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This is the first year I tried to grow Kale. I wrote about planting this fine Kale in my post: The Great Fall Garden Transformation, but little did I know what joy this wonder plant would give me.
There is a Kale craze sweeping the nation and for good reason. This super food is packed with nutrition – some even call it a plant healer.
Consider all these amazing traits:
- 9 essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within the human body—-histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine (not unlike how the protein in meat works)
- 1 gram of fiber per serving
- 3-1 carb-to-protein ratio — complex carbohydrate at that
- 9 other non-essential amino acids—making a whopping 18 total
- Omega 3 – although it is considered a fat-free food
- Vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin (good for sunblock, eye sight), Vitamin C
- Calcium – which is actually absorbed 25% better than whole cow milk in kale form
- And to balance all that calcium, it also contains magnesium to keep it in check
- Anticancer compounds, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbino are packed in too
Kale is a part of the cabbage family but it is a little on the wild side. Blog partner Chris, would love this description of Kale -the “hippie” member of the cabbage family.
Growing it is super easy..so all you brown thumb nay-sayers...even you can do it. All you need is soil – in a bed or pot – fertilizer, a kale transplant (when putting them in the ground I prefer transplant to seed, but if you wanted to grow seeds inside and then transplant that would work). Some sunlight and water – I only watered the first day I planted – nature did the rest. Voila – Rockin’ Kale.
By now you are on board and ready to dive into eating a “whole mess” of Kale – but how you wonder?
Here is an amazing “How To” video from one of my favorite organizations – America’s Test Kitchen.
Microwave Kale Chips
I made them for my Thanksgiving feast and what a hit. Light and airy, comparable to super bad potato chips. Yum!
Enjoy the recipe! Thanks so much for reading our blog. On this day, I am thankful for all of you and my new love -Kale.
Happy Gardening & Kale Experimenting
Too many tomatoes? It’s a good problem to have. I’m slow-roasting some, sharing tomato sandwiches with neighbors and friends, and I just found the BEST tomato pie recipe in the August edition of Cooking Light magazine.
Trust me here–I’ve eating a lot of tomato pies over the years.
Now for slow roasting:
Heat oven to 250 degrees
Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Peel and cube larger varieties.
Cover cookie sheet with foil and cooking spray.
Place tomatoes cut side up.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and a pinch of sugar
Seve tossed with pasta. Spread on good bread or crackers or freeze in small containers for a bit of summer in winter time. PRICELESS.
So what’s your favorite way to use homegrown tomato bounty? Please share–
- Cube fresh mozzarella cheese and put in a large bowl.
- Boil water and cook your favorite pasta. Drain. Then pour warm pasta over the cheese and toss.
- Next add 1 or 2 chopped fresh tomatoes and their juices, minced garlic, and capers in salt (rinsed and drained).
- Finish the dish with lots of good olive oil and chopped fresh basil. Serve at room temperature with bread to soak up the juice.
Note: . I’m lucky enough to do some part-time writing for Capri Flavors, the local Italian food importer. They have high-quality olive oil, capers in salt, and real buffalo mozzarella cheese that’s shipped from Italy frozen ( so even retired people lik e me can afford it).
I use all three of those favorite items in this dish. And yes, I would serve this easy, meat less pasta to guests. Is there anything better that fresh home-grown tomatoes? What a delicacy!
Tis the season for tomatoes. Now I hate the heat (shocking thing for a southerner to say, but it is true), but I love tomatoes and you need the heat to produce the best ones.
Here are the 7 things you need to make the perfect tomato sandwich:
- Tomatoes (this time of year they are abundant and flavorful–check local farmer’s markets or even your grocery store that supplies local produce might be an option)
- Serrated Knife – a serrated knife is best to cut through the tomato skin
- Cutting board – keep your counters intact
- White bread – I cheat and have “white wheat” but for some reason it isn’t a traditional tomato sandwich without it
- Mayonnaise – you know I am partial to Duke’s but you can use your favorite, I will look the other way.
That’s it. This time of year, I eat them as much as possible because come fall, tomatoes won’t be worth eating, especially as the featured ingredient in a dish.