I have deep love and respect for kale! We eat it pretty much every day, in a form of sweet kale salad recipe or lemony kale pasta (including kids – a 4 year old tolerates it only in smoothies but I will take it for now). Ever since we got a serious health condition in our immediate family (I might be able OK to talk about it one day), my love for kale has deepened even more! Kale is a powerful remedy against cancer:
In addition to providing a truckload of vitamins and flavonoids, kale contains several glucosinolates including glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin and sinigrin. When you eat kale, these compounds are converted into isothiocyanates in your digestive tract. A large body of evidence suggests that isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer and, in some cases, even suppress the growth of cancerous tumors. Isothiocyanates work their anti-cancer magic by eliminating potential carcinogens from the body, by conferring protection against DNA damage, and by stimulating apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancerous cells.
And it is best consumed raw, of course, like any other veggie or fruit.
If you live in the US, you are so darn lucky – you can get organic washed and chopped kale for $2 – 3 at Trader Joe’s. I have my own Trader Olena’s way of pre-packaging kale at home: buy 3 – 4 bunches of organic kale, wash, dry, remove ribs, tear into pieces and pack in bags. You can also freeze it for later.
This raw kale salad was unbelievably amazing! I remember eating zesty veggie salads made with sour cream all summer long growing up in Ukraine. We do not eat sour cream any more because in America it is stuffed to death with chemicals, even organic one (instead I like to make creamy avocado dressing like in this Mexican kale salad). So, I used Greek yogurt to make salad creamy, a tiny garlic clove to add a bit of a bite and fresh parsley, well, to make salad fresh. Kale is such a hearty and chewy vegetable, I find it so filling that I can easily get full with a serving of this kale salad and half avocado for dinner.
A few weeks ago we went to Seattle for the weekend and were lucky enough to stay in a hotel with a small kitchenette. Trader Joe’s was within a 5 minute drive and you bet I was there within an hour after checking in.
After spending $100 (with quite a few leftovers I got to bring home) here is what I got – ALL ORGANIC:
Apples, bananas, yogurt, cheese strings, crackers, whole wheat tortillas, bread, trail mix, tomato sauce, canned beans, lollipops, dark chocolate bar, sparkling water, green beans, baby carrots, bell peppers, kale, grape tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, avocados, broccoli, chicken thighs, whole wheat spaghetti and wine (I do not travel without wine!).
The amazing part was that most veggies were chopped, pre-washed and packaged. So easy for traveling. This food was enough for 2 dinners, 2 lunches, snacks, one breakfast and a few munchies and treats with many leftovers for home. I also brought a few packages of Qi’a, plant-based protein and vegan meal replacement shakes for me and Alex for breakfast.
I took pictures of one of our dinners and lunches. I didn’t take a photo of 2nd dinner because I was busy and frankly my man, Alex, doesn’t know you gotta drain and rinse a can of beans. That was not a good dinner. This man will die without me which is kinda one of my advantages.
Dinner: green beans and chicken over whole wheat pasta for Alex and kids, and over a bunch of raw kale for me. This meal made with 4 ingredients was OMG. My best recipes come together from dumping everything I have on hand.:) That was our only time eating meat that week. That’s the goal – meat and fish once a week each.
Lunch: whole wheat wraps with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, avocado and cheese string (for kids). Veggies on a side. It was delicious. I wish I had hummus but for the life of me I couldn’t find organic one at the store.
Dessert: wine, chocolate and lollipops.
Clean Eating isn’t hard, expensive or boring. Even when you are on the road. Be healthy!
- 1 bunch kale, stalks removed and coarsely chopped
- A few pinches of salt
- A tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used organic 2%)
- Veggies of choice, chopped (I used 1/2 long English cucumber, 2 tomatoes and 1 bell pepper)
- 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tiny garlic clove, crushed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl, place kale, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and drizzle a bit with olive oil. You don't even need to dry it off, just shake off excess water (wash kale well - it absorbs pesticides like crazy => buy organic please!!!). Using your hands, massage kale until it has softened, a few minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and gently mix until well combined. It might take a few minutes for Greek yogurt to coat all veggies evenly. Serve cold with some fries if desired.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 1 1/2 cups:
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 1.7 mg
Sodium: 162.1 mg
Total Carbs: 9.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 5.0 g
WW Points+: 2