Just call me Gwyneth, the high priestess of worthy eating herself. I bought 2 bags of kale last week, for the first time in my life. I went to trusty twitter to find out what to do with them, forgetting to mention I don’t have a juicing contraption so green smoothies and juices are pretty much out. I learned that it can take the place of spinach in most things, so that set me on the right path. But also, kale crisps. Crisps is an overstatement, but I ate a 250g bag of kale in 2 days that way.
Then I go to write up this post only to find that this very weeks Irish Times magazine has a write up on the Superfood Du Jour. The health benefits are outlined as below, pretty impressive I reckon you’ll agree:
A single cup of chopped kale is estimated to contain 134 per cent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C – and 206 per cent of the recommended intake of vitamin A. That’s not quite as impressive as the 684 per cent of vitamin K. So kale delivers vitamins A, C and K, copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorous and lots of alpha-linoleic acid, which is good for the brain. The same cup of kale contains just 33 calories.
I couldn’t just buy kale for snacking, and there was no selling them as ‘crissups’ to a 4 year old boy so I found this lovely Gwyneth Paltrow recipe on the Red website – Healthy Fried Rice with Kale & Spring Onions
So the original article declares that the Paltrow-Martin children call this green rice, which I think is stating the obvious on their behalf, and they couldn’t really claim any copyright to what is just in essence a statement of fact rather than some sort of creative naming on their part. In fact I’d say give my 1 year old another couple of months and he’ll come up with that one himself.
Scoffing at celebrity children (or rather the media portrayal of) aside, this really is delicious. It packs a punch as a light meal in itself, but I served with with some quorn pieces baked in pesto and creme fraiche. To be honest I was afraid the rice would be entirely rejected. It was eyed with suspicion by Dominic who doesn’t like you to tell him he’s having something he knows and likes (rice) and then fill it full of something else (kale). But he ate it happily enough after a fashion. Teddy attacked it with gusto, and was the recipient of the leftovers for lunch the next day too.
I would say that kale is a little faffy to prepare. So if you can at all trim the leaf from the stem during nap time/before work/while kids are at school/the night before. You do not want to be doing it with a small child screaming for their grub. After you’ve worked through a bag with a kitchen scissors (way easier than a knife), then it just works like spinach but takes a little longer.
If you’re worried about offering your children something you don’t think they’ll eat, here’s how I approach it.
- You’re not allowed say you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it.
- There isn’t alternatives offered. I may, in this instance, give the tricky customer a serving that has a bit more plain rice, and a bit less kale, to entice them in. Or in an easier scenario than this, keep the new ingredient a bit separate so it can be just sampled then eaten around.
- Nobody has to clear their plates. If you say you’re full or done, then I believe you if you’ve eaten any reasonable amount. I cannot be doing with a half hour of cajoling.
- Re: the above, I am a reasonable adult and realise that even if there’s food left on your plate and you say you’re full there’s always room for ‘something nice’. That’s how I operate, so I get that you do too.
Of course this has worked on the elder child for the most part, but come back to me in a couple of years to check the toddler isn’t living on just orange food.
Meanwhile, kale FTW!