My absolute FAVORITE way to eat kale!
I prefer the Lacinto Kale. The leaves are thin and are generally a little sweeter and more tender than other varieties. Be sure to wash it well to remove the dirt that hides in the leaves. Lay the leaves on a clean dish towel, let dry for several hours and shake the leaves periodically to remove the water from the leaves. Wrap in a towel and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. To remove the stems, grab a stalk of kale, hold it by the stem with one hand and place the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off. If I just confused you, do an internet search for a video.
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 large bunch kale, stems removed, with leaves coarsely chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken stock, white wine or water
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper
- red-pepper flakes to taste, optional
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat for one minute. Add garlic, and cook, stirring almost constantly until soft but still white.
- Add the kale to the pan, turn the heat to high and add the stock. Use tongs to mix the greens and the stock, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green.
- Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper if using, add vinegar and toss to combine.
Fad diet advice comes and goes. Liquid diets, juice fasts and food-combining diets. More recently it was eliminating gluten. Now we’re hearing about how we should be avoiding lectins. Is there any fact in this newest diet fad?
Lectins are proteins that are found in plant foods: beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, whole grains, some seeds and certain vegetables and fruits. Lectins are involved in immune functioning, cell growth and other beneficial processes in the body.
Lectins are not digested in the body and directly enter the bloodstream. The concern about lectins not being digested is that some individuals can produce antibodies to them, stimulating an immune response. This is true for those who may have gut conditions including Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis. But for those with a normal gut there is no cause for concern.
There are some lectins that are toxic to the body like those found in raw kidney beans, but who eats raw kidney beans? Cooked properly, beans have low lectin levels and are safe to eat.
So is there any reason that we should eliminate lectins from our diets? In short: no.
While some people truly need an avoidance diet for specific conditions, yet any diet that eliminates so many nutrient-rich foods should be fully and expertly explored before following. Beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, seeds and whole grains vegetables and fruits are powerhouses for a wide variety of nutrients and avoiding them could create nutrient deficiencies.
Although avoidance diets may be essential for some people with specific conditions, they may not be the best for the general public. If you are seriously considering an avoidance diet, it’s always best to consult with a Registered Dietitian to avoid any nutrient deficiencies, which could cause other problems.