Thursday, April 12, 2012

Steamed Kale

I love greens ... grew up eating all kinds of them.
My mom's a southern lady & she knew how incorporate these into many meals, with ease.
Dad grew many varieties in his garden so we always had fresh-picked organic greens 
like kale, mustard, poke, spinach, & collards.

Here in the Pennington house, I'm about the only one who really 'likes' these type of greens.
James wants to really badly because of the many health benefits, but he pretty much 
doctors them up {vinegar & pepper juice} & chokes them down.

I decided, in an attempt to make greens more 'eater friendly', I'd experiment with 
bumping up the flavor by adding various seasoning, etc.

This one was a winner.
I could've easily eaten the whole dish myself.

I started off with a very large bag of kale {clearanced down to .99}.
I sprayed my biggest skillet with cooking spray & piled in the greens.
Over medium heat, I wilted down the greens & then added the seasonings:
1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. chicken bouillon base, 
& a dash of salt & pepper.

And for the star of the show, pork cracklins!
All you southerns know just what these are.
In case you don't though, cracklins are crispy pieces of pork fat trimmings.
Pretty much a cousin to bacon, only they are much more intense in flavor.
They can be munched on as a snack {think of pork rinds} or incorporated into 
biscuit or bread dough, scrambled with eggs and onions, used to flavor 
cabbage dishes, gravies, sauces and other foods.
I especially love making crackin' cornbread ... another southern food from my childhood.

If you don't have cracklins, you can substitute fresh bacon or jarred bacon pieces.
It only takes about a 1/4 cup  for a big flavor boost!

Take a look at the health benefits in kale:

Move over Popeye and make room for the "queen of greens," kale. 
Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, 
health benefits, and delicious flavor.

Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. 
A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. 
It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, 
collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse
One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of 
calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, 
and 1,020% of vitamin K. 
It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source 
of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the 
anti-cancer health benefits. 
Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower 
blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Super-Rich in Vitamin K
Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing 
or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products 
such as cheese.
Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, 
antioxidant activity, and bone health.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmmm! I love Kale, Mustard, Collard, etc. This recipe sounds great!