VEN THE BEST junk food can not rival a fresh selection of vegetables as far as I'm concerned. As a vegetarian, they're the largest part of my diet, but even when I ate meat, I remember feeling like the meal was lacking without them. Naturally, my love for vegetables and animals made a plant-based diet an easy decision. My latest endeavor has been learning about and finding different ways to prepare veggies not currently in my repertoire.
I was never too fond of kale because of the sulforaphane in it that makes it smell the noxious way it does, (and all cabbages, the family to which kale belongs) but once I read about its health benefits and tried a couple of good recipes, I had a change of heart. Sulforaphane, I learned, actually triggers the liver to produce enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens. There are lots of studies that confirm this and discuss its implications for cancer prevention too.
I pulled out the food processor I received for Christmas and whipped up a healthy St. Patrick's Day treat for vegans and non-vegans alike:
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tbsp. miso paste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Blanch kale in 1/4 cup of water for approximately five minutes or until leaves are tender. Reserve water for later.
- Toat pine nuts on low heat until slightly brown.
- Combine kale, pine nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and miso paste in food processor.
- Slowly add olive oil and water used for kale, and pulse mixture until you reach desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pita chips, on crostini, in pesto tortellini or pastas... you can work it into just about any meal!