Monday, May 26, 2014

Benefits of growing and eating kale

Kale: almost a miracle plant. I live with osteoarthritis and have been slowly finding out what triggers inflammation. Beef and some animal products so far seems to be the culprits. I'm not saying no one should eat beef, but for me, it seems to be a problem.
Browsing some medical journals that deal with diet, I discovered some evidence that the curly plant, kale, can replace beef easily in one's diet. No, it'll probably never taste like it but it has nutrients beyond. For example, it has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, fiber, and a nice balance of the omega fatty acids. It grows to maturity in 55 - 60 days. I love it swiftly sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, in a tortellini soup, chopped in salad. Cut the leaves when they are the size of your hand or smaller. Cut around the rib, then chop for either a fresh salad or to put in soup. Here's my friend Ivy's tortellini soup. I love it because of all the vegetables in it.

 Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

1 lb. Italian sausage or chicken sausage
1 c. coarsely chopped onions
2 cups chopped kale
2 garlic cloves, sliced
5 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. dry red wine or water
2 c. (4 medium) chopped seeded peeled tomatoes
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. sliced zucchini
8 oz. ( 2 c.) fresh cheese filled tortellini
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

If sausage comes in casing, remove casing. Brown sausage in 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove sausage; reserve 1 tbl. drippings in Dutch oven. Cook onions and garlic in reserved drippings until onions are tender. Add cooked sausage, kale, broth, water, wine, tomatoes,carrots, basil, oregano, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes.

Skim fat from soup. Stir in zucchini, tortellini, parsley and bell
pepper. Cover; simmer an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until
tortellini are tender. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.
8 (1 1/2 c. servings)

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