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Kale Recipes So You Don’t Die

Frosted gingerbread cookies. Thick eggnog spiked with booze. Meaty drumsticks. Gravy. Butter. Carbs. More butter. Ah, the holidays.

We love winter feasting, but we also love not passing out face-first into a dish of cheese. What is life without balance? It’s tired and bloated and none of its clothes fit. Hanukkah Harry brought me an extra chin? No bueno. So, to make it through the new year — without having to buy larger pants or get a vitamin B injection — allow us to make a one-word suggestion: kale.

You heard us. Kale. Because in the dead of winter, it seems like the only vegetables we see are starchy tubers buried at the bottom of a casserole dish under a sticky mound of marshmallows. Oy vey. But even though the trees outside are bare, it’s easy to get some greenery in the produce section if you make a beeline for Kaleville. Hear us out.

A member of the cabbage family, kale is hearty as hell, which is why it’s the last one standing when relegated to a garnish on platters. (For shame!) But kale grows late into the winter and was even encouraged as a wartime crop because it was so damn healthy and easy to grow. It’s high in calcium and potassium, plus vitamins K, A and C — and unless you want to sneeze your way through the season, these are all great vitamins to ward off the winter bugs. Also, kale has anticancer properties and can lower cholesterol — something another serving of canned ham probably cannot do. Low in calories and high in fiber, it’ll detox your system. Translation: Your pants won’t feel as tight.

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Sensational Sides: No-Cook Kale Salad Recipes

Massaged Kale Salad

Crunchy, healthful kale doesn’t need to be cooked in order to taste delicious. It’s a more nutrient-filled alternative to lettuce and its distinct crunch gives great texture to traditional salad recipes.

1. Massaged Kale Salad (pictured above)

In lieu of cooking the kale, Aarti massages the greens in lemon juice and olive oil until they start to soften and wilt in about 2 to 3 minutes.  She pours a honey-sweetened dressing over the salad, and adds diced mango and pepitas before serving.

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