Just so you know, kale isn’t going away anytime soon. You’ve heard it on TV, you’ve seen it on the Internet, and you may have seen hippie Kale bumper stickers that say “Keep Calm and Eat Kale.” Sick of Kale yet? You shouldn’t be.
When I first tried kale, I was really skeptical. I ate some raw, and I was like gross. Then, I realized that kale was one of those foods, like tofu, that usually don’t taste good if eaten by itself. Once I started playing with recipes, I realized kale could give me a food orgasm with other combinations of ingredients.
My job is to teach you fun and tasty ways to eat beneficial food without being freaked out by the term “health food.” Katie Fiore, from Chef Katie Cooks of South Asheville, NC, introduced me to Kale Tacos. I thought Taco + Kale – You can’t go wrong! Almost everyone loves tacos. The word “taco” can relate to many happy times, and the word “kale” can help embody yourself into a yoga, zen-type of zone. Happy Zen – sounds wonderful!
Do you want more than a food orgasm? The cells in your body benefit so much from kale. They have their own party. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable which contains the phytochemical, glucosinolate, and when broken down, they form indoles which help inhibit cancer cells from developing. Also, cruciferous veggies like kale help block the food carcinogen, heterocyclic amine (charred food).
There are also tons of other phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins in kale which help your skin, cells, brain, bones, and every part in your body run smoother, like bone health, blood pressure regulation, skin and eye health (so many to list)! Oh, we can’t forget that it helps you poop nicely (healthily), fiber fiber fiber. Then you can exclaim, “I pooped today” (one of the true signs of being healthy).
Kale Tacos are not hard to make. There’s no fancy marinating and no out of the ordinary ingredients you need to buy, and kids can probably make them with their bare hands. And guess what, you can still eat meat (preferably lean meats/non-red meat) and be healthy! So, figure out what protein you like and pop it into the recipe.
Kale Tacos with Sour Slaw and Apple Salsa
(Makes About Eight Tacos)
2 cups cooked protein of choice (braised chicken or turkey, sliced seasoned chicken breast)
1 bunch lacinato kale
1/4 head red cabbage
1/4 head green cabbage
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 fresh apples (Gala or Macintosh), peeled and diced small
1 fresh orange
1/2 fresh lime
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup pickled jalapeno
- Make slaw: Place vinegars, 2 tbsp kosher salt, and cumin in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Finely slice cabbages with a knife. Add cabbages to a bowl and pour hot vinegar liquid over the top. Toss the mixture well with tongs, and cover with a plate. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of water with ice cubes. Carefully and quickly drop the kale leaves in the boiling water, and immediately remove with tongs, and dunk into the ice water. Wring the kale leaves out without ripping them. Separate the leaves and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Set aside.
- Place diced apples in a bowl. Add sweet onion, cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and mix well. Squeeze the orange and lime over the salsa, removing any seeds. Toss well.
- Gently heat chicken, turkey, or other protein.
- Build tacos. Lay kale leaves flat on a plate. Top with chicken, turkey, or other protein. Top with sour slaw, apple salsa, and pickled jalapeno.