Monday, December 31, 2012

Ring in New Year's Luck with Kale!

There are dozens and dozens (if not more) traditions from around the world about foods to eat on New Year's Day to bring good luck during the next year. Here is a great article listing many of these practices by food group, including a comment that kale is eaten with cinnamon and sugar on New Year's Day in Denmark, which I did not know.

So, I'll save a few kale leaves to do that (for an unusual dessert!) in addition to my plans for tomorrow (New Year's Day) to include kale in place of spinach in the following recipe for Garlic Soup with Spinach that was recently published in the New York Times.

Yum, yum! Already I can't wait to try both of these new ways to eat kale. I'll get recipes and photos later, but I wanted to give anyone reading this tonight a head's up for some foods to eat tomorrow to bring good luck during all of 2013!

Where kale is certainly more than decoration on my plate since eating it brings good luck on New Year's Day!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Just for Fun - A Kale Tree

Some day I'll be this clever! In the meantime, enjoy this kale-holiday tree made by my good friends at Frog Holler Farm. It brings the biggest smile to my face! 
Happy Holiday to all my readers with best wishes for a peaceful and kaleful 2013!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate. It's a gorgeous holiday decoration in the fields, too!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just for fun - kale in the lawn

Yes, kale is this easy to grow!


From spilled seeds - I love it! There is another photo on the blog showing this kale plant later in the season, where it is has been mowed around.

A friend sent me this blog because there is a recipe for garlic cookies on it !! Yes, I am going to try them, maybe even a batch with finely chopped kale plus garlic. Hey, it's just for fun!

Where kale grows in lawns, and not just for decoration,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, December 7, 2012

Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

"Shredded Brussels sprouts salad" almost sounds like a bona fide tongue twister, but even if you cannot say that quickly (over and over again), even if you never have liked eating Brussels sprouts and still think you won't like them, I almost guarantee that you will eat this salad with enjoyment.

I say that as someone who had to be re-introduced to eating and developing a taste for enjoying Brussels sprouts as an adult. Brussels sprouts were one of those foods that I did not care for (hated!) as a child, and that memory and aversion just carried along into adulthood when I could make my own food selections. I can (sort of) admit now that my kind husband might have even (sort of) 'shamed' me into eating them after we got married. In any case, I love them now, cooked in milk or roasted, so I am happy to find a new way to use them.

I don't know why I had never before thought of eating them raw or shredding them into a salad. However here is the perfect way to combine those two thoughts for a delicious and beautiful Fall salad, thus, introducing Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad!

~ 2 dozen fresh Brussels sprouts (best after the growing plant has been through a good frost) - this amount is flexible
A small bunch of kale or arugula
A small handful of any fresh herbs that still might be growing in your garden (I included some parsley, dill, anise, rosemary, mint, cilantro)
Garnish - a handful of pomegranate seeds

Wash Brussels sprouts carefully, trim off bottom edge, save clean leaves that may fall off and then shred with sharp knife into narrow slivers
Coarsely chop the kale/arugula (I remove and compost the tough stems) and herbs
Mix all vegetables together

Lightly toss with a vinaigrette - I made a simple one with lemon juice, a bit of mustard, olive oil, and a touch of sweetener, which was just the best!

2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
touch of salt
touch of sweetener (I used 1/2 teaspoon of some roasted garlic jelly)
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Shake or whisk until blended

This is more than enough dressing for the salad, so either save some for another salad or be ready to 'sop up' the dressing at the bottom of the salad bowl with some bread (yes - I do this).

After adding the dressing to the salad, sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on top for a beautiful, delicious, and healthy garnish. They are in season and in the grocery stores right now, so be sure to pick some up while you have the chance to enjoy them. I do have a friend whose family always buys a bushel or two at this time of year, puts on their oldest clothes, spends an afternoon de-seeding them, freezes the seeds, washes the table, walls, floor and themselves, and then fixes dinner and has a family party. Sounds like fun to me. :)

Other possible additions to this salad: diced avocado, sliced green onions, toasted chopped almonds seasoned with garlic powder, and on and on. This salad is hefty enough to have many foods complement the taste and texture of the Brussels sprouts.

Here are a few photos. Have fun - I hope you enjoy Brussels sprouts for the first time or in a new way.

Shredding the Brussels sprouts

Approximately half of the shredded Brussels sprouts

Adding other ingredients, including the dressing and the pomegranate seeds

Close up photo of the Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts are healthy cousins of ultra-healthy kale. Throw in some kale, avocados, fresh herbs, almonds, olive oil and who knows what else. You then have a Fall salad that is chock-full of molecules that are considered biggies on the health-promoting list. However, of course, a 'healthy' food is only healthy if you eat it, so it also MUST be delicious. You've got it here. This salad is delicious so enjoy it!

Where kale (and Brussels sprouts) are way more than just decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD