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Hail to Kale!

Hail to Kale!
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If kale hasn’t been making regular appearances on your table, now’s the time to start.  Just in case you haven’t heard, kale is a legit superfood.  I don’t want you take this term lightly either because this lingo is thrown around so loosely right now, with the media claiming that just about anything fits into this exclusive club.  Kale is literally the Babe Ruth of the vegetable world – without the strikeouts, cigars or women.  This descendant of the wild cabbage delivers more nutrients per calorie than any other related food and belongs on the superfood wall of fame—and our tables.

Kale is loaded with energy boosting B vitamins, has more than 70% of our RDA for vitamin C in one cup, and is one of the greatest sources of the elusive vitamin K, which is essential for helping the liver produce blood-clotting proteins and bone health.  And because of its unusual combination of two types of anti-oxidants – carotenoids and flavonoids – kale has a clear link to cancer prevention. Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids (the compounds in plants that give them their color) in kale that have potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.  All this adds up to us feeling and looking better just for eating it.  Hail to kale!

Hail to Kale Caesar

1 large garlic clove, grated
1-1½ organic lemons, juiced
¼ cup good olive oil
1½-2 teaspoons mild raw honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1 large bunch of kale, (washed, leaves torn off of stalks and cut or torn into bite size pieces)

In a small jar, add in everything except the kale and give it a good shake.  Taste the dressing using a kale leaf.  The dressing should be pretty stout and will mellow out once it’s worked into the kale, but adjust seasoning if needed.  Pile kale into a large bowl, drizzle over about half of the dressing (most likely you won’t need it all and can save some for another time).   Start massaging the kale and dressing together until the kale starts to turn deep green in color and soften.

Variation: Top with a half of a hard boiled egg or two, or a poached egg and grated parm, if dairy is a part of your diet.

Good Companions for Kale:
– Garlic, chopped or mashed with salt
– Red pepper flakes and strong olive oils
– Stirred around with mashed potatoes and butter to make Irish Colcannon
– Smoked paprika and smoked salt
– Mustard butter with lemon zest and shallots
– Pounded in a mortar with garlic, pine nuts and salt to make a kale pesto

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Lindsay Lidge LINDSAY LIDGE is the wife of World Series Champion Brad Lidge. Lindsay has been a long-time passionate spokesperson for The Food Trust, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit committed to ensuring everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. She has participated in nutrition education lessons in schools and recreation centers, as well as writing a regular recipe column for the organizations weekly newsletter.