Edmonds Healthy Eating: Recipes make good use of nutritious kale and plums

Plums and kale are abundant in my garden right now. Almost makes me giddy. Really. I adore eating plums right off of the tree and my kale crop has been amazing this year. I have been picking since May and will probably continue to pick until at least Thanksgiving! Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving. I know that these are two crops that many people do not especially enjoy, but I am sharing recipes that I think anyone in your house will enjoy. If not, these are wonderful recipes to bring to a potluck.

Kale and plums are really good for you too. But you don’t have to tell anyone that, better keep it to yourself. Between the two they cover the entire “Daily Required” minerals and vitamins. In fact, pair the kale salad with the protein of your choice and have the plum square for dessert. You’ll have an almost-perfect late summer meal practically guilt-free.

Both plums and kale are readily available at local markets. When you purchase plums make sure that they are solid and not mushy. Kale should be sturdy, not limp. You can soak it in cool water at home as well to rejuvenate it if necessary.

As always, feel free to be creative in your cooking. You could add other nuts or seeds to the salad as well as other pickled vegetables. Use what you have in your pantry. Let me know what you come up with. Enjoy the bounty of your garden or the market! Happy and healthy eating.

Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients

2 bunches kale, stems removed, cut leaves into bite-sized pieces (I prefer to use Lacinato kale, but any kale will work)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons diced red sauerkraut (optional) or pickled red onions
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients and massage with your hands until the cell walls of the kale have started to break down, about three to four minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste. The flavors will develop as the salad rests as well. I enjoy serving cold or at room temperature.

Plum Oatmeal Squares

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups chopped firm plums

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest

1/3 cup orange juice (or fruit juice of choice)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold butter, cubed

Instructions
-In saucepan, bring plums, 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the zest and orange juice to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until plums are tender and beginning to break down, about 12 minutes.

-Whisk cornstarch with 2 tbsp. water; stir into plum mixture. Bring to boil; cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Scrape into bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

-While plum mixture is chilling, in large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and remaining granulated sugar. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

-Firmly press half of the oat mixture into bottom of parchment paper–lined 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan. Bake in 350°F oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

-Spread plum mixture over crust. Gently press remaining oat mixture into small clumps; sprinkle over plum mixture.

-Bake in 350°F oven until crumble is golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Lift out onto cutting board; cut into squares.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share her experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at [email protected].

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