All too often in my clinic I recommend that people eat more kale.  Their response is usually that they have no idea how to work with it to make it palatable for the rest of the family.  Well we found some great recipes that will hopefully bring everyone on board to eating this amazing super food.

Kale, from mindbodygreen.com, is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:

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.

 

The next 3 recipes are from Melissa Costello of karmachow.com and The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook

Kale with  Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

2 cups chopped fresh kale stems removed

2 cups shredded white or red cabbage

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 Tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

 

Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

3 Tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

2 Tablespoons water

2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1 TablespoonDijonmustard

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of Black Pepper

Place the chopped kale, cabbage and cranberries in a large bowl.  Put the dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until combined into a smooth and creamy consistency.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Right before serving, sprinkle the salad with the remaining toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

Kale with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

1-2 heads of kale

2-3 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil,

Dash of Sea Salt

½ cup quartered or halved cherry tomatoes

¼ cup slivered almonds

3 Tablespoons hemp seeds

Strip the kale of stems, tear into small pieces and soak in a bowl of water to get rid of any sand or dirt.  Drain the kale and dry.  Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and dash of salt.  Massage the kale with your hands for a few minutes until it softens, which helps the kale become easier to digest.  Add the tomatoes, almonds, and hemp seeds and toss with the chipotle dressing.

 

Creamy Chipotle Dressing

¼ cup tahini

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons agave nectar

2 Tablespoons water

Juice of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy.  This dressing will be thick.  If you like a thinner dressing, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water and reblend.

 

Sweet and Savory Kale Chips

1 large dinosaur kale

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons creamy almond butter

1 Tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup

1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast

½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the over to 300 degrees F. Strip the stems from the dino kale and wash well. Place in a large bowl.  Blend or whisk the remaining ingredients together until smooth, then pour over the kale.  Toss with your hands to coat each leaf.  Place the kale in a single layer onto a nonstick cookie sheet, or line a regular cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are crispy.  Be careful not to burn.  Also, keep in mind that the kale will only get crispy around the edges not all the way through.  Enjoy these within one day as they will lose their crispiness if stored longer than that.

 

This next recipe is from Veganomicon, the Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.

Udon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Kale in Miso Broth

½ poung fresh udon noodles or dried udon noodles

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium size red onion, sliced into thin half moons

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons ginger, minced

2 Tablespoons mirin

2 cups water

3 Tablespoons miso

4 cups chopped kale

2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Cook the udon according to the package directions.  When done drain and rinse with cool water until ready to use.

Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onion and mushrooms in the oil for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are softened but still have some crunch.  Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté or another minute.  Add the mirin, water and miso and bring to a gentle boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and add the kale.  Toss the mixture around with tongs until the kale has wilted. Add the noodles and use a pasta spoon to stir them into the broth for about 2 minutes.  Divide the udon and vegetables among bowls and spoon some broth over each serving.

Hopefully there is something here that everyone will enjoy.  Bon Appetit!

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We found this recipe on the no meat athlete website.  This is a wonderful resource for finding nutrient dense foods that fuel an active lifestyle.  Enjoy this late summer/Fall recipe as it warms your digestive system and gives you the energy to tackle most anything.

 

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups imported arborio rice
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive or canola oil
  • vanilla extract
  • fresh nutmeg (seriously, don’t use ground)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Heat 1 Tbsp each of butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion.  Let it soften, then add the butternut squash and stir for a few minutes to coat in oil and butter.  Add a few drops of vanilla extract (don’t go crazy with it) and grate some nutmeg in.  I like a lot of nutmeg, maybe a half teaspoon.  Add half the wine and 1/2 cup of vegetable stock, cover, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.  As soon as the squash is tender, take it off the heat.  Do not let the squash get too soft!

Meanwhile, heat the remaining vegetable stock in its own small pot over medium low heat, then keep at a simmer.  Once the squash is tender, heat the rest of the oil (2 Tbsp) and 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.  Add the rice and stir it constantly until it begins to quietly squeek or whistle, about 5 minutes for me.  At this point, add the rest of the white wine to the rice and stir until the pan is almost dry, then add a cup of vegetable stock.  Stir until it’s absorbed (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds when you run your spoon through it), then add the squash mixture.

Stir for another minute, add 3/4 cup of stock, and stir for 30 seconds.  Then stop stirring, except to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Once the stock is absorbed, add 3/4 cup stock again.  Keep repeating this process until the rice is just al dente, but not at all grainy in the center.  You should use up just about all of the stock.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the parmesan cheese and the remaining 2 Tbsp butter.  Give it a good stir, then serve immediately.  You’re looking for a consistency between mashed potatoes and soup.  Stir more to thicken or add more liquid to loosen, as needed.

Serve with fresh ground black pepper, fresh grated nutmeg, and additional cheese if desired.

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Chinese medicine and acupuncture have for thousands of years observed the world around us and found that we are inseparable from the very same environment in which we are observing.  This will be an attempt to explore the time of year that is upon us, Autumn, and see how the Chinese medicine understanding of the Metal element is related.

It is almost impossible to discuss the metal element alone without referring to the Chinese medicine theory of “wu xing”, the 5 transformations.  These elements are constantly communicating and relating to each other in a way that makes it difficult to isolate any one of them.  Perhaps a discussion on the 5 elements or transformations will be had in the future.

Metal as a Quality

The Chinese recognized that there were some subtle and not so subtle energies and movements in nature.  The Metal element has the quality of contraction.  In its natural state Metal is hard and was used as the most exterior part of one’s clothing in the form of armor.  However, if heated up, it could be shaped and molded to make shields, swords etc.  This element is also related to minerals that are born out of the earth and infuses life to water as it flows over the ground.

Metal in the body

The lungs and large intestine organs are associated with the metal element according to Chinese medicine and acupuncture.  These two organs in many ways have the same resonance and qualities as described above.  The lungs are similar to a bellows, in that they expand when air is brought in and contract when releasing carbon dioxide.  This is similar to the expansion and contraction that is seen in the element metal.  Likewise, the large intestine contracts (peristalsis) in order to empty, hopefully on a daily basis.  These two organs are considered our armor in many ways and like metal armor, are the most exterior of our organs, being directly connected to the outside environment.

Lesson of the Metal Element

One of the most important lessons that the metal element can teach us is in letting go.  We learn this lesson from the lungs and large intestine.  We can take a breath in and it nourishes us with needed oxygen, but we can not hold the breath for very long.  Eventually we must let go of that air, to make room for more as our body utilizes what it has just taken in.  Similarly the large intestine needs to let go of what it is holding so we can eliminate what we don’t need.

Emotionally we are challenged with the same lessons.  If we are unable to let go and move on from stressful experiences then we will often experience sadness and depression.  These emotions will often lead to a dysfunction in the lungs manifesting as chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and frequent colds & flus.  The large intestine can be equally affected as well.  Constipation and/or diarrhea can result from unexpressed sadness and grief.

In nature metal teaches us the same lesson.  When metal is heated or stressed it becomes more fluid and lets go of its shape.  It becomes more malleable when heated, but becomes stronger after the tempering. This can be a hard lesson for us to follow.

Autumn: A time to let go

The fall is the time of year that  vibrates like metal in nature.  It is the time when a plant’s energies begin to contract, with the chlorophyll returning to its core.  The trees let go of their leaves and the earth lets go of its bounty for the harvest.  As the days and nights become cooler our own body’s energy begins to contract as well.  Our immune system is stimulated and challenged by the change during this season and we see the lungs assailed by allergens, bacteria, viruses, and the cool dry air.

So as the days and nights get cooler increasing lightly spicy foods in your diet can help to counteract any over contraction that occurs.  Spicy foods help with expansion and can resolve those nasty colds and flus that afflict us during fall.  And so as we let go of the long days of summer and welcome the contraction of fall and winter I hope everyone enjoys the beauty of this wonderful season.

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I recently had a conversation with my father that touched on many different subjects ranging from life to death to sports.  He asked me what I thought happens to us when we die.  This subject is one that is near to my heart as my family has seen a lot of death in recent history. […]

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Welcome ABT class of 2013!

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Elements of Healing is proud to announce the beginning of it’s 10th class in Asian Bodywork Therapy.  We have a wonderful group of students beginning their journey of exploration into the amazing world of Chinese medicine.  Good luck class of 2013!

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Recipe of Raw Food Chef Pro

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  Recipe Name : Basic Burger Mix Type of dish: Entrees Ingredients for 4 Persons: 1 cup ground flax seed 1 cup ground nut meal 4 Tbsp miso paste ¼ red onion, diced 2 Tbsp water unheated sea salt to taste Preparation: 1. Mix thoroughly and shape into patties. 2. Dehydrate until desired texture is […]

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