Now that summer has finally arrived people are looking for ways to lighten meals, reduce the heat in the kitchen and still maintain healthy options to the food they consume. Baby kale is the answer. For years kale has been relegated to the bottom of the fruit or sandwich platter just to add color and decoration. Besides, there’s that notorious stem that runs through the leaf of kale that you are forever chewing on, all the while thinking “at least it’s healthy.” The good news is that baby kale has taken the food industry by storm. It has all the health benefits of traditional kale without that hideous stem interfering with the enjoyment of your snack or meal. Baby kale has been referred to as a “superfood” because it is a powerhouse of nutrients.
Baby kale has anti-inflammatory properties and will help with detoxification and weight loss; strengthen your immune system; make your hair, nails and skin healthier; keep your eyes from optical disorders and help fight disease. It may be helpful in preventing various cancers such as colon, prostate and ovarian. Its abundant vitamin K, content is important for bone health, forestalling the effects of osteoporosis. Additionaly, the folic acid and B6 provide cardiovascular support and prevent heart disease.
How can I incorporate baby kale into my diet? Baby kale is so versatile and can be used in pasta, soup, salads or simply sauteed with garlic as a side dish. Baby kale can be used in place of spinach. So turn over that new leaf and try some baby kale. Here is a simple recipe for Caesar Salad. Use baby kale in place of Romaine or spinach.
All “Kale” the Mighty Caesar
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets, mashed
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bag of baby kale, cleaned
Freshly grated Parmesan
2 cups croutons
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, mustard and anchovies. Slowly whisk in the oils to emulsify. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Place the kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss well. Sprinkle top with croutons.
Yitz Alloul is the former executive chef of Veggie Bistro and Cafe.
By Yitz Alloul