Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kale for Breakfast

Yep, and not just in a smoothie. Here's a great article in annarbor.com written by Kim Bayer, a friend of mine, in which she writes about starting her days this winter eating her own or locally-grown kale for breakfast.

What's not to love with an article like this?! (big smile)

However what I really love (even more than Kim's shout-out to this blog) is her comment that 'food is healthcare, medicine is sick care.' Thank you, Kim, for giving this awareness a much deserved shout-out. How true. I've been saying words to this effect for years and years now in one way or another.

I also like to give shout-outs to all of our local farmers who grow healthy food to feed their own communities because I view them as being a community's true front-line health care providers. I don't know how many of them see themselves in this light, but I do. If you are not growing all of your own healthy food (and I'm not), please thank your farmers for all the hard work they are doing in order to keep you healthy! I try to remember to do this every time I buy something from them at the farmers' markets.

I also found it interesting that Kim notes in this article that she hasn't had a cold all winter long this year. Neither have I, which of course could be due to all the kale (and other Brassica vegetables) that Kim and I each eat. However, I also see that Kim mentions she adds fresh garlic to her kale each morning, so maybe there is more than one thing going on here. Point of fact, while I don't eat garlic for breakfast on a regular basis, I do eat garlic on a daily basis in one form or another. And I just happen to know Kim's local garlic farmers and know just how great their garlic tastes, which is enough for me to recommend eating garlic daily, starting at breakfast and continuing throughout the day.

When you start your day with great tasting healthy food, great health is sure to follow, which sounds like a beautiful way to start your day.

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate (and Kim's too!),

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Friends, with benefits!

Another great kale poster going around on Facebook these days. I could not have said it better myself!

Let me add that all of kale's relatives listed on the right side of this blog can also easily be added to your 'new best friend' list, complete with benefits. :)

A friend who shared this poster with me said it originally came from a website called Juice up your life (dot) tv. (Please note that I am only endorsing kale as a food, not this website. I am skeptical of websites which require you to 'sign in' before seeing anything, even contact info.) 

I'll be heading down to our farmers' market on Saturday morning because I am out of kale (even eating everything that I had frozen). Fresh is always best, and how lucky we are now to have farmers growing kale and other delicious greens nearly all winter long. I hope you are so lucky where you live, too. :)

Where kale is my friend, with benefits, i.e. much more than just decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blog cited in The Farmer's Almanac Gardening Guide!

The Harris' Farmer's Almanac 2013 Seasonal Gardening Guide (#46) is on the newsstands and includes an article about kale and my kale blog. Whoa! I was interviewed last September for this article and never thought about it again until I got a copy of the Guide in the mail yesterday from the writer Barbara Delbol. Thanks Barbara!

Two recipes from this blog are highlighted, including my husband's (locally) famous Kale Slaw, and Garlic Kale Sweet Potato Soup, a very popular recipe on this blog that was developed by the Registered Dietitians at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. 

I cannot find a link on the web to this Guide, so I guess you'll need to hop out to your local newsstand to pick up a copy.  

I wonder if kale is ever used "just" as decoration on a plate anymore? 
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Kale Love Just Keeps on Going!

I'm not sure exactly who created this poster, but I first saw this great shout-out for kale on the Facebook page for Selma Cafea non- profit organization in Ann Arbor, Michigan that raises money through a weekly local foods breakfast salon to offer micro loans to family farms in our community to build four-season hoop houses in order to help grow the local food shed.

What's not to love?! Thanks, Selma Cafe for all you do! 

And yes, 'I heart Kale!'

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate, 

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The Los Angeles food bloggers had a great time last weekend with a delicious event featuring kale. Here is the article with all the photos of the many dishes prepared with links back to each blogger's recipe.

Which one looks good to you? (they all look good to me!) Which one are you going to make this week after hopping down to your local farmers market to buy some fresh kale? (all the photos look delicious, but I cannot resist making the brownies!)

What fun! Let me know which of these recipes you try (and love).

Where kale is still going strong as much more than just decoration on a plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, February 1, 2013

Brussels sprouts - Let's get the heart (center) of the matter

Last summer one of our customers at the local farmers' markets we attend to sell our garlic asked me if I had a copy of the following book: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. When I sheepishly said, 'No', his simple answer was 'You must! You will love it!'. After borrowing it from our library, I agreed and I must have been a good girl this past year because Santa had a helper (my older son) leave a copy of the newer edition under our tree.

Oh my, this is a wonderful book if you enjoy food, enjoy cooking, and have questions such as "Why are Brussels sprouts often bitter when eaten?" or "Is it just my imagination or is the flavor of the Brussels sprouts leaves more bitter in the middle than on the outside of those little baby cabbages, 'mon petit chou chous'?"

McGee's On Food and Cooking makes food chemistry both alive and readable, and I could probably wax poetic and at length to answer those two questions based on information found in this 884 page book.

Instead, I'll make the answers as short as possible:
1) Brussels sprouts have the highest amount of "Relative Amounts of Sulfur Pungency Precursors", i.e. Brussels sprouts = 35 at the top end of the scale and Cauliflower = 2, at the low end of that scale. There you go!! More precursor molecules, more bitter. Brussels sprouts are at the top of the heap.

2) These flavor components are concentrated in the center of the Brussels sprout, i.e., the active growing section of the plant. So yes, these are the molecules that impart the highest degree of bitter taste, so having more of them in the center is why the center of each little sprout might taste more bitter than the outer edges. That seems like a long sentence, but I hope that makes sense. It helps to remember that these bitter molecules are present primarily for the plant's own defense mechanisms (our potential health benefits are secondary), so it would seem logical that they would be concentrated in the part of the plant where active growth is still taking place. Even my husband (who seems to know everything - he would be very good on the TV show Jeopardy) did not know this tidbit of interesting information.

As I said, I could go on and on, but I'll leave you with that understanding and hopefully a new respect for Brussels sprouts and willingness to try them (again) if you are not already a fan.

PS - I sorry that I don't know my customer's name, but I hope he'll remind me this coming summer of his book recommendation so I can be sure to thank him for my night-time reading. I am slowly, slowly making my way through (and re-reading) this encyclopedia. I also thank my older son who had a great communication with Santa. :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD