I always grow flowering kale in my yard and have cooked it in the past, only to have to eat it by myself. However, after attending the lecture, my husband not only tasted the kale both raw and cooked, but helped prepare it, by stripping the leafy areas from the stem as Dr. Esselstyne's wife demonstrated.
To strip the kale, take a leaf and hold the stem in your right hand and strip the softer leafy areas, away from the stem in one continuous motion. My husband is actually better at this than I am.
We used the kale tonight as we would have used pasta, the base for a vegetarian bean and barley chili.
Having lived in Cincinnati for 14 years, combining homemade chili with pasta is natural. Substituting cooked and slightly chopped kale for the pasta, was not only delicious, but a way to disguise kale for the non-kale eating world! My husband loved it and so did I!
I used about a cup of dried black beans, 1/2 cup of red pinto beans, and put them in a put, and just covered them with cold water. Per the instructions on the bean package, I boiled them for two minutes and let them sit for about an hour before continuing the cooking process. The directions say that the beans will cook in two hours, but they are always a bit too hard for us at the two-hour stage. I prefer to cook them twice the time stated on the package, add more liquid, about 1 cup of spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, or even sausa taking up too much room in my refrigerator! I had at least a teaspoon of cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder and ab out a cup of each of chopped onions, celery, and carrots.
I had cooked the kale until tender, the mass of kale barely made two generous servings for the base of a bowl of chili!
Notice how the kale quickly cooked down. I have flowering kale in my yard, but don't want to pick it yet.
I also purchased a huge cabbage and plan to make "stuffed cabbage casserole" without using meat.
We may find ourselves between Dr. Dean Ornish's diet and that of Dr; Esselstyn, but in any case, we were energized to include more crucifers in our diet and hope to make kale a regular visitor at our house!
Have you ever seen such a huge cabbage?
The stripped kale filled up the pot, but watch how it shrinks after cooking.
The kale cooked down in the picture below where it turned from a bright green to a very deep green.
Below is how the kale looked after stripping the leafy areas from the stalks using the method which Dr. Esselstyn's wife showed at the lecture at the Mayfield Regional Library last Saturday.
I took the stems of the stalks and cut them on a slant into bite size pieces which I plan to cook tomorrow for lunch with our left over vegetarian bean and barley chili. Mrs. Ellelstyn mentioned that she cut the stems on a slant, and I think that cutting the stems into equal pieces on a slant, may speed up the cooking process.
Below is the large pot of vegetarian bean and barley chili cooking on the stove. I cooked it for more than four hours. After about three hours I blended some of the bean and barley mixture in the blender and pureed the mixture before putting it back in to the pot.