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Kale For Victory!

Updated on May 9, 2014
Kale the Superfood
Kale the Superfood

They are feeding us wood!

I read it in an article on the internet so it must be true. Processed food manufacturers are using wood particles as filler and labeling it as cellulose gum, cellulose gel or fiber . I wouldn't mind so much as I ate a lot of paper as a child and I turned out O.K. The problem is that there is no nutritional value in wood what so ever. We are basically being fed nothing and filling up on a lot of it. They are feeding us wood! I want to shout it to everyone I meet. Unfortunately, more often than not it is met with a blank stare and a shrug in between bites. I've found many horror stories like this over the years and am always searching for healthy alternatives to the mystery biscuits the food industry is preparing for us out of the "kindness of their hearts".

Kale is a great alternative to filling up on wood or rat feces or red no.5 or whatever else the food industry is trying to cram down our throats these days. It's inexpensive, nutritious, easy to grow and prepare.

It's not just for garnish at Red Lobster anymore

Kale

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable with cultivation dating back to the 4th century B.C. and was the most common vegetable in Europe during the middle ages. At the onset of World War II, kale became an important crop in Britian's "Dig For Victory!" campaign for ease of growing and tolerance to colder weather. Some will say that kale tastes better after being exposed to a frost. One variety of kale is even called Hunger Gap. The name originated from being a vegetable that could be cultivated late in the season, providing sustanence during the "hunger gap" months of winter. I live right in between gardening zones 9 & 10 and set aside the winter months for growing kale, collards and various root vegetables.

Kale is a member of the cabbage family and related to broccoli, cauliflower, collard and brussel sprouts. It is high in iron, beta carotene, vitamin K & C, and calcium. It is high in such cancer fighting antioxidants as flavonoids, carotenoids and indole 3 carbinol. Kale is high in fiber and can lower cholesterol. Boiled kale is not recommended as this will negate some of the health properties. Kale has a high amount of naturally occurring oxalates and shouldn't be eaten regularly if you have kidney or gall bladder problems. Pesticide residue is also a known issue. Buy organic or grow your own.

Kale is commonly steamed or sauteed as a side dish. Kale mashed with potato is a popular dish. Roasted kale chips are a delicious and nutritious alternative to that bag of junk food that is so easy to grab for.

Kale is popular in China, Taiwan and Vietnam and is used in many Japanese dishes. They also have a kale juice in Japan called aojiru.

Udon Miso Soup with Sauteed Kale
Udon Miso Soup with Sauteed Kale

Udon Miso Soup with Sauteed Kale

Only in America are Asian noodle soups such as ramen and udon a last resort. That 25 cent package of stale noodles and flavored powder packet is far removed from the real thing. If you've never had traditional ramen or udon I highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible.

Most asian noodle soups dont "age" well so I usually just make enough for the meal at hand.

Ingredients for two
Ingredients for two
A busy stove top
A busy stove top

Vegetable miso broth ingredients per person:

1 cup of vegetable broth

1 1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup dried mushrooms soaked in the 1 1/2 cups of water

1 level tbsp of miso paste

1/2 tsp of dashi

1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots

1 thinly sliced and chopped radish

1 Scallion

Optional hot chili sauce

Sauteed kale ingredients:

1 Bunch of kale coarsely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

dash of salt and pepper

1 bunch udon noodles

Vegetable miso
Vegetable miso

Preparing the broth:

Combine the broth, water and mushrooms in a pot on medium heat. Add the miso, dashi and soy sauce. Mince the garlic and stir until all of the miso paste has dissolved. If it is too salty for your taste add a little more water. Add the hot sauce to taste if desired. Add the remaining vegetables but reserve the greens from the scallion and lower heat. 

Sauteing the kale
Sauteing the kale
Udon noodles
Udon noodles

Sauteing the kale:

Preheat the sesame oil in a pan or skillet. Add the kale, red onion, salt, pepper and rice vinegar. Add some water if you wish. I don't because once the kale begins to cook down it releases it own moisture into the pan. Cover and simmer on medium low heat. Stir occasionally.

Cook the noodles separately:

Cooking the noodles in the broth will give it a starchy taste. The texture and feel of the dish would be completely different. Adding a dash of salt to the boiling water should be enough to keep the noodles from sticking.

Combine and enjoy:

If you do everything in order the broth, sauteed kale and noodles should all be done at about the same time. Add the cooked noodles to a bowl, followed by the sauteed kale and vegetable broth and top off with the remaining scallion.


If you're like me you use a recipe as a basic guideline and alter to suit your own taste or whatever you might have in the refrigerator that day. Experiment on your own. Maybe try some bamboo shoots, fresh straw mushrooms, fresh grated ginger or heart of palm. 



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    • peepingtomb profile image
      Author

      peepingtomb 5 years ago

      Kale chips are delicious, nutritious and so easy to make. I highly recommend them to anyone who will listen.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I had kale chips for the first time testerday. I thought they tasted like broccoli, and now I know why. I'm going to have to try your soup recipe. Thanks for sharing and welcome to Hubpages!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 5 years ago from San Francisco

      After a childhood of eschewing vegetables in favor of junk, my palate has reversed and I've developed a taste for kale. I've been eating a lot of it recently, too, although this kale saute + noodles looks like a delicious new variant to try. Thanks for sharing the recipe and pics!

    • hush4444 profile image

      hush4444 5 years ago from Hawaii

      This recipe is fantastic! I've experimented with bok choy and udon but I never thought of kale. Your pictures are mouth-watering, too.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Sounds delicious, and thanks for the heads up about the wood.Voted up and useful