Grilled Kale with Goat Cheese

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Grilling is one of the leanest forms of cooking. Chicken, turkey, bison burgers, salmon are all delicious on the grill and are great for staying bikini ready all summer. But vegetarians can fire up the grill, too. Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and plums hold their shape when grilled and grilling brings out their natural sweetness. What else is great on the grill? Kale!

Taking only a few minutes, grilling hearty kale is easy. Lightly brush the leaves with coconut or olive oil and place directly onto a hot grill. Once the leaves begin to char slightly, turn and grill the other side. Tear the leaves and toss for salads, side dishes, or use as a wrap for burgers in place of the bun.

When it comes to nutrients, kale is tough to beat. Packed with vitamins A, K, C and many B vitamins, kale is also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and potassium. One cup of raw kale has a meer 33 calories but is a great source of fiber and contains 3 grams of protein.

In this recipe feature, grilled kale is tossed with protein rich marcona almonds, peach slices and goat cheese. Marcona almonds are high in vitamin E, which is a powerful cell protector and helps stave off the effects of aging. Peaches’ natural sugar content is a great source of energy and studies have shown that stone fruits have anti-inflammatory properties, help fight obesity and are known to lower the bad cholesterol. Among the benefits of goat cheese are probiotics, which promote healthy digestion, and studies have shown that goat cheese is good for the brain.

Move over meat lovers, vegetarians are taking over the grill!

Grilled Kale with Goat Cheese
(Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (grilling peaches, optional)
  • ¼ cup marcona almonds
  • 12 large Tuscan kale leaves (with stem is okay for grilling)
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, refrigerated and sliced into 8 slices

DIRECTIONS
In a large salad bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, lemon zest and black pepper. Toss with sliced peaches and almonds.

Heat grill to medium high heat. Brush kale leaves with remaining olive oil. Place on grill and grill until outer leaves begin to char slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn kale and grill an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly charred. Remove from heat and tear large leaves from the tough stem. Tear leaves into sections, as desired, leaving thinner stems.

Place kale in the mixing bowl with the almonds and other ingredients. Toss to coat and mix all together. Divide salad amongst 4 (four) serving plates. Top with 2 goat cheese slices. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

  • Calories: 423
  • Fat: 33.6g
  • Saturated fat: 12.9g
  • Cholesterol: 47mg
  • Sodium: 201mg
  • Potassium: 503mg
  • Carbs: 16.7g
  • Fiber: 3.0g
  • Sugars: 7.6g
  • Protein: 17.2g

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Irby is a Certified Fitness Nutritionist and food healer, award-winning network television and radio personality, and the creator of The Bikini Chef brand. Visit Susan online at: thebikinichef.com, susanirby.com and bikinilifestyles.com.