Israeli Couscous & Kale

Recent outings to a few restaurants catapulted me into a renewed enthusiasm for vegetables, if that is at all possible, considering I cook a lot with veggies, daily. Intensely charred Brussels sprouts with maple syrup, balsamic and a touch of yogurt in one place, charred cauliflower with a smokey ras el hanout, a Northern African spice mix in another, jolted my taste buds.

Which brings me to a puzzling list I saw at the beginning of 2013, food trends which need to disappear.  I believe kale, kale chips or both appeared on it. I love, love, did I mention, love kale and it is here to stay. I meant for years to add kale to Israeli couscous, usually make it with sautéed mushrooms, but I hadn't until now. Something about the texture, flavor and color just seems like a perfect pairing. Besides I love photographing kale. Look at the texture. It has so much character. The rib seems like a strong flowing river, the veins are off shoot streams. The green lush rough terrain, intensely rugged.
Kale, a leafy green super food, a relative of the cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, broccoli and Brussels sprouts has a myriad of health benefits, including, but not exclusive to, cancer prevention properties. Kale, until the end of The Middle Ages was one of the most popular vegetables in Europe, until cabbage took its place. Chopping, slicing or tearing the kale, releases further nutrients and healthy chemicals. Slightly cooking and sautéing does not compromise the health benefits but boiling does. WebMD has a short great article titled The Truth About Kale you should read.  The extra perk, surprisingly, is when slightly sautéed the stems are sweet.
A couple of other favorite kale recipes of ours: Kale, Cannellini Beans and Potato Soup and you can find kale chips in this Dinosaur Kale Chips Chaat post.