Tuesday, 01 January 2013


Tonight I made the kale chips for friends at dinner and that reminded me of this post I have been gathering for some time. KALE KALE KALE. And eat more of it! But it wasn't until 2008 that I would first learn about this curly leaf. Kale is rare in South Africa. Known for its very earthy and hardy taste, most people will say, I know its good for me, but I just can't eat it. But with a little bit of love, kale can have you asking for seconds. Even Kyra, 'my' teenager asked for more : )

The kale chips were simple, a little olive oil, garlic salt and in a large open cast-iron skillet, or baked on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350/180 for about 10-15min and you have a snack that compares to popcorn. Or I even dehydrated it, with a little cashew butter on.
In the dehydrator with cashew butter.
However, the leaf is not quite ready to eat right away when you buy it, and when I first bought kale, I remember emailing Nell Stephenson who introduced me to Paleo, saying okay, I bought it, now what do I do with it? (and I believe there is a Google term with those exact words as I wasn't the first to go through this experience). You have to strip the leaves away from the stem and then you discard the stems and eat the greens, or black or purple. Its the same process no matter what variety you get. The leaves are hard, almost leathery, that requires soaking with a little vinegar to break down the fibrous flesh and with onion and tomatoes, it's quite yummy. Or the kale chips for another flavour and crispier version.

This winter, wondering around Pike Place market, I saw kale is a new environment. Instead of on my plate, it was in a bunch of flowers. I have started to see kale planted as decoration outside in the apartment gardens but now its beautiful curls and purple variety were used in a bouquet as a colourful assortment. By the way, I was tempted to pick the kale that I saw in the planters outside, when Jill told me that there is a garden variety that is not for eating. That doesn't sit well with my Paleo-brain, ie: anything edible (no pesticides/gmo's...) growing outside I should be able to eat.

When we travel to the Netherlands, I am happy to report that kale called borenkool is everywhere to be found. The traditional use for kale by the dutch is mixed and mashed with potatoes. I have not yet tried that, but kale was often bought and served.

Kale grows outside the apartment.
Kale as decoration.
Kale has also been used for decoration around other plates. I saw this at the market too, as beautiful, edible kale was placed around the fish. What a waste?! Could be eating that! I remember I once went to a pizza place with some friends, and being paleo, I chose an antipasto plate, with the thin prosciutto, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, almonds and artichoke, ex the crakers. A friend who ordered some pizza had kale served on the plate as decoration. I immediately asked the waiter to bring me a bowl of that, and enjoyed a little kale with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Wish they mentioned kale on the menu!
Kale is the new Flower.
Any Shade you like it - Just Eat More Kale.

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