Building a Healthy Mind:
“Eat more Kale!,” my mom intones to my five-year-old niece, while sitting at the table to encourage her. “Eat.More.Kale,” my niece replies loudly, grinning. They gleefully repeat together, “EAT MORE KALE!!”
It’s a family joke, this simple phrase.
Oh, but hang on, “Aren’t all green vegetables ‘blecchhh’ and ‘Yuck!’?!!” After all, Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) never cared for green veggies. He could turn a green mound into all sorts of imaginative things, just while staring at his untouched plate….
Nah, we’ve all been sold a bill of goods!
If you have a favorite superhero or superstar, consider adding Kale as a STAR in the SUPER FOOD category!
Not only is Kale really delicious (especially around this time of year in colder climates because it gets sweeter after frost), Kale is also full of trace minerals like Calcium and Magnesium, and Vitamins A, C and K.
Kale helps our body detoxify and say, “Ahhh, I feel better now!”
A bit more about me – ta da!
I’m a visual and musical artist, currently writing from the idyllic coast of Maine.
Although I grew up growing and eating high-quality organic foods, I still struggled with unwanted weight-gain, food allergies and sensitivities, as well as having many sports and accident-related injuries to overcome.
I used to be a slow healer, so if it took most people three weeks to recover from an ankle sprain, it would take me SIX weeks. And I’ve sprained just about every bodily joint you can name.
Now I’ve learned my thyroid probably wasn’t well. There were a lot of reasons for this, but it’s definitely much better now!
As I’ve worked to slowly become healthier physically and emotionally, I’ve also learned to avoid almost all refined and dead foods. My body is much happier.
Yup, so now you know more about me.
Now, more about you. These recipes were designed for people who don’t know how to cook. They are pretty basic, but delicious. I hope you will enjoy this one!
Here’s how you can make a simple and tasty, one-pot meal in just 30 minutes – start to finish!
Zipping down the aisles with a cart!
(aka What to Buy)
You’ll need these 8 ingredients:
1 pound any white fish filet of your choice. Pollock is pictured here
Figure an average-size person will eat 1/3 to 1/2 pound of fish. This recipe makes enough for two people, or one if you seriously deadlift. Just add more a bit more fish if you are feeding a crowd, less fish if you need a single portion. I’d leave the vegetable amounts just as they are – you can always eat more kale!
White fish means pollock, haddock, cod, hake, trout, sea bass, red snapper, flounder or whiting. If you don’t think you like the taste of fish, try hake – it’s a member of the cod family and is very mild in flavor.
“Filet” means no little fish bones. Well, almost no fish bones! Bones make good fish broths…a topic for another time.
Fresh fish only stays fresh a VERY short time. A bitter, fishy taste and smell is associated with UN-fresh fish. This can turn you or your family off fish for life, period. This is no fish story! So cook and eat your fresh fish shortly after purchasing it.
REMINDER: Go for wild caught fish whenever you can. It may be more expensive but farm-raised fish are fed a controlled diet and may contain toxins and substances you want to avoid.
Also, if you live inland, not near coastal areas, you may want to buy frozen wild caught fish. Defrost it ahead of time by soaking the unopened plastic package in cool water for a half hour or so.
Back to our gourmet ingredients
1 Large bunch, bag or box of Organic Kale – organic because kale is heavily sprayed with pesticides
1 Small bunch of Organic Parsley – organic tastes MUCH better!
1 Onion (I used two onions because two were eating and we both love onions)
3-4 Tablespoons (TBSP) Organic Sour Cream
This dairy ingredient is NOT Paleo. If you are strictly paleo or lactose intolerant, omit it and instead add 1/2 cup of water.
I emphasize organic because cream (a fat) is where toxins are usually stored. With dairy, it’s best to eat the highest quality available. Organic means the cow was not shot up with hormones or fed GM grain. If you doubt a difference, just buy regular sour cream and organic sour cream and do a quick taste-test – the better flavor for organic is startling!
Olive Oil – for sautéing, making a sauce and flavor
Bell’s Seasoning – Bell’s Seasoning has been made in Massachusetts for over a century and I just realized this summer how super and versatile a mix of herbs it is! I love it in curried eggs…you can read more about this blend here: http://www.bellsseasonings.com/about.html
Bell’s contains these herbs: Rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme and pepper.
If you can’t find this particular product where you are located, just use a combination of fresh or dried Rosemary, dried “rubbed” Sage, and some dried Oregano or even Basil, if you have it lying around your herb cabinet – See my herb photo, below.
DRUM ROLL TWO…
1 large cooking pot with a cover
1 large cutting board
1 sharp knife – “now THIS is a knife!” Crocodile Dundee sort of a thing
washed hands – keep those counters shiny!
1 stove burner that works
1 spatula or large spoon for stirring the pot
Cooking is not rocket-science! While baking may require some precise measuring, cooking with meat and vegetables is relatively easy. Once you learn to hack a few basic techniques, discover how long it takes for different vegetables to become tender, discover what herbs make it flavorful and what will mix with what, you will become a good cook – building your abilities with each recipe.
DRUM ROLL THREE…
Rinse your green vegetables in cool water and shake off excess water.
Carefully wash each side of the fish filets with cold water. Cut each filet into 4-inch pieces, if they are long.
Cut the Onion – Lop off the top and bottom of your onion, then peel off the skin. Cut the onion in half, then slice each half – see photo, above. You can leave these pieces large because they will shrink during the sauté.
Add enough Olive Oil to cover the bottom of your large pot, 2-3 Tablespoons of oil. And add the cut onions to the pot.
Sauté onions at a medium heat, without a cover, letting the steam evaporate. Onions shrink while cooking.
Stir the pot occasionally so the onions don’t burn.
While the onions are cooking, prep your Kale and Parsley:
Kale can be harvested in several sizes – early young leaves are very tender. The older growth can have a woody stalk. I quickly pulled the greens off the stems like this:
Cut or tear the Kale into smaller pieces about 2-3 inches wide. Kale will shrink a LOT when cooked, so it’s great if you have a LARGE pile of Kale on your cutting board:
Chop 1/2 your bunch of Parsley – you should add 1/3 cup of chopped parsley to the pot and save a similar amount to use as a raw garnish, finely chopped, on top of your completed meal.
When your onions begin to shrink and brown slightly, add the Kale pieces and chopped Parsley.
Then mix in your herbs – I use 2-3 teaspoons (tsps) of Bell’s Seasoning…
OR a couple sprigs of fresh Rosemary (Pull the tiny leaves off the stem and drop’em in the pot. Discard the Rosemary stem!), and 2 tsps of rubbed Sage, and 1 tsp dried Oregano or Basil (You may also add a pinch or two of thyme, ginger, and/or marjoram – these herbs are slightly stronger).
Add 3-4 TBSP of Sour Cream OR 1/2 cup water. Mix the pot ingredients thoroughly.
The Kale should immediately shrink down if the heat is high enough.
Place washed raw fish filets, cut in pieces, directly on top of the flattened vegetable mixture, and then cover the pot:
Turn down the heat slightly so the pot will simmer but not boil.
Let it cook for 10 minutes.
Test the fish to see if it is flaky and hot all the way through.
And that’s it!
“TAPS” (Trumpet not Drum)…
Serve with the parsley garnish and some lemon wedges.
Use some Celtic Sea Salt on your meal, if desired, at the table.
Wipe the mud out of your eyes, sit down to enjoy your meal! YOU DID IT!
Here’s some Collards on the left, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley in the middle, and Lacinato Kale on the right (an Italian Kale variety which resembles dinosaur skin). I used a Curly Leaf Kale for this recipe. Collards taste slightly different than Kale but they will work fine in this recipe, too.
If you really want to save time, buy a box of this prewashed stuff and add the entire thing:
And Kale or Collard Greens may be easily enjoyed as a side dish to any meal. Just put your greens in a large pot with a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Steam gently until tender at a medium heat, about 10 minutes, then serve with butter, or an olive oil/fresh lemon juice/garlic dressing!
Do YOU have a favorite Kale recipe?
Please share with us how you make Greens something grand!
And don’t forget to EAT MORE KALE!
Your Friend in Whole Foods by the Sea,