Friday, March 29, 2013

Super Kale

I've always been a picky eater, especially when I was a little girl. I've gotten a little better as I've aged, and I eat things now that I wouldn't have touched as a child. That being said, there are still a lot of things that I don't care for… like vegetables. I'm just not a fan of most vegetables, especially if they are of the green variety! :) The worst of all is green beans. I've always detested them and can't even stand the smell of them. Peas are pretty bad, too, although they're slightly less offensive than green beans.

Broccoli… I like it raw and I really like broccoli salad (which is made with raw broccoli) but the only way I like cooked broccoli is if it's smothered in cheese sauce. But this isn't really very healthy, so I rarely eat broccoli this way.

A few months ago I decided to give cooked broccoli another try. My mom seriously loves* vegetables, so one day when she was fixing broccoli for her dinner I asked her to make a little extra for me. I was pretty skeptical as to if I would like it or not, but I figured it was worth a shot. Surprisingly, I actually liked it fairly well (except for the smell). Eating broccoli hasn't been just a one-time thing, either, and I've had a modest-sized portion of it several times since then. (*I really wish I could love vegetables even a fraction as much as my mom does, but it's just so hard for me to eat something that doesn't taste good!)

Earlier this week I tried another green vegetable for the first time… kale. (If you aren't familiar with kale, it's a cross between spinach and broccoli, and has a flavor similar to broccoli.) Before I tell you how trying kale for the first time went, I'll start by telling you about my first ever experience with kale. When I was in rehab after my accident, food trays were always garnished with a leaf of kale. I admit that kale IS visually pleasing, but I always hated my meals being garnished with kale. The food was always put on a hot plate and then covered to keep everything warm. The raw kale would start steaming under the cover which would give a mild kale flavor to everything else on the plate. When my mom would help me fill out my daily menus I started having her write, "no kale, please!" on them. Sometimes they remembered and sometimes they didn't, but I was always grateful when my food trays came without kale!

A few months ago my sister Annette tried making a new soup… sausage and kale. She loved it, so she gave the recipe to our mom. I was leery of the soup because it didn't really sound like something I would like, but I told Annette I would try it. I suspiciously took a bite, and it wasn't too bad. It's not a soup I would probably ever request, but if that's what my mom fixed for dinner, I would eat it. Since making that soup, Annette has been on a kale kick and sometimes fixes a big plate of cooked kale for her lunch. (Her kids even love it and try to "mooch" it off her plate.)

Back to trying kale for the first time… I can't believe I'm saying this, but I liked it and thought it was pretty good. (Keep in mind when I say I "liked" it, I mean that in a "this is palatable enough to not cause me to gag like green beans do" sort of way.)  I definitely don't love kale like my mom and Annette do, but it's really much better than I thought it would be. The best thing about eating kale is that I feel noble eating it since it's so good for you. Kale is a super food/super vegetable that is extremely good for you (even better for you than spinach). Kale is packed full of good things, like vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium.

My mom found a bag of kale greens at the store, so it was nice to be able to buy a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut pieces of kale instead of the big leaves. My mom just steamed/sautéed the kale in a pan and then sprayed butter flavored Pam on it after it was cooked. (Using Pam might sound strange, but it tastes just like butter, without all of the fat/calories that real butter has). As a finishing touch she sprinkled some garlic and Tony's Creole seasoning on for a little extra flavor. Here are some pictures:


Julie said...

Hi Heather,
I don't like vegetables much either, especially the dark ones. I only really like peas, carrots & sweetcorn.

In April tho I have decided that I really need to build up my supply of tinned foods & am going to try & eat more vegetables, rather than baked beans most of the time. (The 40 pence/80 cents that I would've spent on a tin of
beans will now be spent on buying them for my cupboard)

I like the idea of having broccoli with cheese sauce - that sounds brill:). I actually like raw vegetables rather than cooked ones.

One of the questions I've wanted to ask is: What is it like to have someone feed you? Do you only allow certain people to do this & is there a lot to learn - for both you & them - in this? For example, does it ever happen that the person doing this puts the fork in too quickly before you've even finished your mouthfall?

Happy Easter & I hope you get to enjoy some yummy chocolate - especially Cadbury's creme eggs:) I find the normal ones of these a bit sickly so have bought some minI ones - the trouble is I keep pinching one everytime I open the fridge:)

You truly are an inspiritaion to me & I enjoy your blog.

Cheerio for now from the UK.
Best wishes


Julie said...

* tried to edit the I at the end, it didn't work tho:)

Anonymous said...

Heather, try kale chips. You completely dry the kale, toss with a little olive oil and salt and "roast" in the oven until it turns into crispy chips. You can google the instructions. Melissa D'Arabian showed it on her show on food network.

nicole said...

I think it seems as if everyone goes through a kale period. I did. But I haven't had it much lately

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