Main Dishes — 08 June 2015

A recipe by Shruti.

What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jack Monroe have in common? Apart from being famous, that is. They all endorse the health benefits of kale – the tough green, leafy Brassica that has existed since before the Middle Ages. And now suddenly has become the darling, must-eat vegetable of the celebrities. Be that as it may, its sudden rise in popularity means that kale can be found everywhere. From kale crisps or chips to kale smoothies or juice, it is no longer the humble, just steamed kale of meat and 2-veg.

Curly-kale-001

Also it is said to take less resources (as with any vegetables) than rearing cattle for beef. Its nutritious value is well known. From beta carotene, Vitamins C and K and being calcium-rich, it also contains sulphoraphane – an anti-cancer chemical.

However it is not always easy to eat. From tasting tart to astringent to sometimes bitter, it is not the easiest of food substances to eat. Unlike coffee or chocolate! So in my quest to find delicious ways to eat kale yet keeping its nutrient values intact, here is a recipe I came up with yesterday. Wowing the guests, it did not last very long!

Ingredients

(serves 2-4)

1 bunch of kale leaves
1 small white onion
1 garlic clove
2-3 tbsps of freshly grated coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
zest of 1 lemon
sea salt granules and pepper to taste

Method

Wash the kale thoroughly and tear the leaves off the stems. Steam for a few minutes. Make sure that the kale leaves do not overcook. Or else they will lose their colour, become limp and will also destroy their nutrients.

Meanwhile chop the onion and garlic. Heat the coconut oil and add the chopped onion and garlic. Allow the onion to become transparent but not brown. So the heat needs to be down for the onion to cook. Add the grated coconut and salt.

The kale should be done by now. Drain the water (reserve for stock) and add the kale leaves to the coconut and onion mixture braising them for a minute or two. Remove from heat and sprinkle the lemon zest and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve hot or warm either as a side dish of vegetables, a warm salad or just on its own with toasted sourdough.

The crunchiness of the salt flakes complements the astringent nature of the kale with the lemon zest balancing out the flavours with a touch of acid. Yummy, yummy. This recipe is also vegan, alkaline and deliciously healthy.

For people with hypertension, go easy on the sea salt. Add lo-sodium or to do away with it completely, add lemon juice.

Tip: You can also add freshly grated parmesan shavings. Of course this will no longer make it vegan!

Enjoy and let me have your take on it.

Recipe by Shruti – www.fairfieldretreats.co.uk

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