National Kale Day
If you didn’t know that today is National Kale Day, you know now! I have to admit that I wasn’t aware of it either, until I received this gorgeous “Bou-Kale” from San Miguel Produce of Oxnard, California. They’ve been planning for this special day for a long time! In fact, if you happen to be in the Ventura area on Oct. 5, 2016 you could receive some free kale! At various sites in Ventura county and in Malibu in Los Angeles county, people will be handing out bunches of kale to celebrate the day.
San Miguel Produce has been growing and processing kale for 20 years, and selling under their “Cut ‘n Clean Greens” brand.
“When we first started growing kale, no one wanted to eat it. It was used as decoration on the salad bar or for your pets. It’s exciting to see how kale has grown in popularity and now have a day dedicated to celebrating its health benefits and versatility,” Jan Berk, chief operating officer of San Miguel Produce, said in a news release. “San Miguel Produce hopes their campaign will help get kale into more homes and onto the plates of Americans both young and old.”
I remember seeing fields of greens on road trips when I was a child in Vermont and asking my dad what was growing. He would say, “That’s kale! They feed it to cows!” If he were alive today he would appreciate how many people enjoy eating kale. He used to pick dandelion greens every spring and ask my mother to cook them for dinner. “Eat your greens!” We didn’t get fresh greens all year long then, as most of our vegetables came from our garden or the neighbor’s farm stand.
Kale Is Related to Cabbage
Kale has been cultivated for over 2000 years, and since it is resistent to frost it has been a preferred green leafy vegetable through the ages. In fact, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are all the same species of plant.
I was thrilled to receive several bags of ready-to-eat Kale from Cut ‘n Clean Greens too! Each bag is a different variety and has suggestions for serving on the bag. The kale is triple washed and already cup up to be used in salads or recipes. In fact, these special bags of kale can even be frozen and used without thawing.
Kale in the Lasagna
I happened to be making lasagna on the day the kale arrived, so I just put some into the meat sauce for the lasagna. Just mix it right into the sauce and let it cook for a few minutes.
Chicken with Kale and White Beans
Tonight I’m cooking chicken thighs with kale and white beans. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and cooked them with onions, garlic, fresh thyme and a little chicken stock and white wine. When the chicken was tender, I chopped it up and added fresh ready-to-eat Lacinato Kate from Cut ‘N Clean Greens and a can of white beans. Seasoned it with salt and pepper, optional red pepper flakes. I added some fresh lemon zest and grated parmesan cheese just before serving.
Disclosure: I received a gift box of ready-to-eat kale and a “Bou-Kale” from San Miguel Produce. I was not required to write a blog post and I was not compensated. All opinions and experiences are mine.
Do you eat kale in salads or cook with it? I’d love to know how you use kale in your family meals!