Two Superfoods: Arugula and Kale

A quick post here to wax poetic about two wonderful, seasonal winter gems: arugula and kale! The main reason I adore these two beauties is because they are delicious and have a detoxifying effect on the body–a key weapon during the cold/flu season.

As for arugula, I always assumed it was a baby lettuce, but it’s actually a member of the cruciferous family (which includes broccoli and cauliflower).  Arugula is high in vitamins A and K, folic acid and antioxidants called glucosinolates.  It’s also a good source of zinc, potassium, calcium and iron.

If you need to whip up a salad for dinner or to take to a party, there is no EASIER crowd-pleaser than this fast and simple recipe:
1 bag Trader Joe’s Organic Wild Arugula
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh cracked sea salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 T. Olive oil
2 T. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Trader Joe’s shaved Parmesan

Just throw everything above into a big salad bowl and toss with your (freshly-washed!) hands. Serve immediately. By the way, it’s not a requirement to buy from Trader Joe’s.

Kale, too, has many benefits: anti-cancer, lowers cholesterol, and also detoxifies the body! One of my favorite ways to eat it is in an Ethiopian wrap called “Gomen Wat”. That’s when you have the pleasingly spongy/sour buckwheat Injera crepe filled with lemony sauteéd kale.  Here’s a recipe for it from  “The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors” by Jeff Smith:

2 lbs kale, the stems trimmed off and the leaves chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp peeled and crushed garlic
1/4 cup spiced butter (recipe to follow)
3 Tbsp peeled and coarsely chopped onion
salt to taste

Put the greens in a 4 quart saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water. Then add the cayenne, black pepper, garlic, spiced butter and onions. Cook covered until the greens collapse and then allow the greens to cook a bit more. Add the salt to taste.

Spiced butter
4 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp cardamon seeds (can substitute ground cardamon)
1 stick of cinnamon 1 inch long
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3 whole cloves
2 pounds salted butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp peeled and finely chopped garlic

Measure out the spices on a plate.
Melt the butter over moderate heat in a heavy saucepan. Bring the butter up to a light boil. When the surface is covered with a white foam, stir in all the remaining ingredients, including the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered for an additional 45 minutes. Don’t stir.
Milk solids will form in the pan bottom and they should cook until they are a golden brown color. The butter will be clear.
Strain the mixture through several layers of cheese cloth. Discard the milk solids.
Store the spiced butter in a quart jar, covered and in the refreigerator. It will keep for about 3 months when refrigerated.”

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in Food & Recipes, nutrition, Wellness