Love for Food + Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's

Ok, I admit it. I'm crazy about kale - I've already mentioned it in three other posts. I know there must be other kale lovers out there... but I'm guessing I'm kind of a minority here - it's not a commonly used or beloved vegetable – at least in the typical American diet. I can only think of one time I've seen it on a restaurant menu. That said, this blog post title "For the Love of Kale!" may not get so many clicks. If you're reading though... kale lover or not, please continue.

Besides the taste, the best thing about kale is how nutritious it is: cancer-fighting, rich in Vitamin A, K, E, and high in fiber. It's one of the best plants you can eat.

I especially love trying new varieties. This one is called dinosaur kale! I combined it with my latest favorite Trader Joe's item, Harvest Grains Blend, (a mix of of Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa) to make this delicious soup.

Kale, Beans and Grains SoupStart to Finish: Approximately 15 min.
Serves: 4

Ingredients1/2 package TJ's Harvest Grains Blend
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion finely chopped
4 celery stalks finely chopped
1 garlic clove very finely minced
1 bunch kale washed and cut into salad bite size pieces
1 carton chicken broth (4 cups)
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste

1. Prepare grains according to package directions with water (not chicken broth). While they cook, heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
2. Saute chopped onion, celery and garlic in olive oil for 4-6 minutes, seasoned with a pinch of salt.
3. Next, saute the chopped kale for about 2 minutes, add another pinch of salt.
4. Add chicken broth to pot and stir in the cooked grains. Bring soup to a light boil then turn down and simmer for about 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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By the way, in my kale research, I found some interesting facts about it on Wikipedia:

"A whole culture around kale has developed in north-western Germany around the towns of Bremen, Oldenburg and Hannover as well as in the State of Schleswig-Holstein. There, most social clubs of any kind will have a Gr├╝nkohlfahrt ("kale tour") sometime between October and February, visiting a country inn to consume large quantities of boiled kale, Kassler, Mettwurst and schnapps. These tours are often combined with a game of Bo├čeln. Most communities in the area have a yearly kale festival which includes naming a "kale king" (or queen)."
My heritage is partially German. Maybe that explains why I crave kale. In fact I'll be visiting Germany this summer. Too bad I'll miss the kale tours and festivals. Ok, maybe that would be taking it a little too far. I'm sure I have a kale consumption threshold.

Food for Conversation, Garlic, Healthy, Kale, soup recipe, and more:

Trader Joe's, «Love for Food»