Dinner last night came to me as I was preparing it. Using some fresh vegetables from my fathers garden and from mine, along with some pan seared tempeh and a few other items I decided to throw in the pan.
I was craving greens so I decided to feature kale as the main ingredient and then I built the salad around that. Aside from smoothies, I am always looking for delicious ways to incorporate kale into my diet. This salad did the trick and tasted good but also “healthy”, which is a taste I have come to embrace and now love. The better I eat, the more I crave the healthy, whole foods. It’s a win/win. Sure we all have unhealthy cravings and indiscretions, but knowing that I can always get back on track with a healthy meal is reassuring!
Let’s talk a little about kale… Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Most of us do not get enough sulphur and it is critical to a healthy body, especially with its vital role in regulating our metabolism. When our body does not get enough sulphur our cells become glucose intolerant; this deficiency can lead to all sorts of muscular and skeletal problems accompanied by pain and inflammation. Sulphur deficiency is also linked to obesity because one way the body compensates for defective glucose metabolism is by gaining weight.
To further complicate things, when sulphur deficiency occurs within the context of a low-fat diet, the problem becomes more serious as the additional sources of glucose present in a low-fat diet in the form of carbohydrates are converted to fat and even worse, released into the bloodstream as triglycerides as fuel for the damaged and inflamed muscle cells.
So, there are many benefits to eating kale, this is just one that I wanted to highlight because sulphur deficiency does not get much attention in nutritional conversations.
On a separate but equally important note, some research suggests that people who are mercury-toxic have problems with sulphur in food. If you have amalgams in your teeth you may be mercury-toxic. Sulphur can actually mobilize the mercury in your blood, which can bring about symptoms of fatigue a few hours after you eat the sulphur rich food. More on this topic can be found here High Sulphur Foods
RECIPE - Kale Salad with Tempeh (Serving Size:1)
Organic Non-GMO Tempeh
Kale (about 2 leaves, vein removed)
1/8 to 1/4 C Sun Dried Tomatoes (I like the ones packed in herbs/EVOO)
Handful Green Olives
1/8 Cup Chopped Onion
1/8 Cup Green Pepper
3/4 Small Eggplant or lesser of a larger Eggplant (cut into medallions)
Fresh Basil - Julienne (about 6 leaves)
Sea Salt/Black Pepper
In a cast iron pan, heat EVOO and pan sear tempeh with balsamic vinegar. Just pour the vinegar onto the tempeh while it is in the pan or you can marinate before hand. In same pan, saute onion and green pepper. Once onion begins to get clear, put eggplant in pan, sprinkle with ample sea salt, at same time, make sure each eggplant medallion is making contact with the pan. Next, add olives and sun-dried tomatoes to the onions/green peppers. Now flip the eggplant over to brown on the other side, and sprinkle with a little more sea salt. Meanwhile you can push the tempeh to the side of the pan to keep it warm.
While contents of the pan are cooking, chop the kale (fairly fine) and add to a large bowl. Julienne the basil. Add all contents of pan (except for tempeh) to the bowl of kale, toss with basil and sea salt/pepper. Place salad on plate and arrange tempeh on top.
Note: I served this with a side of sun-dried tomato polenta with fresh basil on top.