Friday, May 21, 2010

Greens and Beans

Thank you to my food share we have a gorgeous bunch of kale.

Kale is so good for you! Kale is king. Along with broccoli, it is one of the nutrition stand-outs among vegetables. It fights fat through its ability to mingle in a variety of roles -- in side dishes, combined in main dishes, or in Salads.
For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A andcalcium. With a combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter's dream food.

Health Benefits of Kale
Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants
believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients.

In addition to beta-carotene, kale posses other important
: lutein and zeaxathin. These carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts.

According to recent research results, kale is an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium, which is one of the many factors that may help prevent osteoporosis. It also provides decent amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium.

The manganese in kale helps your body's own antioxidant defense system, superoxide dismutase, protecting you from damaging free radicals. Its folate and B6 team up to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures.

Greens and Beans
The Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Chopped Onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (Optional)
Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups kale, washed, stems trimmed and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained (I used dried beans)
3/4 cup chicken stock

The Directions:
Heat Olive Oil over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven.

Add onion and garlic slices. Saute until tender about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper; stir until fragrant. Add the kale and let saute until it cooks down slightly. Add the beans* and the chicken stock.
Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
* Tip if you are making your own beans. Soak beans over night. Drain water and cook in water, salt and bouillon cube. Cook on medium heat until beans are tender.

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