:: Kale ::
It's been fun in the last year, to try out new foods with our family we had never before. In our western world, I think the cheesy-doodles and their fun commercialized friends such as sugar pop, get much more attention then what me might call the "lowly" veggie hanging out with all his cruciferous buddies.
Come on, I mean, who wants to eat something that's (whisper now so the kids won't hear you)....green.
With 5 kids in the house ranging in age from 1 to almost 16...believe me. I know rejection at the table.
Like a few months ago.
I thought the kids might enjoy being enlightened in the area of clams. After all, I had only recently read One Morning in Maine to the little ones. (And, please, if you have little ones, read all the Robert McCloskey books you can get in your hands. You won't regret it. ) The characters in the story are digging up clams in lovely seaside Maine, and are thrilled about the fact that they are going to have clam chowder for lunch!
Wouldn't that be fun, I thought...to suprise my kids and make them clam chowder as well?
They didn't find it fun at all.
In fact, when I lovingly brought a large bubbling pot of chowder to the table, and my six loved ones who were hungry and looking at me so lovingly found out what was in it---well, let's just say they were making plans under their breath to each other about the fastest way to escape the table, grab their coats, and drive to the local pizza hut.
Thankfully they love me enough, that they took some painful looking bites. Along with some words about clams and how they are not fit for human consumption.
All that to say, my family doesn't just shovel food mindlessly into their little mouths, and thank me at the end of each meal.
So, onto my little project of trying new foods---in tasty ways that the whole family can enjoy.
Kale is something that was not even gracing our refrigerator shelves until a few months ago. Now, I purchase it almost every time I walk the lanes of our local grocery store.
Why is it so good for you? Kale is high in beta carotene, vitamin C and K, lutein and also reasonably high in calcium.
Here is an excerpt on kale from Nourishing Traditions:
Kale is one of several dark green leafy vegetables of the cabbage family, related to collards and mustard greens. All of these greens provide calcium, iron, and carotenoids in abundance, as well as many anticancer factors. Kale and related greens should always be eaten cooked--but not overcooked-- so that the oxalic acid they contain is neutralized.
Now, how to get your family to enjoy kale? We are in love with this Zuppa Tuscana soup recipe. The first time I made it, my teen girls hugged and kissed me they loved it so much. After the clam chowder recipe...well, let's just say I'm glad they enjoy it!
I made a few changes to it for our family....
1 pound of bacon (prefer nitrate free...when it's on sale we stock up.)
1 pound of ground turkey
7-8 red potatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
8-9 cups chicken stock (homemade, or use natural bouillon...or part water/part stock)
3+ cups whole milk or raw cream--(we have omitted this without any problem)
1 head of kale (5-6 leaves, as desired), chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
In a small pan, cook the bacon. Save bacon grease, if desired. Cool and finely chop. In a large pot, cook the ground turkey (sprinkled liberally with spike seasoning, onions, and garlic (in bacon grease, if desired) until the turkey has browned. Crumble turkey as you cook it. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Once it has reached a boil, turn it down to low and simmer for 20 minutes or so, just until the potatoes are tender. Add the milk, kale, and bacon and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste. Top with parmesan cheese for extra flavor! Enjoy! Makes 6-8 servings. Freezes well.
Here is another tasty way that we love to eat more kale:
--Another way we enjoy kale is in smoothies! However, how do we get around the fact that they it should be cooked when you eat it? I purchase some kale....lightly wilt it with a bit of water in a pan, then blend it in the blender, and stick the blended concoction into my ice cube tray and freeze.
It only takes a few minutes to do, and anytime I want to add kale to a smoothie....I just grab a little cube or two, and plop it in.
I hope you enjoy discovering some new foods with your family, and send me a note or a shout out, if this was helpful for you. I love hearing from you all.
Keep checking the God's bounty :: Opening up our children's world to new foods category to the right, for more additions.
Have you tried any new foods or recipes with your family lately? Leave a comment or leave a link for us all to discover what you've done in your home....