I have hope though - there is just too much that's exceptional about kale to continue ignoring it. Kale has 45 different flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. "Kale is packed with health-promoting sulfur compounds, and it has been found to have the greatest antioxidant capacity of all fruits and vegetables. It's an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. All of this nutritional value comes in a low-calorie package." (http://torpics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/r/recipes_for_health_kale/index.html)
I can't ignore it any longer, so I've looked through tons of recipes using kale - and started experimenting. I am really happy with the results!
The first dish I made was TABBOULEH, a Middle-Eastern salad, made with bulgar wheat and kale or parsley.
2/3 cup bulgar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 olive oil
3 cups kale, well washed
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
First cook the bulgar wheat per package instructions. Then allow to cool.
While that's cooking, in a small bowl, add lemon juice, onion, cumin, salt. Whisk in olive oil.
Wash kale well - really well. Rip off the thick stem that goes through the center and chop the leaves finely.
Wash and chop mint and tomatoes. Peel and seed cucumber and chop.
In a large bowl, toss together kale, cucumber, tomatoes, and mint. Drizzle dressing over and mix well.
Serve immediately or keep in airtight container in fridge - will last for several days.
Next, I tried a simple vegetarian pasta dish. SHELLS WITH KALE & TOMATOES:
(adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's Recipe)
500 gram package of pasta shells (can use other varieties, but the shells hold the sauce well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can chopped tomatoes
pinch of sugar
pinch of sea salt
8 leaves fresh basil
227 grams kale (1/2 lb) - well washed and stemmed
parmesan, to serve
In a large saucepan, heat oil, garlic and pepper flakes, stirring for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, and basil and heat to simmering. Cook for 15 minutes or so, on a very low heat, stirring often.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water. When it boils, add some salt and the washed/stemmed kale. Blanch for 2-4 minutes. The kale should be tender, but not still a bright green.
Use a stainer, fork or tongs to transfer the kale out of the water, shaking off excess water. Place onto cutting board and chop - not too fine, medium. Add chopped kale to the tomato sauce.
Bring the kale water back to the boil and cook pasta per package instructions.
Drain pasta and add to the saucepan with tomato/kale mixture. Toss. Serve from pan or put into serving bowl. Finish with some grated parmesan.
I couldn't just reject the infamous Kale Chip without trying it myself. So, I tried, following the video instructions of Melissa Clark of the New York Times. (Who also is emphatic about how much her 4 year old LOVES these.) ** I had surprising results! I didn't love or hate them. 2 of my children didn't like them at all - the strong aftertaste killed it for them. But my eldest girl actually liked them! And my husband really did, too. So, I stand somewhat corrected...
All you need is kale, olive oil and sea salt (though I'm sure you can experiment with added spices.)
Wash the kale really well, drain and shake dry. The kale needs to be totally dry before you bake it. Rip the leaves into bite sized pieces. Ms. Clark recommends drying the pieces between layers of paper towels/kitchen paper.