I often find myself cravings salads even in the heart of these cold winter months. In an attempt to nourish my body with seasonal ingredients I have been gravitating towards winter greens. This salad pairs raw lacinato kale with shredded Brussels sprouts, seasonal fruit and a few nuts for crunch. Not sure about raw kale? I say give this salad a try. It has been a life-changer for several people in my world.
One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. It has more than twice the recommended daily dose of vitamin A and almost seven times the vitamin K. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and a good source of copper.
This green leafy is also a member of the cruciferous veggie (AKA cabbage) family, which has been shown to help protect against various types of cancer.
Many of my gal pals email me photos of their homemade kale chips. Everyone is talking about and making them. Luckily, this green, leafy bunch of goodness is now in season so you can make your own kale chips or any of our healthy kale recipes.
What, Where, & When?
Kale is a member of the cabbage family which also includes cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It’s suspected that kale was brought to Europe over 2,500 years ago. In the 17th century, it was introduced to the United States by English settlers. Today kale is primarily grown in the southeastern United States. Kale has a mild flavor, similar to cabbage and comes in many colors ranging from dark green to different shades of blue or purple. There are many varieties including Curly (or Scots), Plain Leaved, Rape, Leaf and Spear, Dinosaur (or Cavolo Nero), Tuscan and Lacinato (or black cabbage), and Ornamental, which is popular for landscaping but can be eaten too.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on local produce. Eating locally year round is easier if you live in California or Florida but here’s how I do it in Connecticut.
Farmers Markets Finds
Farmers are extra good at holding on to their harvests. If you didn’t turn your own summer bounty into a winter-friendly form, stop by a local farm or winter market to find baked goods, pickles, honey, jams and relish.
With the Grammy’s right around the corner we sought to answer questions like how do musicians keep their voice in tip-top shape, or what do musicians eat on the road? I had the pleasure of speaking with registered dietitian Wendy Jo Peterson, who provides nutrition counseling for musicians including the guys from Reckless Kelly who are up for a Grammy this year.
Q: What’s your role as a dietitian for musicians?
When working with musicians I take on the role of a nutrition coach, culinary expert and sports nutritionist. I work with musicians on the road but also music festivals, catering companies and event coordinators. Besides working with some of the guys from Reckless Kelly, I have also worked with musicians from last year’s Grammy-winning group, Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses.
Q: You counsel your musicians to eat like athletes. Do musicians really burn that many calories? Does this philosophy apply to the entire band (i.e. drummer, guitarist)?
Interestingly the current data is quite outdated in regards to calories burned by musicians, but I have measured calories burned with many of the artists I work with and yes, they burn like athletes. Whether they are banging drums, bouncing around with a fiddle, or doing a choreographed dance while singing they are all burning calories that require nutrition and sport performance considerations. In addition to calories they have major sweat losses on stage, and until they see the evidence they don’t quite get it. I employ similar principles with my athletes as I do with my musicians. The results are impressive!
In honor of World Cancer Day, we’re focusing on cruciferous veggies—those from the cabbage family. Studies show that these vegetables have a special plant chemical that protects against cancer. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate them into your everyday eating plan.
Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, kale, and Brussels sprouts. These superstar veggies are packed with so many nutrients it’s tough to keep count. They contain fiber, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, B6, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fats. What’s more, they also have plant chemicals known as glucosinolates that have been shown to help reduce the risk of various types of cancer.
A 2011 study in the International Journal of Urology found that the more veggies that were eaten from the cabbage family, the lower the risk was from prostate cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, studies also link the various components in cruciferous veggies to helping reduce the risk of colorectal, esophageal, stomach, mouth and pancreatic cancer.
There’s been a lot of buzz about kale chips lately. They’re so hot you can even buy them pre-made in packages, like potato chips. And like potato chips, they have a satisfying crunch, but unlike traditional potato chips, kale chips are baked in the oven and not fried. Kale chips are low in calories, are full of powerful antioxidants and are a good source of calcium, vitamins A and C and fiber. Don’t be tempted by the bags of kale chips at the grocery store. You can make your own in minutes.
When you eat the rainbow, you get a rainbow of nutrients, so each month, we’re offering up 10 ways to eat foods of a different color. With both St. Patty’s Day and spring just around the corner, what better color to focus on than green? March is also National Nutrition Month and this year the focus is eating a variety of colors, so be sure to check out some yummy orange and red-colored foods, too.
With our latest reader tips and comments, you share ideas for the the bulk bins, how to spice up your morning cereal and a sweet way to get more from your citrus. Plus, check out new ideas for eating your greens.
This month has me seeing green and not just because of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m thinking dark leafy greens. Leafy greens are like the little black dress of produce — they go with just about everything. Eat greens raw in a salad, stirred into a soup or sautéed for a side dish.
If you’re used to cooking cabbage for your St. Patrick’s Day meal, why not change up your repertoire by adding some kale in your cuisine? Loaded with powerful antioxidants, kale is actually a form of cabbage, too. It’s hearty enough to stand up in soups and stews, but I like simple presentations such as Kale Chips and Kale with Raisins and Pine Nuts.