Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity and bone health. Strengthening the composition of our bones, vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue.
Foods rich in Vitamin K are dark leafy greens like Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, Turnip Greens, Beet Green, Dandelion Greens, Brussel Sprouts and a few herbs too.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables considered as super food, especially rich in the often forgotten Vitamin K. Aside from being rich in Vitamin K the various health benefits of Kale are: antioxidants, anti inflammatory, anti cancer, high fiber, detox, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. I am assuming by now you are getting a fair reason to include kale in your diet.
I am partial to kale simply as it stands its ground in soups and provides a hearty base for them. Especially Ribolitta (Italian Bread Soup). With summer at our heels, here’s a lighter version of an Italian soup called Pasta Fagioli. And for the fitness geeks, who like myself tend to exercise first thing in the morning, I am sharing a kale based smoothie for your recovery formula.
Here’s to a long and healthy life!!
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley (leaves and stems)
- 4 kale leaves (center ribs removed)
- 1 cup frozen organic berries
- 1 banana
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1 scoop protein whey
- Puree ingredients with one cup water until smooth. If you like your smoothie thinner, add additional 1/2 cup water or yogurt.
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2-ounce piece pancetta, diced (vegetarians can omit it)
- 1 28oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup dried cranberry or red kidney beans, ( soaked overnight)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups small shell pasta
- 1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped
- fresh parsley
- Parmesan, and more for topping
- Best quality olive oil for drizzling
- In a large pot over medium heat saute garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancetta, till lightly brown. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, beans, 3 quarts water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour approximately.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta as per package instructions until al dente.
- Add cooked pasta and kale to the soup. Cook for 15 minutes till kale is tender.
- Serve hot drizzled with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and generous sprinkle of black pepper.
Recipe adapted from food network.