Newsletters: 1 Sept., 2010

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 1 Sept., 2010. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

Welcome to September. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, kale, cheese, bread, honey, coffee… wait, this sounds awfully familiar. Care to sing along?

Cucumbers and broccoli, coffee, coffee
Peppers, taters, tomatoes, yerba mate.
Crepes with strawberries, pulled pork on a bun,
Gyros, cheese, kale, lemon tarts
And hot dogs just for fun.
(To the tune of Camptown Ladies, but inspired by Pinky and The Brain’s brainstem song)

Cooking, and reading about cooking
Someone mentioned kale chips, which sounded interesting, so I went looking for recipes. You get three recipes this week because I couldn’t bear to leave one out (and because I slacked off again in the main section, so there’s plenty of room; I did that on purpose, of course. Yeah, that’s right; you believe me, don’t you?).

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or other vinegar if preferred)
1 pinch sea salt, to taste
Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Cut ribs from each kale leaf and discard; tear the leaves into pieces of uniform size. Wash torn kale pieces and dry thoroughly. Place in a large resealable bag with about half the olive oil; seal and squeeze the bag so the oil gets distributed evenly on the kale pieces. Add the remaining oil and squeeze the bag more, until all kale pieces are evenly coated with oil and slightly “massaged.” Sprinkle the vinegar over the kale leaves, reseal the bag, and shake to spread the vinegar evenly over the leaves. Spread the leaves evenly onto a baking sheet. Roast until mostly crisp, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Or here’s another method:

Basic Kale Chips
curly kale
garlic salt
nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 250. Wash and dry kale; remove leaves from stems. Tear leaves into large “bite-sized” pieces and spread out across two jelly roll pans. The kale can be touching each other, but should generally be spread out. Sprinkle kale with garlic salt and nutritional yeast to taste. Bake for about fifteen minutes, and then start checking for doneness very 5 minutes. The leaves are done when they are totally dry, light, and can crumble easily. They should crunch like a potato chip. Remove the “done” leaves from the pan and return the rest to the oven.

Similar but with lots of cheese:

Kale crisps
2 bunches kale, washed and dried
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Remove the stems and ribs from the kale, and shred the kale very thinly. Spread onto the baking sheets, and sprinkle evenly with Cheddar cheese. Bake 10 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning, until the kale is crisp and the cheese is browned.

Index to all blog posts.

Ginger kale soup

4 cups kale, heavy stems removed, washed well and chopped
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and mashed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 Tbsp. flour
4 cups skim milk
1/4 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. sherry per bowl
freshly grated nutmeg

Place kale in a heavy saucepan with the water; cover and cook on med-low for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed. When kale is almost limp, remove it from the pot. In food processor or blender, blend with ginger until very fine. Heat oil in the saucepan; add onion and saute for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour, being careful to keep mixture smooth. Gradually add milk and continue to stir. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add kale mixture; heat until almost boiling. Just before serving add 1 tsp. sherry to each bowl and mix gently. Grate nutmeg over each bowl.

From: The Left Foot Organics cookbook : recipes for great food and a healthy community. Gateway, [2008].

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.


native to: Asia Minor and the Mediterranean
in season here: all year, except maybe late summer
Let’s look at one more brassica as we move into the bounty season. Kale is one of the “superest” of the super foods, with more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than milk. It can help cure or prevent just about everything, from hair loss (vitamin A helps keep hair moisturized and iron deficiency can cause hair loss) to death (getting plenty of potassium is associated with a 20% lower risk of death from all causes). In fact, there are so many things kale is good for, I won’t go into all the details here. Check out any of the “Read more” links below for the full story. What it all boils down to is, as the old phrase goes, kale is “good for what ails you.”

Kale does best in cool weather and is generally considered a winter crop; like with most brassicas, a light frost makes it sweeter. However, northwest summers are usually cool enough that some variety of kale is probably going to be available at the farmers’ market whenever you want it. This is good because kale tends to hang onto its pesticides when grown conventionally, so this is the time to insist on organic produce.

Read more:
label-style nutrition information for raw kale
label-style nutrition information for cooked kale
medical and nutritional article from Medical News Today
short overview with recipe ideas from Web MD
Nutrition And You

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek