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10 Tasty and Healthy Kale Recipes You Shouldn’t Miss

10 Tasty and Healthy Kale Recipes You Shouldn’t Miss

Kale. It’s what’s for dinner. More and more people are trying to incorporate this deep green leaf into their everyday eating. And that’s a good thing. Kale is high in iron, Vitamin K, C and A and has antioxidants that can help prevent various cancers.

Getting kale into your diet is a great way to boost your health. However, if you’re used to seeing kale as that tough little green next to your burger at the diner, then you need to look over these recipes and get some fresh ideas.

1. Sweet Pepper Pasta with Kale

pepperkale

    Nothing boosts traditional pasta like peppers and kale. Tossed with a little olive oil, you can turn pasta on its head and make this nutritious, vegetarian dish. If you don’t want it vegetarian, add your favorite sausage or some chicken. This makes a wonderful, healthy, potluck meal too.

    2. Sauteed Kale

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    sauteedkale

      Sauteed kale is pretty traditional, but also pretty delicious. Bobby Flay uses only the baby kale leaves in this recipe and tosses it with a little olive oil and vinegar for a truly spring-like dish. Put this next to your favorite fish dish or try it with a steak. You can even throw in other vegetables you like and saute them with the kale to add texture and flavor.

      3. Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios

      kalesalad

        Pistachios and sesame seeds give this salad a nutty kick and the vinegary miso dressing adds its own appeal.

        4. Chicken and Kale Casserole

        chicken-kale-casserole-med107616_vert

          Comfort food and health food all in one. Martha definitely knows how to bake it right—with ricotta and parmesan cheeses, this chicken and kale casserole is a delightful twist on traditional Italian pasta bakes.

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          5. Panfried Kale

          panfried kale

            As the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond says, “Kale is best when prepared simply.” And this pan fried kale is simple, yummy and easy to make. A little olive oil and garlic in the skillet keeps this kale bright green and super tasty.

            6. Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad

            kalepancetta

              Kale, apples and bacon-y pancetta? What’s not to love? This salad is an excellent replacement for slaw at a barbecue or an upscale side dish at a dinner party. Make sure the kale is nicely shredded and the apples thinly sliced for super presentation and ease of eating!

              7. Shrimp with Kale and Shiitakes

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                Shrimp, kale, shiitake mushrooms all contribute to a smoky flavored, distinctive side dish. This is the perfect way to say goodbye to winter vegetables while watching the trees finally turn green outside.

                8. Smoky Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Kale

                potkale

                  Comforting, creamy, healthy and soulful, this soup has it all. It’s also vegan for those who might need a recipe, and a great soup to bring to a sick friend or one who’s feeling low. How wonderful to eat this soup on a rainy day knowing you’re being nourished at the same time.

                  9. Lemony Kale Caesar Salad

                  kalecaesar

                    Keep it simple with a lemon fresh kale salad that works with any protein, especially seafood, chicken or a fantastic steak.

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                    10. Garlic-y Mushrooms and Kale

                    garlickale

                      For someone, like me, who adores both mushrooms and garlic, putting them in with the kale and making a side dish of all of it is just perfect. Poach an egg and put in on top of the kale or serve with a side of creamy polenta for a truly comforting kale experience.

                       

                      Explore different ideas with kale and other greens as well. As you get used to having greens around, incorporate them into a variety of dishes. Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens (which add a little spice) and others all work well in most of these recipes. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something new—and then let us know what you came up with.

                      Featured photo credit: Jennifer via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      Michelle Kennedy Hogan

                      Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                      1. Exercise Daily

                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                      • Eat more veggies
                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                        6. Start Slow

                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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