A Chef Explains How to Make Kale and Other Healthy Foods Not Taste Awful | Women’s Health Magazine

Chef Jeremy Bringardner used to force down healthy eats regardless of how they tasted. But then he changed his entire food philosophy. “I don’t believe in sacrificing taste for nutrition—ever,” he says. “I believe it’s equally important to enjoy your food as it is to have the food be nourishing.” That outlook definitely comes through at the good-for-you restaurant chain Lyfe Kitchen, where nothing on the menu is more than 600 calories but everything tastes delicious.

What’s Bringardner’s secret? Thanks to his culinary training, he knows exactly how to balance out or mellow unpleasant flavors—and play up the good ones lurking in the ingredient. Here are some of his top tips for turning healthy foods you’ve always just tried to choke down into something you actually crave:

via A Chef Explains How to Make Kale and Other Healthy Foods Not Taste Awful | Women’s Health Magazine.

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Bartenders are now turning out cocktails based on, yes, vegetables – NY Daily News

Bartenders are now turning out cocktails based on, yes, vegetables

At places like Colonie and Gran Electrica in Brooklyn and The Wayland in Manhattan you can get drinks made with cucumber, carrots, kale and peas

NOAH FECKS

It’s easy to eat your veggies when they come with a buzz.

Seasonally-minded mixologists are increasingly using produce like kale, peas, carrots and cucumbers, adding them to vodka, tequila and rum.

Not only do these vegetables offer interesting flavor combinations, but some bartenders believe these juiced-up cocktails might actually be… healthy?

Seasonal restaurant Colonie in Brooklyn Heights serves up a $12 Cool Hand Cuke cocktail, made of fresh-squeezed cucumber juice, organic cucumber vodka, and mint syrup.

Colonie owner and mixologist Tamer Hamawi says he was “particularly interested in working with vegetables” for their cocktail menu, since unlike fruit, they were rarely used in mixed drinks.

“It’s also about making drinks somewhat nutritious, as well,” Hamawi says. “You can’t deny that you’re getting some nutrients in there, even though it’s combined with alcohol. You’re still going to get those nutrients into your body.”

Other bars like to play doctor with their concoctions. Chinatown cocktail bar Apotheke calls their drinks “prescriptions” and mixes liquor with organic produce from local greenmarkets — or grown on their rooftop garden. One standout “prescription” is the Edamame and Shiso, made with vodka, edamame puree, muddled cucumber, shiso (an Asian herb) leaf, shaved ginger, and a “wasabi-pink Himalayan salt rim.”

If you’re hoping to sharpen your vision, Gran Electrica, a Mexican restaurant in DUMBO that has the same owners as Colonie, makes a seasonal orange-colored cocktail called the Margarita 20/20. It mixes carrot juice with blanco tequila, among other things.

And why bother choking down a wheatgrass shot when you could throw back a wheatgrass vodka cocktail at Candle 79 on the upper East Side?

The Wayland in the East Village makes the Garden Variety — a mean, bright-green margarita with kale juice. The drink started out as a health remedy for owner Jason Mendenhall, who also creates the cocktails. “Whenever I’d feel a little ill, I would drink kale juice, ginger juice, a little bit of cold-pressed green tea, agave nectar and lemon,” he says.

One day when friends were over, inspiration struck, tequila was added, and the kale-juice margarita was born. It’s one of the most popular drinks on their menu, which rotates out cocktails every 14 days — except for the Garden Variety.

Mendenhall credits its popularity to the flavor combination. And don’t worry if you don’t like kale. “Ginger is the most pronounced flavor in the drink,” he says.

While Mendenhall wouldn’t go so far to call his concoction healthy, “It almost tricks you into thinking you’re doing something healthy,” he says. “It has very healthy ingredients.” For what it’s worth, Mendenhall says he’s drank six of them in an evening without getting a hangover.

But don’t bank on getting your vitamins at the bar, warns Maria Bella, a registered dietitian with Top Balance Nutrition.

“Theoretically, you could” get the health benefits of the vegetables’ nutrients from these cocktails, she says. However, “It really depends on the rest of the ingredients you’re getting in that drink.”

The calories from the liquor plus the simple syrups many mixed drinks include overrides the benefits of the veggie juice, according to Bella.

“I would steer my clients towards a glass of wine,” she says.

Or they could try the Spring Pea Mojito from upper East Side restaurant Rouge Tomate.

“We always try to find cocktails that are lower in added sugar and that are seasonal,” says Pascaline Lepeltier, the sommelier there. “We really try to use only the natural sweetness from the ingredients.”

Instead of using the simple syrup agave as a sweetener, Lepelteir uses a biodynamic elderflower syrup made in Austria, which has no additives. The Spring Pea Mojito sprang onto the menu in June and will be taken off around the last weekend in August, as the sweet vegetable goes out of season.

So hurry and drink up — to your health.

-additional reporting by Jonathan Forani

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via Bartenders are now turning out cocktails based on, yes, vegetables – NY Daily News.

4 Kale Chips Recipes | Women’s Health Food Blog: Get easy recipes, healthy food swaps, and cooking products

Not all chips have to be bad for you. Case in point: Kale chips, the healthy (and uber delicious) munchy alternative No matter how you flavor them, they’ll satisfy your snack tooth without filling you out.

How to make them: Preheat oven to 300°F. On a lined baking sheet, space out 1 cup packed, dry kale leaves (stems discarded). Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with seasonings, and massage into leaves. On the top or middle rack, bake for 20 minutes, until crisp, rotating the pan and switching racks (top to middle or vice versa) halfway through baking time. Makes 1 or 2 servings.

  • 1. Lemon
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp (packed) lemon zest
  • scant 1/8 tsp sea salt

Per batch: 80 cal, 5 g fat (0.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 230 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

  • 2. Smoky
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • scant 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • pinch chipotle pepper

Per batch: 80 cal, 5 g fat (0.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 240 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein

  • 3. Sesame
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • scant 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • Per batch: 90 cal, 6 g fat (1 g sat), 7 g carbs, 230 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein
  • 4. Cheesy Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Per batch: 190 cal, 14 g fat (6 g sat), 8 g carbs, 220 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein

via 4 Kale Chips Recipes | Women’s Health Food Blog: Get easy recipes, healthy food swaps, and cooking products.

Your Fall Season Lineup – Kale

Saw this article and am going to be posting a few tips from it. I’m only a recent convert to kale. Trader Joe’s chopped kale was the first I had – quickly steamed with some salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil.

If you’d like to try kale for it’s health benefits  – and hate it’s strong taste – right now I’m loving the massive bag of organic mixed baby kale by earthbound farms that I found the last few trips to costco.

There are also a lot of great recipes listed here.

Superfoods: Your Fall Season Lineup

The fall season is upon us, which means it’s time to bring out the winter gourds like pumpkin and acorn squash, tuberous roots such as rutabaga and beets, and the classic dark green leafies like kale and collards. But as colder weather approaches, many of us find that our food preferences begin switching over to the so-called comfort foods. We begin swapping out salads and other cold dishes for warm baked (usually gooey) foods. And if the thought of eating veggies or anything “healthy” makes you cringe, read on.  You may just find a few tasty ways to get those vital nutrients by incorporating these superfoods into your diet this fall season and perhaps beyond.

Dark green leafy vegetables are always a great addition to any meal. In addition to fiber and vitamins C and A, kale is a great source of iron and the antioxidant lutein, which helps gobble up the free radicals associated with cancer, heart disease and other health issues.

Ways to Enjoy

Kale can be chopped and added to soups, stir fried into Asian dishes, simply sautéed, or my favorite, baked into crispy chips.

Kale Chips

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale

1 Tbsp olive oil

Sea salt (to taste)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Strip off kale leaves from stem and tear into bite sized pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Enjoy!

via Superfoods: Your Fall Season Lineup.

Winter Lentil Soup | Real Simple Recipes

I really want to try this recipe soon. It’s a new way for me to mix in a few things I love to try to eat. What do you think?

Serves 6| Hands-On Time: 20m| Total Time: 1hr 00m

Ingredients

1  tablespoon  olive oil

4  leeks (white and light green parts), cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons

1  28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained

2  sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1  bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1/2  cup  brown lentils

1  tablespoon  fresh thyme

Kosher salt and black pepper

1/4  cup  grated Parmesan (1 ounce; optional)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.

Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan, if using.

via Winter Lentil Soup | Real Simple Recipes.

Kale Recipes: 5 Ways to Make Kale Less Boring | Women’s Health Food Blog: Get easy recipes, healthy food swaps, and cooking products

I thought today’s article from Women’s health was funny as last night I tried to give my husband a baby kale salad and he picked at the cucumbers from it and tossed the kale. I don’t mind the taste, but here are some recipes for those who do!

Kale is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. The leafy green is very low in calories (36 calories per cup) and is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K. It’s also a good source of fiber and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron.

Problem is, kale isn’t the sexiest veggie in town. If you’re like me, you routinely toss a bunch of it into your grocery basket, but don’t quite know what to do with it once you’re home. Because of its bitter taste and a texture that requires a learned appreciation, kale’s not first on my list of go-to salad ingredients. Luckily, there are countless (meat-free!) ways to doctor up this good-for-you green. Try these five kale recipes and learn how to incorporate it into your next breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.

Healthy High C Smoothie Kale for breakfast? You bet. With a powerful blender and sweet ingredients like kiwis and orange juice, you won’t notice kale’s taste or texture, but you’ll still reap all the nutritional benefits.

Cheese and Kale Quesadillas Put a healthy spin on a typically bad-for-you dish opting for whole-wheat tortillas, a small amount of feta cheese, and kale.

Kale and Lentil Salad With so much flavor from ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds, this salad doesn’t even need dressing. Try it with some chopped seasonal fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries, or blueberries.

Creamy Potato, Kale, and Leek Soup Use late summer and early fall to perfect the hearty soup recipes you’ll enjoy all winter long.

Roasted Kale Chips Health food disguised as junk food? We’ll take it. Try this brilliant snack idea from chef Tyler Florence.

via Kale Recipes: 5 Ways to Make Kale Less Boring | Women’s Health Food Blog: Get easy recipes, healthy food swaps, and cooking products.