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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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              20110329-144516-shrimp-kale-shiitakes

                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 November 20, 2020

                      Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

                      Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

                      Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

                      One 2017 study found that:[1]

                      “after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

                      This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

                      Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

                        As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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                        Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

                        1. Remember Your Why

                        It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

                        Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

                        2. Go to Bed Early

                        If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

                        This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

                        3. Make a Commitment

                        I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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                        Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

                        You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

                        4. Find a Friend

                        If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

                        Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

                        Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

                        5. Treat Yourself

                        We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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                        You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

                        6. Change your Mindset

                        Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

                        When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

                        7. Plan Your Day

                        You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

                        Time blocking

                          8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

                          Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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                          For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

                          9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

                          Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

                          10.  Set Multiple Alarms

                          Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

                          Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

                          Final Thoughts

                          About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

                          Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

                          More Tips on Morning Exercises

                          Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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