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Food Friday: Spaghetti with Kale Pesto

 
Wondering how to incorporate kale - the health world's favorite dark, leafy green of 2014 - into your diet beyond kale chips and green smoothies? Here is a twist on spaghetti that will pump some serious vitamins into an average everyday meal.

~Spaghetti with Kale Pesto~
Recipe from Dr. Oz's "The Good Life" magazine

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

8 oz. kale (Tuscan if available), stemmed, leaves torn (5 cups loosely packed leaves)
1 clove garlic
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
6 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti

Directions:

> Add the kale, garlic, Parmesan, almonds, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Slowly add the olive oil with the machine running. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined and smooth.

> Cook the pasta in salted water. Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.

> Add 3/4 cup pesto (any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for at least a week) and 2 Tbsp pasta water to a large bowl and stir to combine.  Add pasta and toss until thoroughly coated, adding more pasta water by tablespoon if necessary to form a creamy sauce.

>Enjoy!!

 
Did you know? Kale is being called “the new beef,” “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:

1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.

2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.

5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

7. Kale is high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.

8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.

9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

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