A Healthier Holiday Brought To You By Kale

posted by on 12/28/2012 | 141 comments (leave one of your own)

I don’t know about you, but I ate the house down this week. On Christmas morning, we had homemade beignets and chicken apple sausages for breakfast and our Christmas dinner consisted of smoked brisket, mashed potatoes, and salted caramel cheesecake pie on a gingersnap crust.

We did have fresh green beans, so maybe that cancels out the pie?

Except I had two more slices of pie last night after dinner. Don’t judge.  It’s Christmas.

And if I don’t tell you about all the fudge, cookies, bread and butter I have consumed over the holidays it doesn’t count, right?

But I’m finishing this week on a healthy note, you guys.  My favorite go to healthy veggie? Kale.

kale

I love, love, love kale. I try to keep it in my refrigerator at all times, it’s very versatile. You can even make kale chips that your kids won’t eat.

The American Cancer Society asked me to participate in their Healthier Holiday Table series and of course I said yes because one: eff cancer and two: the world needs more kale (to cancel out the pie).

ACS-Badge

I was experiencing brisket/dessert burnout the day after Christmas and when I opened my fridge, I noticed a big bunch of kale in the bottom drawer and after a quick meeting with google, I decided to make Kale And Bean Soup.  All the ingredients I used in this soup I had in my fridge or pantry.

DSC_1516

Kale And Bean Soup (adapted from here)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup of sliced carrots
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups veggie broth (or water)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (it’s what I had)
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, celery, carrots, onion, salt, and pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta, kale, rosemary, 8 cups of liquid. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta and kale are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add beans and simmer for another 5 minutes
  5. Ladle soup into bowl and serve with lemon wedges and fresh parmesan.

This soup got thumbs up from everyone in my family and it is even better the next day.

kale soup

Did you know that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk?  The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. Here are two resources filled with ideas for upping your fruit and vegetable consumption through the day.

And here’s to a healthier holiday, more birthdays, less cancer, and more kale.

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