Monday, December 17, 2012

Pre-Christmas Detox - Garlicky Kale and Bean Stew

It's that time of year when parties are knocking on our doors; there's nibbles, cakes, cocktails and fizz.  We usually eat too much, drink too much, in fact there's probably too much of everything (apart from sleep!).  Anyway, into all this excess comes the saviour Kale!  Yes, really.  I quite like to go cold turkey pre-christmas on the usual excesses, to try and accomodate the inevitable overdose over the festive period and the following recipe is a fab pick-me-up and 'health in the bank' sort of meal.  I promise it'll make you feel could it not?  Kale packs more nutritional punch per calorie than virtually any other veg on the planet.  It is chocka with vitamin K which helps prevent bone fractures, postmenopausal bone density loss, calcification of your arteries and some studies even suggest it protexts against liver and prostate cancer.  In fact, it's one of the top cancer-fighting veggies around as it is one of the richest source of carotenoids.  It helps regulate estrogen and regulates blood pressure too, so what's stopping you - stock up on your kale and try it really is delicious to boot!

Garlicky White Bean & Kale StewServes 3-4

You will need:
Garlic Oil
2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic (I used the garlic oil instead of garlic)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but really delicious)
5 bay leaves
Pinch chili flakes
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 tin cooked white beans (lima, butter, navy, cannelini…)
2 large handfuls of packed shredded kale leaves
500ml vegetable stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
Cold-pressed olive oil to garnish

To make:
1. Heat a knob of oil in a large stockpot. Slice onions and add to the pot with a couple pinches sea salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add sliced garlic. If the post becomes dry, add a little juice from the tinned tomatoes.
2. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, season to taste, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil (since everything is cooked, you don’t need to heat it long). If you are going to let it simmer for a while, add the kale about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it retains more of its nutritional value,

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