Kale with sweet potatoes and pecans

October 29, 2009 4:53:43 PM PDT
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you can help fight cancer with nourishing, yet flavorful, meals for your loved ones.

Recipe: Kale with Sweet Potatoes and Pecans

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup peeled and finely diced sweet potato or garnet yam
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Magic Mineral Broth or good quality vegetable stock or water
  • 3 cups cleaned, stemmed, and chopped dinosaur kale, in bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ground pecans, for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the ginger and sauté for 30 seconds, just until aromatic. Add the sweet potato, cinnamon, and broth and sauté for about 1 minute.

  2. Add the kale, salt, and raisins and sauté until the kale is a darker shade of green and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the maple syrup, then do a FASS check and add another pinch of salt if desired.

  4. Serve garnished with the ground pecans.

FASS stands for fat, acid, salty and sweet. When treatment messes with people's taste buds, Rebecca uses this culinary tool to help revitalize them and make food taste right again. For this dish, Rebecca says you can add an extra pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon.

Variation:

The ground pecans have the same texture as a sprinkling of finely grated cheese. If you'd like something more crunchy, place 1/4 cup of pecans on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Chop coarsely before sprinkling on this beautiful dish.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Storage: Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 5 days.

    Per Serving:

  • Calories: 160
  • Total Fat: 10.1 g (1.3 g saturated, 6.6 g monounsaturated)
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sodium: 200 mg

Culinary Rx Kale is like a twenty-four-hour pharmacy unto itself. It possesses a variety of phytochemicals that attack different cancers. In one large study, women who ate diets rich in kaempferol (found in kale and other green vegetables such as broccoli, leeks, and spinach) were 40 percent less likely to develop ovarian cancer. Kale has similar effects on the development of bladder and breast cancers. Kale is also rich in numerous antioxidants that promote immune system wellness

Antioxidants are chemical compounds that can bind to free oxygen radicals preventing these radicals from damaging healthy cells. That's the technical definition. Here's the way I would put it. Are bodies are under a lot of stress (environmental etc..) and accumulate free radicals, which can damage our cells . Antioxidants - which are in all fruits and vegetables -- are the "cleaning crew" mopping up all the debris that can reek havoc on the cells in our body causing disease. Antioxidants bolster the immune system.

Vegetables like Kale, are like a 24 hour pharmacy unto itself. It's very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, and C. Kale, along with it's cousins in the brassica family, i.e. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, contains sulforaphane (particilary when chopped or minced - the way I'm making it in the dish) Sulforpahane is a phytochemical that has potent cancer-fighting properties - especially for breast cancer. Studies are looking at a compound in this chemical that changes the way estrogen is metabolized, which can prevent lesions from turning cancerous or keeping cancer cells from spreading.

Sweet potatoes have tremendous healing properties as an antioxidant food. They have both beta-carotene and vitamin C, found also in Kale, and work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Both antioxidants are helpful for risk reduction of cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Since these nutrients are also anti-inflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

Studies who that antioxidants are useful in a number of ways regarding cancer. For instance, they may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy, decrease side effects of chemotherapy and reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

So in this dish - Kale with Sweet Potatoes and Pecans, we have two power house veggies with loads of antioxidants that will give the body a one to punch. Not to mention the YUM FACTOR - my philosophy that great nutrition and great taste must sit joyously at the table. The kale is a little bitter, the sweet potatoes and raisins, are sweet - the pecans add the crunch - the ginger aids in digestion, the cinnamon regulates blood sugar, - together, not only do they pack a nutritional punch - but they will make Spencer do the happy dance. And everyone will utter that involuntary spasm of vocal delight .... YUMMMM!!!!

If there's a safe haven in the vegetable kingdom, it's sweet potatoes. In fact, Rebecca bets that if every kid's introduction to veggies were a sweet potato, it would knock down parental stress over healthy eating by at least 50 percent. What's not to love? Sweet taste, beautiful color, and fantastic nutrition, not to mention a creamy texture that allows you to introduce chopped greens in a nonthreatening manner. Here, Rebecca has added kale, which has some outstanding anticancer properties, and ginger, which aids digestion, for a little zip.

Rebecca Katz, Author, "The Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing Big Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery" Kale with Sweet Potatoes and Pecans-a delicious, anti-oxidant rich meal that also helps fight cancer.

About Rebecca Katz: Rebecca Katz is re-defining the concept of health-supportive cuisine in a way that's proving deliciously irresistible to patients and professionals alike. Using equal parts warm kitchen-table wisdom and credible scientific knowledge, Rebecca has helped thousands of people improve their health as they battle chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

Author of One Bite at a Time, a breakthrough cookbook for cancer survivors and their loved ones, Rebecca is a nationally-recognized speaker who receives endorsements from the country's leading oncologists and cancer wellness professionals. Whether as a consultant, speaker, teacher or chef, Rebecca works hand-in-hand with patients, physicians, nurses, and wellness professionals striving to include the powerful tool of nutrition in their medical arsenal.

For more information, visit www.rebeccakatz.com


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