Food for Runners: K-A-L-E

>> Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let's hear it for kale. I've been a long-time fan, and I'm almost certain I can credit the veggie for my awesome iron levels during pregnancy. Today we're continuing with our series of foods that fuel activity. If you're catching up, we've covered bananas, garlic, and quinoa -- and included our favorite recipes from across the web.

We've been lucky to have tons of organic, locally grown kale available to us through our CSA. And as we've learned over the years, kale is great for far more than simple salads.

The basics: Kale is "packed with nutrient rich photochemicals and health promoting benefits. It is rich in calcium, lutein, vitamin C, A, E and K, and tons of beta-carotene. Loaded with fiber, kale is a superior vegetable by any standards." (Source)

One cup of kale "includes over 1000% of your daily recommended vitamin K, an antioxidant that promotes bone growth and regulates blood clotting. In fact, kale’s vitamin K content surpasses that of broccoli, spinach and collard greens." (Source)

I was interested to learn that "the number of non-vegetarians with iron-deficiencies is on the rise. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef . . . Kale [also] contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is better absorbed by the body than dairy." (Source)

Here are some of our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

Angela's Classic Green Smoothie
Sarah's Eggs Florentine with Kale
Our Leafy Green Pancakes
Teri's Thai Peanut (Massaged) Kale Salad
Sonja and Alex's Garlic & Kale Soup
Katherine's Kale, Blood Orange, and Avocado Salad
Kathy's Miso-Dipped Kale-Avocado Wraps
Our Cooked Kale & Chickpea Salad
Todd and Diane's Spicy Smoky Kale Chips
Laura's Sweet Potato Ravioli with Kale Pesto
Sally's Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Julia's Caramelized Onion-Butternut Squash and Kale Grilled Pizza
Our Kale-Stuffed Veggie Stromboli
Kimberley's Potato & Kale Skillet Gratin
Annie's Spicy Kale Lasagna

If I'm in a hurry, the fastest, tastiest way I can think to prepare kale is to make Stephen's Crispy Kale.

Combine a few handfuls of chopped kale, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce. Heat oil/kale over medium-high heat, cook five or so minutes, stirring frequently. Add soy sauce, keep cooking over the heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

Combine kale with these other ingredients:

Food for Runners: B-A-N-A-N-A-S (think smoothies!)
Food for Runners: G-A-R-L-I-C
Food for Runners: Q-U-I-N-O-A

What's your favorite way to eat kale?

And today on Writing Chapter Three I wrote about how to breastfeed the ever-distracted baby. It's been hard, but we're finally making things work!

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