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Kale Yeah! Learn to Love This Superfood

Kale gets a bad rap. It’s seen as a foul food that’s only eaten out of necessity by fitness maniacs and avid dieters—and even then, they need to hold their noses while they chug it down in one go. But this is not the case! This tasty leaf has been in people’s diets since at least 2000BC, originating from the Middle East and the Mediterranean region of Europe. It was eaten by the Ancient Greeks—who may have been the first to discover its superfood properties. We want to dispel this myth and prove to you that kale is one of the tastiest greens out there!

Spicy Tuscan kale and ricotta bake

This hearty bake is a classic recipe that uses Tuscan kale and the great flavors of Italian cheese to produce a brilliantly wholesome meal for the entire family.

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 bunch Tuscan kale leaves—ribs and stems removed and leaves roughly chopped, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, salt, and pepper, enough pizza dough to cover a baking dish, 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, 2 oz. grated parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes.

Method:

  • Start by tossing the kale leaves in oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Then season with salt and pepper and massage the dressing into the leaves with your hands. Allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours so the leaves soften.
  • Apply a thin layer of olive oil to a baking pan and then roll out the pizza dough to cover the base of your baking pan. Cover with cling wrap and set to one side.
  • Once the dough has risen, put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to as hot as it will go.
  • Top the dough with the mozzarella, ricotta cheese, and then with the kale and parmesan. Bake until the bottom is crisp, and the cheese turns a golden brown—about 30 minutes.
  • Top with red pepper flakes and extra parmesan before serving.

Roasted eggplant and kale salad

This salad really brings the best out of kales, pairing it with other vegetables that are typical of the region’s cuisine such as eggplant and fresh tomatoes. It’s light and fresh and bursting with flavor—a perfect summer’s evening meal.

Recipe

Ingredients: 2 medium eggplants—quartered and then cut into 1-inch pieces, ¼ cup vegetable oil, salt, 1 tsp. dried mango powder, ½ tsp. ground cumin, 6 Tuscan kale leaves—ribs and stems removed and then the leaves roughly chopped, 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 cucumber, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 clove garlic—finely chopped, 2 cups cherry tomatoes—halved, plenty of olive oil.

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 450F and then toss the eggplants in the vegetable oil and place in a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and then roast for about 20 minutes—turning halfway through. Remove from the oven and then sprinkle with mango powder and cumin, again tossing to coat.
  • While the eggplant is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and char the leaves which should take about 4 minutes—you may need to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
  • Grate the cucumber and then squeeze the excess juice out with your hands, then transfer this to a bowl. Mix in the yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic, and then season with a little salt.
  • Toss the tomatoes with some salt and olive oil in a bowl. Spoon the yogurt mixture onto a serving plate, then layer on the eggplant, kale, and tomatoes. Drizzle with more olive oil and a pinch of salt and serve!

Tropical kale smoothie

Kale has become synonymous with smoothies—mainly pushed by fitness fanatics and weight loss gurus. Many of these smoothies don’t put taste at the top of their priority list, but this next recipe is a smoothie that gives you all the vitamin-packed benefits of eating raw kale AND tastes amazing!

Recipe

Ingredients: 4 kales leaves—stems removed and roughly chopped, ½ cup chopped fresh pineapple, 1 banana—chopped, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1 tsp. honey, ¼ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup almond milk, 4 ice cubes (or crushed ice).

Method:

  • Simply place the ingredients in a blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth and drinkable. If you’d like to add a little more sweetness, you could add more honey, and if you’d like it to be thinner, try adding some more almond milk.
  • Serve with a metal straw and sip slowly to enjoy the flavors!

Kale is known for its reputation as a superfood, and rightly so! But it’s also a tasty green in its own right and should be enjoyed for its flavor rather than just it’s health benefits. If you’re looking to find some new ways to enjoy this great green, try some of these recipes at home. Here at NetCost Market, we have plenty of kale as well as all the other ingredients you need to make these tasty meals, so head down and try some out for yourself.

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