Cooking with kale: 5 meals this week

Are you dining out too much during the week, or finding it hard to incorporate veggies into your diet? This week, we're reinventing some recipes with one healthy superfood – kale!

This leafy green – which is one of the healthiest veggies out there – is full of nutritional benefits. At just 36 calories per serving, kale provides more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and K, according to WebMD.

Kale is also a good source of fiber and contains many minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron. With all of these nutritious components, researchers suggest consuming kale can help lower cholesterol and help prevent certain types of cancers.

While kale is loaded with nutritional benefits and flavor, it’s not always the easiest to cook with because of its sturdy texture and slightly bitter taste. But when prepared with the right ingredients, this leafy green can give you flavorful, low-calorie meals that will leave you satisfied.

We’ve found some of the tastiest and healthiest recipes for you to try that contain this superfood. From salads, to curries, quesadillas, and more, here’s your guide to cooking with kale this week with meals all less than 430 calories!

Monday: Braised Kale, Sausage and Creamy Polenta

This low-calorie chicken sausage and kale meal only takes a half hour to make! You’ll get plenty of nutrients in the four cups of kale used in this recipe, plus a good source of protein from the chicken sausage. The mascarpone cheese in this dish has fewer calories than butter and gives the polenta a nice, creamy texture.

Per serving: 425 calories; 18.8g fat, 46g carbohydrates, 19g protein, 6g fiber

View recipe in health.com >

Tuesday: Cheese and kale quesadillas

This simple, healthy take on the normally high-calorie dish is packed with protien and healthy fats. Have these quesadillas ready in under an hour!

Per serving: 404 calories; 3.6g fat, 22.2g carbohydrates, 5.5g protein, 2.2g fiber

View recipe on cleaneatingmag.com >

Wednesday: Braised chicken with kale

This chicken and kale dish gets a ton of flavor from the garlic, tomatoes and red wine vinegar. At 412 calories per serving, it takes just over an hour and a half to make.

Per serving: 412 calories; 13g fat, 50g carbohydrates, 39g protein, 24g fiber

View recipe on cookinglight.com >

Thursday: Kale and lentil salad

Not all salads have to be boring! Here’s one that uses ingredients that you may not typically put in a salad. With sundried tomatoes and fennel bulbs, this salad is so flavorful you don’t even need to serve with dressing.

Per serving: 160 calories; 1g fat, 28g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 7g fiber

View recipe on wholefoodsmarket.com >

Friday: Squash and tofu curry

Here’s a vegetarian dish that simple to make! Just throw the kale, squash, tofu, onions, and spices together in a skillet, and you'll be minutes away from enjoying this tasty meal.

Per serving: 316 calories; 18g fat, 29g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 8g fiber

View recipe on eatingwell.com >

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