I was at the hair salon the other day and the young attendants were raving about their lunch; a kale salad.  I was at dinner with a cousin I rarely see, she was talking about a kale salad she had recently.  My sister called to say she had a great “kale salad” recipe.  Ate at Frances restaurant in San Francisco recently; waited a month for a 5:30 PM Thursday evening reservation.  What was on the menu…”Lacinato Kale Salad – Pecorino, Grilled Satsuma Mandarin, Fennel, Medjool Date.”  So lovely!  Just enough sweet, salty and acidic to make a very interesting, satisfying combination.

The WebMed article, “The Super-Veggies:  Cruciferous Vegetables” puts the number one reason for calling these “Super-Veggies” as lowering cancer risk.  There are several of these vegetables from the cabbage family.  The article goes on to explain that “they all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber that are important to your health (although some have more than others.)   Some have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining (endometrium), lung, colon, liver, and cervix, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. And studies that track the diets of people over time have found that diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower rates of prostate cancer.”

I love this next study cited in the article.  “In a study funded by the National Cancer Institute, 20 participants were encouraged to eat 1 to 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables a day. After three weeks, the amount of oxidative stress in their body was measured. Then, after a three-week wash-out period, the study participants were told to take a multivitamin with fiber. Again, the oxidative stress was measured three weeks later.

Cruciferous vegAnd the results? Oxidative stress in the subjects’ bodies dropped 22% during the period when they were eating lots of cruciferous vegetables. But the change during the multivitamin segment was negligible (0.2%), says lead researcher Jay H. Fowke, PhD, an assistant professor and cancer epidemiologist for the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.”

How can we enjoy at least a cup of these healthy vegetables a day?

Here are a few recipes for a kale salad for you.

Dinosaur Kale Salad:  Kale.2

1 bunch Dinosaur Kale washed, spines removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
I avocado
1/2 fresh lemon
1 small tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
I leek or green onions
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds lightly roasted
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Place the kale cut paper thin in a bowel.
Dry well and sprinkle with sea salt.
Mix with fingers until the kale is wilted.
Add the Avocado and ‘mush’ with your fingers.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over mixture
Add the remaining ingredients and serve.
Be creative and add other vegetables such as cucumber,
grated carrots whatever you like!
Note:  It may not be the most beautiful looking salad;
judge it by it’s taste.
My sister’s recipe, simple and delicious:
Place on bunch of washed kale, any type, with spines removed in a salad spinner.
Chop the kale into bite size pieces.
Place in a bowl with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts or pine nuts.
Dress with 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic or rice wine vinegars.
Salt and Pepper to taste
My cousin’s recipe from the restaurant, Plant Cafe` in San Francisco:
Wash and chop Dinosaur kale and arugula
Bring a cup of water to a boil add 1/2 cup of red quinoa
When you see the white of the quinoa appear it is cooked, about 20 minutes.
Cool and add to Dino kale and arugula along with
chopped avocado,
carrot shreds,
cherry tomatoes,
Dress with 1/4 cup lemon juice,
1/4 olive oil
Salt to taste and serve!
real face.2
Whispers of the Breath Diva:
In this moment I can nourish myself with beautiful, healthy vegetables.