You know, I've always passed by this green, leafy vegetable in the grocery store wanting to pick it up but not knowing what on earth would I do with it. Now, after reading how much of a nutritional powerhouse, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and detox food it is, I'll try to include recipes of kale in my kitchen whenever I can. Here is the Kale and Chickpea Soup and some valuable background on kale! Enjoy and benefit :)
Even the looks of it is appetizing! The thick folds of kale's dark green leaves has a certain aura of nutritional richness. Kale has been called "the new beef", "the queen of greens", and "a nutritional powerhouse" (1). Wonder why? Well...
1- One cup has 36 calories, 5 gm fiber, and 0 fat. So it helps digestion. Kale also has other nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium.
2- High in iron. "Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef." Did you know that iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen, cell growth, liver function, etc.?
3- High in vitamin K. This is significant in protection against various types of cancer as well as bone health and preventing blood clotting. Also, increased levels of vitamin K may help Alzheimer's patients.
4- Filled with antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids that help protect against certain types of cancer. In fact, kale has 45 anti-cancer flavonoids (2)!
5- Great anti-inflammatory food. It has 10% of the RDA omega-3 fatty acids which help fight against arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders.
6- Cardiovascular support as it lowers cholesterol levels.
7- High in vitamin A which is essential for healthy vision, skin, and preventing lung and oral cavity cancers.
8- High in vitamin C which important for our immune system, metabolism, hydration and maintaining cartilage and joint flexibility.
9- Hugh in calcium. "Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk." Calcium helps prevent bone loss, osteoporosis and maintaining healthy metabolism.
10- Great detox food as it is filled with fiber and sulfur, which are essential for detoxifying our bodies and keeping the liver healthy! (1)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) crumbled dried sage
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
- 3 cups (750 mL) sodium-reduced
chicken stock or chicken stock, homemade
- 2 cups (500 mL) cubed peeled sweet potatoes
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cubed chicken, about 6 oz/175 g, or smoked turkey
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups (750 mL) chopped kale
1- In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, sage, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
2- Add stock, 3 cups (750 mL) water, potato, chicken cubes, red pepper and chickpeas; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes.
3- Add kale; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate until cold. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.) (3).
Note: chicken cubes are an exchange from the original recipe.
This soup can be enjoyed as a dinner main dish alongside your choice of bread and side kicks. Or, as a filling lunch time satisfying dish! You can also substitute kale for spinach as a change. It is so warm and hearty. Don't forget that even if you are vegetarian you can still get some protein from the chickpeas. This is a won-win food situation :) Try it and let us know your application experience in your comments below.
1- Mind Body Green: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html
2- Herbal Remedy: http://herbalsatt.blogspot.ca/2012/06/58-kale-has-45-different-anticancer.html
3- Canadian Living Magazine: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/kale_and_chickpea_soup.php