Don’t know what to eat for lunch or dinner? Try this late spring kale salad recipe with radicchio and mushrooms. The kale salad is yummy, easy to make and very filling. If you eat this salad for lunch, it can suffice as a meal of its own. For dinner, I suggest it as an appetizer or as part of a main dish served with soup. For dinner you can also eat the salad with a side grain, such as a small bowl of quinoa, bulgur or brown rice.
What You Need For This Kale Salad Recipe
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How To Make This Kale Salad Recipe
Wash all of your vegetables. Slice the stems out of your kale leaves. Cut the leaves into small pieces. Heat olive oil in a pan. When the oil is hot throw the kale into the pan. Watch the kale and toss it for about a minute until it becomes a vibrant green and softened, though not yet cooked down. Be careful not to overcook your kale! You want it to maintain its bouncy leafy texture. Take the kale out of the pan and place it on a small salad plate. Let it cool to room temperature for three minutes. Place mushrooms into the pan adding a little more olive oil if the pan is too dry. Let the mushrooms cook to a light crisp, turning them every now and then. While the mushrooms are cooking, chop the radicchio. Sprinkle the radicchio onto the kale. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and pile them on top of the radicchio. Salt and pepper your salad. Cut a quarter of a lemon and squeeze its juice around the salad. The lemon juice will settle nicely with the oil from the kale and mushrooms.
Health Benefits of Kale
One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
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.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
Health Benefits of Radicchio
Radicchio, like other chicory class vegetables, is very low in calories. 100 g fresh leaves provide just 23 calories.
The bitter principle in the radicchio is lactucopicrin (intybin), a sesquiterpene lactone. Lactucopicrin has been found to be a potent anti-malarial agent and has sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effect.
Its leaves an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein. 100 g leaves provide 8832 µg of these pigments. Zeaxanthin is a xanthophyll category of flavonoid carotenoid (yellow pigment) which concentrates mainly in the central retina in the eyes. Together with lutein, it helps protect eyes from age related macular disease (ARMD) by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
Fresh leaves contain moderate amounts of essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein and carbohydrates metabolism.
Fresh radicchio is one of the excellent sources of vitamin K. 100 g provides about 255.2 µg or 212% of daily-recommended values. Vitamin K has potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Further, adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
It is also good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and potassium. Manganese is used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
I love how this website introduces mushrooms:
The Pharaohs prized mushrooms as a delicacy, and the Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle. The Romans regarded mushrooms as a gift from God and served them only on festive occasions, while the Chinese treasured them as a health food.
Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water, and are very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz). They have very little sodium and fat, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber. Hence, they are an ideal food for persons following a weight management program or a diet for hypertensives.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties.
Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Male health professionals who consumed twice the recommended daily intake of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65 percent. In the Baltimore study on Aging, men with the lowest blood selenium levels were 4 to 5 times more likely to have prostate cancer compared to those with the highest selenium levels.