Happy (Belated) National Kale Day!!! Did you know that yesterday was such an important day? I had no idea until my friend texted me the important news. Obviously, I had no choice but to have kale for dinner. Such a sacrifice, right?
So why does this food deserve its own day of recognition? The reasons are plenty, but here are four good ones to keep in mind:
1. Kale is rich in vitamins and minerals – As a leafy green, kale is an excellent source of calcium, which is good for your bones. It also contains vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system, joints and metabolism; vitamin A, which improves vision; vitamin K, which helps with bones and blood clotting; and iron, which is important for hemoglobin and enzyme production, liver function and oxygen transport. It even has more iron per calorie than beef. What?
2. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food – Kale is a great source of flavonoids, and also omega-3 fatty acids, which can convert into chemical compounds that help relieve inflammation in the body and soothe gut dysbiosis. Did you know that about 70-80% of your immune system is housed in your gut? Anything that heals the gut has the potential to heal the rest of you, so take care of it!
3. Kale is a good detox food – Kale helps your liver detoxify your body! It’s high in fiber (good for gut health and clearing out your system), and sulfur (which helps cell detox by improving waste transport). Isothiocyanates, made from the glucosinates in kale, help with this process.
4. Kale is great for your heart and soul – Kale is rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which help decrease the risk for cancer. Betacarotene is a good example of one of the carotenoids found in kale. The potassium, omega-3’s, and vitamin E also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, and the lutein helps prevent atherosclerosis.
5. It’s DELICIOUS – I know I said four reasons, but this one was too important not to include. 🙂
Are you convinced? I hope so!
Anyways, onto the food. This recipe might sound like a weird combination. Tuna and kale is pretty standard, but with sweet potatoes? And cranberries? I know I know. But trust me, it is sooooo good. I accidentally discovered the pairing of tuna salad and sweet potatoes last year in the dorm when I was trying to finish leftovers, and it was a wonderful discovery. Simple. Delicious. Healthy. Happy!
Cranberry, Tuna and Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Makes 2 servings
2 sweet potatoes
1 can BPA-Free Tuna
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 handfuls of kale, chopped*
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: your favorite seasonings (I used My Favorite Spice Mixture)
Coconut oil for the pan
1. Bake the potatoes in the oven at 350 for about an hour.
2. Or if you’re lazy, like me, microwave them using the potato setting. But don’t burn your hand on the plate, like I did.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Add the tuna, cranberries and kale to the skillet and cook until the kale is a dark green.
5. Add seasonings.
6. Cut your potatoes in half (once they are not too hot to touch! I obviously need help with not burning myself) and divide the tuna mixture evenly on top of both potatoes.
*This is also very good with broccoli instead of kale. Or in addition to, if you’re feeling super adventurous.