There’s a row of kale in my vegetable garden this year, even though I’ve discovered that it’s a very cheap vegetable to get at the store.
Either way, I’m eating more kale after reading a new book written by Sharon Hanna of Vancouver, an enthusiastic master gardener who is quite emphatic about the importance of eating nutrient-rich vegetables like kale.
She says kale is the most nutrient-dense vegetable on the planet and she stuffs it into everything, with good results.
The Book of Kale, published by Harbour Publishing, includes not only advice about growing and harvesting kale, but also about 80 recipes for using it in everything from breakfast and lunch to dinner, snacks and soup, including meatloaf and muffins.
Yes, muffins; and it was really very good in them.
Kale or no kale, her recipes are actually very good too, from the few we’ve tried so far, so I’d say this is one book it’s worthwhile to pick up, for the sake of your health if not your taste buds.
And, for some great wines to enjoy with your kale dishes, there are a number of new options in the Okanagan, including the new tasting room at The View winery in East Kelowna and the variety of wines produced at new facility at the Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland.
In fact Kelowna’s Memphis Blues Barbecue House is teaming up with the Haywire, Bartier Scholefield and Bartier Bros. wines for a succulent barbecue July 11 and 12 at 6 p.m. at this new custom crush pad facility. Think rose!
For details, go to okanagancrushpad.com/events/
Then, two of my favourite chefs, Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart of Joy Road Catering, will be preparing one of their scrumptious seasonal, local meals at God’s Mountain Estate July 19 featuring winemaker Michael Bartier and his wines.
Go to www.joyroadcatering.com/contact_us.php to reserve your spot.
This is a very tasty meatloaf packed with kale nutrition and flavour from the herbs, which I would use fresh, at this time of year. Use twice the amount of fresh when substituting for dried. Sharon suggests this is a great meatloaf recipe for kids.
2 pieces of sturdy bread
1/2 c. (125 ml) milk
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt
4 c. (1 l) kale leaves
1/2 c. (125 ml) onion
1 lb. (454 g) lean ground beef
1 lb. (454 g) lean ground pork
1 large egg
2 tsp. (10 ml) Dijon or grainy mustard
salt & black pepper
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. (5 ml) dried basil
1/2 tsp. (3 ml) dried oregano
1/2 c. (125 ml) parsley
1/2 c. (125 ml) ketchup
2 tbsp. (30 ml) brown sugar
1 tbsp. (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce
Substitute ground turkey or bison for the beef or whatever combination of ground meat you like.
You could use a food processor to chop the kale, then add in everything else, making it quick as a wink to make. Use leftovers sliced up for sandwich meat for lunches.
Tear the bread into small pieces and soak in the milk and salt in a large bowl. Let stand for about 10 minutes until the bread soaks up the milk and the mixture is soft.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
Cut the kale leaves into a chiffonade, long thin strips, if using a knife. Chop onion. Mince herbs.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bread and milk. Mix well, then pile evenly into a lightly greased casserole or a large loaf pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes.
For the glaze, combine ingredients and brush or spoon evenly on top of the loaf after it has baked for 20 minutes.
Savoury Kale Muffins
These were delicious; a nice savoury muffin that would be terrific with a bowl of soup, a salad or for a hearty breakfast or snack. This recipe makes fairly large muffins. I used more, but fresh, dill instead of dried.
1 c. (250 ml) cottage cheese
1 tsp. (5 ml) dried dillweed
3 tbsp. (45 ml) minced onion, shallots or chives
3 c. (700 ml) kale leaves, loosely packed
1 1/2 c. (350 ml) flour
1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt
cheese, for topping, if you like
In a medium-sized bowl beat eggs until foamy. Add cottage cheese, dill, onion and cayenne, mixing only to combine.
Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
Place kale in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times until the kale is chopped very finely. Squeeze excess moisture from the kale and add to the cheese mixture.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients stirring only enough to blend—a few lumps are okay.
Spoon into greased or non-stick muffin pans. Add a small piece of cheese to the top of each muffin if desired.
Bake about 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
Makes 12 muffins.