Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Food, not pills - again! - Update

I just posted an addendum to a post I made last October. The information only reinforces what I recommended back then, but I did not want this information 'lost' in the archives. If you read my post the first time, feel free to skip to the highlighted area at the end of this post. If not, here is my entire post complete with the added information at the end.

What will you be eating today or tomorrow? Please don't limit yourself to kale but enjoy the wide variety of the Brassica (cruciferous) vegetables available that I have listed on the right side of this blog, and yes, I believe I can continue to enthusiastically and safely encourage you to consume a serving of these delicious and health-promoting vegetables every day of the year. :)

************

A recent research publication once again has showed that consuming Brassica or cruciferous foods (i.e., in this case broccoli sprouts) is superior to ingesting a dietary supplement (i.e., pills) that contains a precursor to a bio-active molecule found in cruciferous foods but also lacks the necessary molecule that is needed for the enzymatic conversion of the pre-cursor molecule to active molecules.
Food, not pills. Food, not pills.........I've said it before, so I'll say it again.
I still eat 5-7 servings/week of Brassica vegetables, some raw, some very lightly cooked (i.e. still crunchy). This is the season to really enjoy the wide variety of these delicious vegetables.
Let's see what have I eaten during this past week already: arugala, kale (of course), mustard greens, turnips, kohlrabi, broccoli, bok choy, daikon radish, and there are still two days still to go!
The Linus Pauling Institute has a great website that is always up to date with its information about Brassica vegetables.
I love food, not pills, just in case you did not catch my drift! :-)
Addendum (2.28.2012) - I just found the link to the actual PhD thesis from which the data for this research publication were derived. The important tidbit I gleaned from skimming through the actual thesis is that one serving/day of the cruciferous food consumed was enough, safe, and recommended to maintain a steady and effective level of anti-cancer molecules in the body. 

***************

Where kale (and all other Brassica vegetables) continue to be on my plate nearly 365 days per year!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, February 27, 2012

Recipe: Kale Cake

This recipe was submitted as a comment after my recent post about the big 0 recipes (none - I mean it!) I have for desserts on this blog, which is supposedly about 'all things kale'! The comment complete with a recipe was way too long to include as a comment, so I have reposted it here instead. Many thanks!!

Disclaimer - I have not tried it.

Extra disclaimer - it looks too time-consuming for me, but I have friends who do love making just this type of time-intensive, multi-step, and detailed dessert, so I'll bet there are some of my readers who will also jump at the chance to make this cake. It does sound both beautiful and delicious.

Please let me know if you do try it. Feel free to send me a photo or two at this email address dianaloveskale (at) gmail.com, along with any variations you may have incorporated into the recipe.

*****************
Here is a kale cake recipe I found at http://lffccsarecipegroup.blogspot.com/2011/02/kale-cake-with-sweet-potato-filling.html

Vegan Kale Cake with Sweet Potato Filling
Photo by CSA shareholder and professional food photographer, Evi Abeler (www.eviabeler.com).

This has to be my new favorite dessert! It's a creation of CSA shareholder Laura Forer, who picks up her share in Harlem, NYC. Her online bakery, Waltzing Matilda's NYC, specializes in unique Australian pastries. Laura adapted a carrot cake recipe that she found on Hell Yeah It's Vegan! Blog to create the cake, and a vegan vanilla-banana custard recipe from Food.com to create the fabulous filling. (http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/, http://www.food.com/). Thank you, Laura!

Kale Cake with Sweet Potato Filling
Filling Ingredients
2 cups soymilk
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
⅓ cup sugar 
¼ teaspoon salt 
2 sweet potatoes, boiled and blended until smooth
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg

Cake Ingredients
2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspon baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons flax seed meal
¾ cup warm water
1 to 1½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blanched, shocked, and chopped kale (about 2 bunches)
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Icing Ingredients
2 8-ounce containers Tofutti cream cheese
¼ to ½ cup vegan margarine
¾ to 1½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling Directions
1. Whisk cornstarch, sugar, and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. 
2. Add milk and sweet potato and whisk until lumps disappear. 
3. Heat over medium heat, whisking, until the custard thickens. 
4. To test whether the custard is thick enough, dip a wooden spoon into the mixture and run your finger through the coating. 
5. When the custard is thick enough, the trail will not close back up. 
6. Take the custard off heat. Whisk in vegan margarine, vanilla, and nutmeg.
7. Cool with a plastic sheet pressed to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. 

Cake and Icing Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8×8″ pans with parchment paper. In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt). In a large bowl, whisk together flax seed meal and water. Beat in sugar and oil. Add vanilla and blanched and shocked kale and mix until combined. Add dry mix and stir until moistened. Fold in walnuts. Pour equal parts into pans. Bake for 18-20 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes.
2. For the icing, beat together Tofutti cream cheese and vegan margarine. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; whip until smooth. Do not overbeat.
3. Use a knife to loosen edges of cake from pans. Using parchment paper, lift cakes out of pans. Carefully remove parchment paper from one cake. Frost one cake with sweet potato filling and one cake with icing. Layer and serve chilled. 


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate - apparently, it can be cake, too!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just Desserts?

Lately I've been looking at the kale recipes on my blog and realize I have no recipes (none!) that even come close to being a dessert. If you have recipes (or ideas) for including kale into a dessert recipe, please send me an email at dianaloveskale (at) gmail.com with Kale Dessert Recipe in the subject line.

I've been attending the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in LaCrosse, WI the past 3 days (the largest organic farming conference in the country and maybe even the galaxy!) and asked the people I sat with at each meal to send me their thoughts and inspirations on this apparent oversight, at least a definite lack.

It was great fun talking face to face about this quirky topic. I hope my readers, i.e., you!, can come up with some brilliant ideas for me to try. If I end up sharing them in any way, I'll be sure to give you credit, either for the recipe itself or the inspiration! :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Research: Brassica-based tea removes air pollutants

I have not traveled to China, but I have friends who have done so for both pleasure and business and return to the US vowing they will never go back because of the significant air pollution and subsequent difficulty breathing. My father died from lung cancer, even being a life-long non-smoker. Knowing that 1) I have a potential genetic predisposition to lung cancer and that 2) my lungs have already sustained substantial damage from the multiple and various types of cancer therapy I have undergone, I pay attention to research that looks for additional ways to think about lungs and maintaining their health.

Thus this recent research article caught my eye. I actually read preliminary research pointing to the same findings years ago. So, this current research is again, one more reason I am a huge fan of kale and its various Brassica relatives and urge you to join me by eating (or drinking) kale or other Brassica vegetables most days of the year. I don't eat kale or its relatives 365 days per year, but I would bet my bottom dollar (i.e. even my farm!) that I come very close, eating some vegetable from the Brassica family ~300 time per year, which would be about 6 days per week.

My mission with this blog is to make that easy and enjoyable for you to do, too! :)

I am including the entire citation, complete with the abstract. There are some long chemical names in there, but the abstract is quite well written, and it is easy to follow the logic of the study design. There are many 'big names' on this paper who have been doing research looking at Brassica vegetables, biological mechanisms, and health outcomes for many years.

This study is testing 'real food' not isolated 'bio-active constituents' (National Cancer Institute 'speak'). Longer term (much longer term) follow-up studies need to be done to see if the reduced excretion levels of various 'undesirables' associated with the increased intake of these broccoli sprout-based teas will translate into reduced incidence of liver cancer or lung cancer or reduced incidence of conditions yet unforeseen.

Bottom line?  Please do not run out and buy pills hoping to achieve these results. Instead, to quote our friend in Vermont, "Eat More Kale!" It's various relative will also do fine, too.

Carcinogenesis. 2012 Jan;33(1):101-7. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Modulation of the metabolism of airborne pollutants by glucoraphanin-rich and sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout beverages in Qidong, China.

Kensler TWNg DCarmella SGChen MJacobson LPMuñoz AEgner PAChen JGQian GSChen TYFahey JWTalalay P,Groopman JDYuan JMHecht SS.

Source

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. tkensler@jhsph.edu

Abstract

Epidemiological evidence has suggested that consumption of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of several types of cancers and chronic degenerative diseases. In particular, broccoli sprouts are a convenient and rich source of the glucosinolate, glucoraphanin, which can release the chemopreventive agent, sulforaphane, an inducer of glutathione S-transferases. Two broccoli sprout-derived beverages, one sulforaphane-rich (SFR) and the other glucoraphanin-rich (GRR), were evaluated for pharmacodynamic action in a crossover clinical trial design. Study participants were recruited from the farming community of He Zuo Township, Qidong, China, previously documented to have a high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma with concomitant exposures to aflatoxin and more recently characterized with exposures to substantive levels of airborne pollutants. Fifty healthy participants were randomized into two treatment arms. The study protocol was as follows: a 5 days run-in period, a 7 days administration of beverage, a 5 days washout period and a 7 days administration of the opposite beverage. Urinary excretion of the mercapturic acids of acrolein, crotonaldehyde, ethylene oxide and benzene were measured both pre- and postinterventions using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Statistically significant increases of 20-50% in the levels of excretion of glutathione-derived conjugates of acrolein, crotonaldehyde and benzene were seen in individuals receiving SFR, GRR or both compared with their preintervention baseline values. No significant differences were seen between the effects of SFR versus GRR.


Intervention with broccoli sprouts may enhance detoxication of airborne pollutants and attenuate their associated health risks.


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recipe: Easy Red Lentil Soup with Kale

My easiest recipe - I make this recipe at least twice each month. The variations are endless and all are delicious.

Ingredients:
1# red lentils (a 1 pound bag is ~2-1/2 cups, but the recipe is flexible here)
6-8 cups broth or water
1 quart canned tomatoes
curry and salt and pepper to taste
Kale - couple of handfuls, chopped or thinly sliced (tough center stem removed)

I rinse the lentils and look them over for any small stones, always, no matter if I purchase them in bulk or in a bag. Yes, it is an annoyance, but cracking a tooth is far more annoying!

I cook the lentils in my crockpot in this broth or water without adding any further ingredients at this point, to make sure the lentils are really cooked and essentially fall apart. They will no longer be 'red' at this point. Using the low setting, it may take anywhere from 6-8 hours to have them be done, done, done. My husband simply will not eat lentils or beans of any kind unless they are completely soft. Having them be half-done or even 90% done leads to a complete rejection!  (And who can blame him?)

At that point, and only at that point, I will add 1 quart of canned tomatoes (I have found through trial and error that adding tomatoes earlier will keep the lentils from fully cooking to that soft point) and anything else you would like to flavor the soup. I like to add my chopped kale at the very end, so it is hot but still bright green and has some texture. My favorite seasoning is curry powder with extra turmeric (as much and as spicy as you like). Experiment by starting with small amounts of your seasonings until you find the spiciness level that your family will eat. I will spice up my own bowl to my own liking at the table as my spicy enjoyment level is higher than my husband's.

Salt and pepper to taste.

(Photo: Easy Red Lentil Soup with Kale)


Here is a link to a more complicated recipe on my dianadyer blog where I also combined red lentils and kale. Although it was delicious using the fish broth and additional vegetables, I have never made it again. However, I repeat, I make the simple recipe that I have sketched out above above over and over! :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate - it's also regularly in my crock-pot! :)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Recipe: KALE AND ROMAINE LETTUCE BREAD SALAD

This salad was made for a meal in which I used kale in each course back in November 2008. You can read about the whole meal here, including the fact that our old dog Kaya ate one of the courses (yes, nearly everything!) while it was cooling. 

• 1 head romaine lettuce - wash and tear into bite size pieces (7-8 cups)
• Kale - wash, remove tough steams and cut into thin ribbons to make 3-4 cups
• Add other fresh, raw veggies such as various colors of cherry tomatoes, red pepper pieces, cucumber pieces, etc.
• Add ~2 cups cooked dried beans, rinsed and drained (I used flageolet beans, which I soaked and cooked the day before I made the salad.)
• Rub garlic over dry bread slices (whole grain baguettes, cut into 1 inch thick slices) - toast, cool, then cut into 1-inch cubes. (1 small baguette or whatever you have on hand - 3-4 cups)
• Combine all ingredients except bread. Toss. Add 4 Tbsp. olive oil, then 2-3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar. Toss all. 
• Then add bread cubes about 15 minutes prior to serving. Toss all. 
• Add a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss again prior to serving. 


Quite easy - drained, canned beans could be used to make this even easier and faster. 


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Recipe: Kale with a bit of this and a bit of that!

Still cross-posting the kale recipes from my dianadyer blog, this one posted up on 12.14.2008, woo-hoo complete with photos this time (you might be saying finally! - that's ok, so am I!) I think the formatting of this post may not be clean because I am transferring photos with text - sorry about that.


This recipe could also be called cleaning out the frig, freezer, or just downright "fast food". It starts by needing to eat quickly, having stuff in the frig, freezer, or pantry available to use, and not being afraid to throw things together without "needing" a recipe.

Here is what is in our meal:
(1) A whole grain starch/carbohydrate - bulgur wheat fits that bill, and quickly, too as it can cook up in a short amount of time compared to brown rice. So does 100% whole wheat bread I had made a few weeks ago, cut sections into manageable sizes and put into the freezer.

(2) Garbanzo beans for a healthy vegetarian protein source plus lots of fiber and multiple additional health-promoting phytochemicals. These are easy to keep on your pantry shelf already pre-cooked. I buy them dried in bulk and then cook them all before freezing in 1 or 2 cup portions, ready to make my own hummus or throw into a dish like this.

(3) One 15 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes (yes I do have a few canned tomatoes on my pantry shelf in addition to our home-made canned tomatoes).
(4) Fresh kale (of course!) - just wash, chop, and add to the stewed tomatoes to cook.
(5) A bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for flavor
(6) Top with some crunch, using our own roasted squash seeds (now that we are doing that, which is so easy!, I don't think we'll ever compost those seeds again.)
(7) Seasonings of your choice - curry, smoked paprika (I am now hooked on this - thanks, Graham B!), powdered garlic and/or onion, etc. 

Instructions are easy.
• Start bulgur cooking - basically I add 2 cups of boiling water to 1 cup of bulgur, let sit for 20 minutes, if all water is not absorbed, put into a colander and drain.
• Wash, remove the tough stems, and chop a "bunch of kale" - which is 3-4 cups
• In a 3 quart saucepan, combine tomatoes, garbanzo beans, kale, seasonings and heat through until kale is wilted but still bright green.

Layer as follows:
Bulgur
Tomato mixture
Cheese
Squash seeds

I served this with whole grain bread, olive oil for dipping, and homemade applesauce (not pictured).

This easily serves 2 people with plenty left over for a lunch or two later during the week.

Yum, yum, yum - quick, too - our own fast food with a little bit of pre-cooking. This recipes shows the advantages of cooking "extra" or cooking ahead whenever possible. In this case, any extra bulgur will be frozen ready to use at another meal, the garbanzos easily came out of the freezer to be added, the squash seeds were cooked after a previous meal while the oven was still warm, the tomatoes and applesauce were made last fall, etc, etc, you get the idea!

No recipe, at least no cookbook!, required for this meal. Be creative - try your own hand at creating a healthy recipe or meal from "this and that"!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Recipe: Dr. Dick's Kale Slaw Recipe

Another cross-over from my dianadyer blog posted up 9.10.2008. I had a camera by that point, but I was not yet in the habit of taking photos before eating. The first pass on this salad was eaten in its entirety before a photo was thought of! That should give you an idea of how good it is. :) This salad, or some variation, has now been made many times, taken to numerous potlucks, always with rave reviews. :)

Dr. Dick’s Kale Slaw

While working in the garden in late July 2008, I broke off a piece of a kale leaf and was munching on it as I watered tomatoes and harvested onions. Pretty tasty, I thought and then the idea came to me. Maybe raw kale would make a great slaw. After all, most American slaws are made with cabbage, which is a member of the same Brassica family of plants, so why not give it a try. An internet search confirmed that no great idea is unique and, in fact, the term “kale slaw” turned up lots of links but few recipes. So, here is what I came up with, and it turned out to be pretty tasty. The basic recipe is adapted from another for Texas Cole Slaw in our 1971 edition of The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt.

Fresh kale leaves sufficient to prepare 4 cups diced kale
1 green or red pepper, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 onion, diced (sweet onions are better than yellow onions for this)
4 cloves garlic, pressed

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
¼ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Prep is easy. Harvest fresh kale leaves the day you prepare the slaw. Wash the leaves and shake them dry. You may trim the stems but I leave them in. With a sharp knife dice the leaves until you have pieces the size you would enjoy in your slaw. Combine and mix the kale, pepper, carrot, onion and pressed garlic in a ceramic bowl. You may want to reserve a small piece of carrot to put through the garlic press after the garlic to get as much of the garlic as possible through the press. In a small food processor (preferred) or bowl, mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly to dissolve the brown sugar and emulsify the oil with the remaining liquids. Pour this dressing over the mixed veggies and let the mix marinate in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. Very crunchy and tasty!

Options I want to try: The recipe above is exactly what I prepared on my first try and it was good. Alternatives might include adding a teaspoon of fennel or dill seeds, some dry mustard, or a diced jalapeno pepper. It might be nice to include cucumber, celery or other crunchy vegetables or an apple. Perhaps curry powder and raisins.

Sorry to admit this yummy salad got eaten completely before a photo was taken.


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Recipe: Kale Stew over Rice

This is a transfer from my dianadyer blog, that I had posted up way back on December 5, 2007, long before I had a digital camera, and even after I finally had one, it was a full 6 months (maybe more) before I figured out how to post up photos on my blogs. So that is the long way of saying I'm sorry but there are no photos for this recipe. I will make this delicious and easy recipe again at some point and then post up my photos!

Kale Stew over Brown Rice

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 medium zucchini - cut into quarters, length-wise, and then chop into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large handfuls kale (or more), washed, any stiff stems removed, then chopped
3 cups (or more) drained pinto beans
1 can (15 oz) chopped tomatoes (include juice)
2-3 teaspoons mole sauce (spiciness can vary, start small and then adjust to your own taste) - I just happened to have some in my refrigerator - use anything spicy here that you have on hand

Heat olive oil, add onions and garlic and cook for ~1 minute or so (do not burn garlic), add zucchini and kale, stir until kale starts to wilt, add tomatoes, mole sauce, and beans. Stir. Cover and cook over a low temperature until all is heated through, kale is wilted completely but still green and the zucchini is still tender-crisp. Maybe 10 minutes max. 

Garnishes: as with all chili, some people like to put little additions on top of a stew such as chopped green onions, grated cheese, etc etc. However, I don't think this recipe needs anything else.

Makes 4 generous servings. I served it in a bowl over cooked brown rice, which I started cooking in my rice cooker about an hour before we sat down to eat. 

Serve with some whole grain bread to get all the delectable juice at the bottom of the bowl, some fresh fruit, a huge glass of water, and a small glass of red wine (we drank a 2006 Lindemann C-S on sale for $5.99/bottle) for a very satisfying simple meal. 

The garlic, onions, tomatoes, and kale were all from our garden. 

Hmmm, I wonder what I will use the rest of the kale for? Maybe I won't even get to freezing any. I still have a HUGE bag of it in my frig. Keep looking for more kale recipes to come!


Where kale has been more than decoration on my plate for a while, which finally led me to making this blog dedicated to kale!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Recipe: Savory Kale-Mushroom Strata

I posted this recipe for Savory Kale-Mushroom Strata on my dianadyer blog today, so the link to the actual recipe will take you there. However, here are the photos to entice you to wander off my kale blog over to my blog where I weave commentary (i.e. my opinions about life) with my recipes. :)


(Photo: Savory Kale-Mushroom Strata - cooked)
(Photo: Savory Kale-Mushroom Strata - cooked - close-up)
Yum, yum!!


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just for fun - Chickens love kale, too!

I cannot possibly keep up with everything being published on the internet about kale these days. So I rely on 'kale alerts', friends who find 'kool kale stuff', and just good luck. Here is something 'just for fun' - chicken feed seed composed mostly of Brassica vegetables, including kale!


A friend who writes the blog Dandelion Haven has chickens and knows all too well that they just LOVE the baby kale seedlings in her garden. I'm glad to have her looking out for 'kool kale stuff' for me. Someday, yes, we will get chickens for our farm, too, and I'll bet my bottom dollar that there will be no shortage of kale for them either!

Where kale is apparently much more than decoration for chickens, too!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, February 3, 2012

Recipe: CORNMEAL AND KALE SPOON BREAD WITH RED PEPPERS

This spoon bread recipe is one transferred from my dianadyer blog. It was to be part of a meal where every dish incorporated some kale. I think I could summarize this meal as "a bale of kale" (actually my husband came up with that great phrase). I say 'was' because while I did try to incorporate kale into every course, and was originally successful, regretfully, our dog ate the spoonbread while it was cooling (yes, our dog ate 3/4 of the 9x13 pan!! - arghhhhh). Then we actually ate everything else before I got photos. I've learned my lessons: leave nothing on the counter to cool if I am out of view and take photos before we eat! 


Recipe: CORNMEAL AND KALE SPOON BREAD WITH RED PEPPERS 
Makes 12 servings.

Recipe Ingredients
1 pound kale (about 2 bunches), thick ribs and stems cut away
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch sliced green onions (white and green parts) 
1 cup white corn (about ½ of a 15 ounce can), drain and rinse off the salty liquid (freeze the rest for future use)
1/2 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar (or roast 1-2 fresh red sweet peppers, or use some that you roasted and froze yourself during the summer) 
1 garlic clove, minced (optional, depending on what else you are serving - I omitted this since the soup had garlic added as did the bread slices for the kale-bread salad I served)

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
1 teaspoon salt

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 large eggs
½ cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used ~¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes)

Recipe Direction
Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; cool. Squeeze dry. Finely chop kale (I chopped the kale in my food processor).

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, corn, red peppers, and garlic; stir 3 minutes. Mix in 1 1/2 cups kale. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350F at this point. Spray 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick spray (I use a small piece of wax paper to evenly spread the non-stick spray over the bottom and sides of my baking dish).

Whisk 2 cups water and cornmeal in bowl to blend. Bring milk and salt to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in cornmeal mixture. Stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Be VERY careful at this stage. As the mixture thickens, it will start to “pop” and a splatter of batter may just burn you! Cool slightly (I only let it cool for ~1 minute).

Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend; gradually whisk in warm cornmeal mixture. Stir in kale mixture, cheese, and hot pepper sauce. Transfer to prepared dish; smooth top. Bake until set and golden, about 35 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the middle of the dish. Serve warm.

Trust me! This spoonbread is BEAUTIFUL and delicious, if unusual!



Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New York Times features kale again this year!

The New York Times again this year has featured 5 recipes using kale, that delicious, nutritious, and locally-grown super-star of a food. Winter kale is a feast for both the eye and the palate. When harvested during these 'dark days' it is actually sweeter than when harvested during warmer weather. In addition, it is a fresh (with emphasis on FRESH!) vegetable that can be grown in most northern climates in season-extending high tunnels or 'hoop houses'.

So head down to your local farmers' market, seek out and get to know your local farmers, and then enjoy the taste, beauty, and versatility of kale, kale, and more kale (and look for all the different varieties) with these delicious recipes and all those I have on this website.

Hint: Kale and other winter-grown greens often sell out quickly, so get to your market earlier rather than later in the day! How do I know that? The hard way of course. :)

Mediterranean Fish Chowder with Potatoes and Kale
Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu with Kale and Red Pepper
Risotto with Red Kale and Red Beans
Savory Bread Pudding with Kale and Mushrooms
Orecchiette with Tomato Sauce and Kale

PS - I am gradually shifting over to this blog all the kale recipes I have on my dianadyer blog and my website www.CancerRD.com. Eventually those will be consolidated and appearing here, too, step by step. :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kale and Carrot Soup

    Ingredients:
  • 2 - 3 cloves of fresh garlic (more if you like) 
  • special note: chop garlic ~10 minutes before you sauté in order to increase its anti-cancer activity
  • 1 small onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  • 2 - 1 inch cinnamon sticks - leave whole
  • 2 bay leaves - leave whole
  • 1/2 pounds carrots chopped
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth (divided)
  • 4 cups cleaned (washed) or torn kale
  • 1 large partially cooked sweet potato peeled and cubed - can cook in microwave for 8 - 10 minutes
Directions:
  • Sauté first six ingredients until tender but not brown - approximately 5 minutes. 
  • Add carrots and 2 cups water.
  • Cook over medium heat until carrots are tender, approximately 20 minutes. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add kale, sweet potato and 2 cups water.
  • Cook until kale is wilted but still bright in color.  Sweet potatoes will break up slightly (or you can smash about half the sweet potato) and thicken the broth.
  • Remove the whole cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before eating. 
  • Re-season with salt and pepper to your liking.  
Absolutely packed with phytochemicals and best of all - delicious!   Serve with a tossed salad made with lots of different greens and fresh whole grain bread, using more olive oil or hummus for a spread.  Enjoy!!


This was sooo good.  Even my 16 year old son ate this! He is now 29 years old and still loves this soup. :)


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD