All Hail Kale!!!!

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Maybe Pantone had in mind the crazy kale and juicing craze when they called out Emerald 17-5641 as 2013’s color of the year. Kale is such a hot commodity anymore. Trader Joe’s has a beautiful organic and chopped bag of kale that flies off the shelves. If you’re not there on truck day, you better wait until next week to get your hands on some! This last Saturday, I went to the Farmer’s Market thinking I could grab some up, but of course I got there two minutes too late, every vendor was sold out. So what’s the deal with this crunchy leafy cousin of your garden weed?

The Top 10 Benefits of Kale

1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.

2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
 
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
Now that you have that knowledge…what do you do with it?

Easy Ways to Prepare Kale

Quick cooking preserves kale’s nutrients, texture, color, and flavor. Rinse kale, chop it finely, and add it soups, stews, stir-frys, salads, egg dishes, or casseroles. Or top pizzas with kale for added nutritional goodness. Steam kale for five minutes to make it more tender or eat it raw. You can also substitute it for spinach or collard greens in recipes.

Other fast and easy ways to prepare kale:

  • Make a simple salad with a bunch of thinly sliced kale, red pepper, onion, raisins, and your favorite salad dressing.
  • Braise chopped kale and apples, garnish with chopped walnuts, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • Toss whole-grain pasta with chopped kale, pine nuts, feta cheese, and a little olive oil.
  • Cover and cook a pound of chopped kale with a few garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes; season with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
  • Make kale chips by slicing kale into bite-size pieces, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.

I juice kale!

There you have it! Best of luck on incorporating some kale into your life!!

Smile! It’s Monday!!

This Monday, we at Polka Dot Tango, want to know, what makes you smile? A smile can be the most motivating act at some of the hardest times and let’s face it…Monday’s can be tough. So enjoy this little list that’s been put together and hopefully if brings a smile to your face!


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
– Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl books have always made me smile. He was the author who ultimately ruled my book shelves with an iron fist. Growing up I gave away all of my books, but his. I should probably give him credit for helping to create this vivid imagination I carry with me. Just the thought of “The Witches” or “The Twits” make me want to get up in that attic and read every book of his all over again.

“Boooooooooop, Boooooooooop. Do you know what that sound is? That’s the sound of the ambulance coming to take me away cause the sight of you stopped my heart.”

A Night at the Roxbury is my number one movie. Yes, it has probably the most horrible reviews and yes a lot of people change their opinion of me when they hear it’s my favorite. I can’t help that I fall in love with these two characters who have a very passionate dream and in the end, they actually achieve it. This movie has some great morals: don’t be with someone who doesn’t make you happy, keep going after your goals, have fun, and stay true to your dance moves!

Be grateful, Juan Pablo. Today is especially delicious.

I. LOVE. NACHOS. Nachos can pretty much be made out of anything so they can suit any type of mood you are in. My husband doesn’t realize that I could eat nachos everyday for dinner, but I can. One of my goals is to actually come out with a recipe book on how to make many different types of nachos so that everyone can enjoy them!

Vintage Prints are what I look for in yard sales. Everything from the smell, to the type of paper being used, or the method of printing.  I recently found a pair of two ads for a printing company dated back in the early 1900’s which are of course a wonderful addition to my office! If you ever find some pieces, let me know! 😉

Tell us what makes you smile and we can post it on next Monday’s blog!