Thursday, July 24, 2014

Keeping a Romance Writer Healthy

Because as a writer I spend so much time in front of the computer it is important to eat right as well as exercise. I'm working on increasing the exercise with help from my dogs who love long walks. And though I eat lots of leafy greens, I had never tried kale until someone made kale chips for me. I realized I’d been planting purple curly kale in the garden for its beauty but had never thought of eating it.: ) Intrigued, I read articles about the vegetable and discovered it was one of the healthiest vegetables available.

According to Wikipedia and other sites kale, species Brassica oleracea, contains a wide variety of vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, and C, and is rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale, as with broccoli, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties.

Kale or borecole (Brassica oleracea Acepha;a Group) is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms.

The name borecole most likely originates from the Dutch boerenkool (farmer's cabbage), whereas kale bears semblance to the Danish and Swedish kål and to the German Kohl (a general term for various kinds of cabbage) and Scottish Gaelic càl. Some varieties can reach a height of six or seven feet; others are compact and symmetrical and of good quality for eating. Many, however, are coarse, possess an undesirable coloring, and are unappealing and indigestible. Most kale plants are either annuals or biennials and are raised from seeds, which, in size, form, and color, resemble those of the cabbage. In Congo and in East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya), the plant is referred to by the generic name of sukuma wiki, which literally translates as "stretch the week."The term also includes collard greens.
Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. Curly leafed varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat leafed varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC. These forms, which were referred to by the Romans as Sabellian kale, are considered to be the ancestors of modern kales. Today one may differentiate between varieties according to the low, intermediate, or high length of the stem, with varying leaf types. The leaf colors range from light green through green, dark green and violet-green to violet-brown. Russian kale was introduced into  Canada and then into the U.S. by Russian traders in the 19th century.
During World War II, the cultivation of kale in the U.K. was encouraged. The vegetable was easy to grow and provided important nutrients to supplement those missing from a normal diet because of rationing.
If you would like to know more go to Wikipedia.   

Here is a recipe we use at home:
Kale Crunches
I love French fries. I admit it. I know they’re not good for me. I get it. But…my family came up with a solution, kale crunches. Now I can eat without guilt and kale is easy to prepare. I get a bowl of the kale crunches ready quickly and get back to the computer and my writing, or to a movie with my family.

One or more bunches of organic purple curly kale or green kale (I like the look of the purple kale but like the taste of the green kale). : )
Salt and pepper
Paprika optional

Preheat oven to 400F degrees then wash the Kale and separate the leaves. Dry with a cheese cloth or paper towels and place them on a cookie sheet. Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with a touch of Paprika.

Place in the oven for about ten minutes or until they are crisp but not brown. They can cook quickly so keep a close eye on them. If you make more than one bunch you may need more time.

If you are concerned about the kale sticking to your cookie sheet use a low fat cooking spray like Pam.

By the way, you could substitute Brussels sprouts instead of Kale for a different taste and instead of paprika sprinkle on a bit of Parmesan cheese when the sprouts are out of the oven but still warm. That’s good too.
As luck would have it kale is easy to grow even in a city where the buildings are tall, and the yards don’t have as much sun as gardeners would like.

If you're interested, I discovered there are many kale cookbooks. Here are a couple I found on Amazon.

On the way to the supermarket, you’ve got a grocery list that you (generally) stick to. If you’re making salads or dinner, there is definitely going to be some green vegetables on the plate. When buying these leafy green vegetables, your mind probably first jumps to such foods as cabbage, lettuce, or even spinach. Not many people tend to think of kale.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable just like cabbage and lettuce, but kale is also distinct in looks, taste, nutritional value, and more.

Kale--one of the most nutrient-dense greens in existence--has been growing for thousands of years without any fuss. Yet, despite the fact that kale is lauded as a miracle food, and most people know that they should be eating it, many don't know how to make it taste good.


Thanks for stopping by. To comment please click on comment. Do you have a favorite kale recipe or what do you do to keep fit? Comments seem to works best if you use a Google ID. Thanks, Please share and join my circle. 

 Does love always deserve a second chance?


  1. Wow. Thanks for letting me know about Kale. I have heard people talk about it, but never tried it before. Now I am going to start eating it. May start with the crunchies.

  2. Hi Jen,
    Hope you enjoy the crunches, thanks for stopping by.

  3. Great article, Reggi. My son in law introduced me to kale salad and we all eat it now, although my husband does mention that he'll probably live longer but may not want to. :)
    Sylvie Grayson

    1. Lol. My husband had a similar response. I slip a bit of kale in his salad now and he is getting used to it. I don't think he will ever really like it.: )

  4. To each their own. I must admit that so far I'm not a Kale convert. But I'm eating lots of other greens and healthy food.

    1. Kale seems to be the thing these days, but lots of other greens are healthy too. : )

  5. We have two kale beds on our property. The husband is the King of Kale. Currently, he's making kale smoothies with a banana, almond milk and blueberries. It's very refreshing. We use the recipe book -The Book of Kale. Thanks for reminding me of the great health benefits.

  6. Good for your Kale King, and nice to have room for two kale beds.
    Smoothies, yum, I'll have to try them. : )