Tbsp. of water at a time if needed). Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 generous servings. Sprinkle with a dash of vinegar and sesame seeds before serving. This is so good that I always eat any left over while I am cleaning up the kitchen.

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recipe: I found the missing carrots!

I am starting the pleasant but mind-intensive job of updating my website www.CancerRD.com and combining it with my 3 blogs, so there will be one landing place for me, my thoughts, plus all my various readers. My brain has been jumping around, back and forth, for years, too long. This was made crystal clear to me last week with the phone call from one of my readers telling me about the missing carrots from one of my kale recipes, and I could not immediately figure out or find the recipe she was calling about!

Silly me, I just assumed the recipe was on my kale blog - not! No, it was on my original website www.CancerRD.com, which has hundreds of recipes (and now a non-functioning search function (arghhhh!). However, the Universe must have smiled on me this afternoon, because I accidentally found the recipe my caller told me about.

Here it is, complete with the carrots in the ingredients AND the directions. It turns out that I modified the original recipe, adding the carrots myself, thus the omission of the carrots from the directions is my own oversight.

Broccoli and Kale Soup Recipe 
(inspired by the Emerald City Soup recipe in the cookbook One Bite at a Time by Rebecca Katz)

• 16-ounce package frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
• 1 bunch fresh kale, any kind, stemmed and torn into small pieces (3-4 cups worth)
• 6-8 cups of vegetable broth (I always put the little bits of water that remain after I steam vegetables into a quart yogurt container in my freezer, saving this broth for soup recipes such as this one)
• 2 carrots (wash well, cut off the top, and cut into thin slices)
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion
• 2 (or more!) large cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
• 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
• 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (omit if using store-bought vegetable broth that already has salt added)
• 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/4 cup fresh (or from the bottle if needed) lemon juice 
• Maple syrup to taste (the original recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon - I was careless and oops, accidentally added about 1 teaspoon into the soup, and it turned out just fine)

• Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat
• Add onions and carrots, a pinch of salt, and sauté until golden about 10 minutes.
• Add the garlic and red pepper flakes: continue sautéing until aromatic (will be quick, maybe 30 seconds)
• Add the kale and another pinch of salt.
• Cook only one minute until kale turns bright green.
• Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
• In a blender, add 1/3 of the broth, 1/3 of the thawed broccoli, and 1/3 of the kale mixture.
• Blend until smooth. Watch carefully so to not over-blend. When the mixture turns from light green to bright green, turn off the blender.
• Pour into a clean pan and repeat until all ingredients are blended.
• Pour into a clean pan and repeat until all ingredients are blended.
• With the last batch, add the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and maple syrup.
• Stir all together, reheat very gently and serve immediately.

If there is any left, this soup is also great the next morning right out of the refrigerator (seriously! I have done this). Rebecca Katz states that this soup will not freeze well because the brilliant color is lost. So, make a batch and eat your greens with a spoon, warm or cold!

Where kale (with added carrots) is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Recipe with Carrot-less Directions

One of my kale blog readers actually called to tell me that I had forgotten to say in the Directions just where or how to incorporate the carrots listed as an Ingredient into the actual recipe. I am so sorry!  I am often writing out a recipe for this blog only after we have tasted a dish I created 'on the fly' and decided it tasted great, but the last thing I usually do before posting a recipe up on my blog is to read down the list of ingredients one by one to make sure I have included it within the directions!

Again, I am so sorry, and I thank you for letting me know. Regrettably, I cannot figure out from your message just which recipe it is where I goofed. I hope you will read this and tell me in the comments. Please! I will check the recipe and correct it right away.

This is as good a time as any to let my readers know that I read do all comments, but I also approve all comments before they are posted on this blog. I will not let spam go through, I will not let obscene language go through, I will not let comments go through that I just find 'odd' or 'iffy' with something that just raises a little red flag in my brain. I cannot explain the last one more than that, but I err on the side of caution. If I am not comfortable for any reason, I hit the reject button.

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Here comes the Sun! and Kale!

Another shout-out for my kale blog in an article written by Carolyn McTigue and published in The Toronto Sun along with newspapers in Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton - wow!! Thank you, Carolyn, for telling your Canadian readers and eaters about this delicious, versatile, and true super-star of a food that promotes health. Pretty soon I'll be seeing everyone wearing kale t-shirts and hats, no matter where I travel. I'll have my camera ready!

Here is a picture of the kale salad recipe posted in the Kansas City Star article last week. I confess, I made about half the printed recipe, and my husband ate about 1/3 of it while I ate the rest. So I probably ate 'more than my share', but it was that good! Since I don't do that everyday, I will still think of that as not going overboard!

Special note: I squeezed one lime wedge over the entire recipe before eating. Oh wow, that was the perfect extra touch! Maybe that extra flavor is why I could not save any for lunch the next day but instead ate the remainder of the salad while I cleaned up the kitchen. :-)

(Photo: Simple supper of tofu and vegetable stir-fry on brown rice with Kale Salad, recipe printed in the Kansas City Star)
Where kale is much more than just decoration on my plate - it's now an international sensation! 
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kale in Kansas City!

Yes, I think it is now official that the 'kale kraze' is everywhere. The newspaper in Kansas City is promoting the deliciousness of kale (and its multiple nutritional attributes!) and cited my blog. Woohoo! I am honored. Thank you Jill Wendholt Silva for 'stumbling' your way to my blog and giving it a 'shout-out'.

In response to Jill's comment that I do not post up to my blog daily, I must clarify that was never my intention, but instead I hope to encourage eating kale or its many varied and delicious relatives every day of the year, giving you enough information and recipes to get started with that goal. 

However, I confess that I do see with some sadness and chagrin that my kale blog's postings have gone way down during the past 2 years as my husband and I have been getting our garlic farm up and running. In contrast, I am surprised to see that postings to my www.dianadyer.com blog have gone up during that same time-frame, which must be due to trying to keep those readers up to date with our adventure of starting a new farm!  So I think I must be on the look-out for an eager dietetic intern to work with me in the future in order to help me develop many more kale blog posts to continue to inspire my readers to incorporate these interesting, ultra-healthy, and yes also delicious vegetables into a daily delicious habit. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy experimenting by eating all of them (from arugula to watercress) and eating them all prepared in a variety of different ways, from frozen to raw, and also from center stage like this salad recipe in the Kansas City Star to incorporating a handful into a smoothie. 

There is no 'right way' or a 'best way' to eat kale and its relatives. Just eat any or all of these Brassica vegetables in moderate amounts! I can tell that this salad and its dressing just might tempt you to eat the entire bowl, but everything in life, even kale, can become too much of a good thing. (See my past post The Dose is the Poison with a real-life example of the consequence from eating too much of one member of the Brassica vegetable family - not good at all!)

Thanks again, Jill, for including my blog in your upbeat article. Thanks also for liking my tag line!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I not only eat kale, I wear it, too!

(Photo: Diana Dyer with her new kale hat!)
Thanks to my daughter-in-law with the sharp eyes who spotted this great hat and bought it for me for Christmas. After unwrapping it, I was so totally focused on admiring the great colors, thinking how observant (or intuitive) she was to know that I loved the colors purple and green, that I had not yet noticed that there was a kale leaf on the side of the hat!

WOW - what fun is this! I don't think I typically say much about my family on this blog, but I'll bet at least once I have mentioned on my www.dianadyer.com blog that both of my new daughters-in-law are each amazing women that I just love to pieces. :-)

For those of you out there who want your own knit kale hat, all I can tell you is that it came from somewhere in the Seattle area. Good luck tracking down your own kale hat! I'll keep my eyes open and if I see anyone else wearing one (anywhere!), I'll take your picture and (with your permission) post it on my blog as one more true kale fan.

Where kale is now on my head instead of just my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD