Friday, September 18, 2009

The Magic of Kale

Dietary experts are always saying, "Eat lots of dark greens." I recently noticed that my skin seemed to improve when I ate kale. Was it my imagination that kale helped? I did an internet search for "nutrition of kale" and came up with this great site...

Not only did it tell me all the vitamins, minerals, calories and percents of fats, carbs and proteins, but it also provided the glycemic load AND inflammation factor. Kale has an extremely high anti-inflammation factor. So it was not my imagination. Kale was helping the psoriasis calm down. A magic food. I must eat more of it.

I'm not real crazy about plain kale, raw or cooked, so I came up with this simple one dish recipe to make it tastey. Baked chicken on a bed of kale and whatever other veggies you like. I use chicken with the bone in and skin on because of all the wonderful flavor the kale soaks up comes from the bone and skin. I don't eat the skin, ( I feed it to the dog), but it really keeps the chicken from drying out.

Chicken and Kale

Lightly oil the bottom of your roasting pan. I use extra virgin olive oil because that is the only oil I ever use. Wash the kale and cut away the thick middle stem. Chop into bite-size pieces. Fill the bottom of the pan with the kale. It cooks down like spinach, so be generous.

Lay any other veggies you are using on top of the kale. I used zucchini coins here. Then lay your washed and seasoned chicken pieces on top. I season with garlic powder, dried basil, and salt. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken pieces, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F. or whatever temperature you normally bake your chicken at for about an hour. I remove the foil after approximately 45 minutes so the skin will brown.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

M Stands for Mountain

I had to deliver a couple of items to Number Three Son at college this week. He's only been there for three weeks and misses driving and riding in a car. We made him leave his car at home for several reasons.

a.) He has no need of a car. He has to walk all of about 100 feet from his dorm to the dining cafe. It is a small campus and it takes him less than 5 minutes to walk to any of his classes.

b.) He won't waste time and gas driving around when he should be studying.

c.) We can use the money saved by removing his car from insurance to put toward his college costs.

d.) He won't be "drifting" around the hairpin curves of Lookout Mountain in his car. This wasn't one of the reasons we ever considered, but it is now that I've driven this road!

Lookout Mountain is where Buffalo Bill is buried. In the thirty years we have lived in this state, we have never visited his gravesite. Every time we'd see the exit on I-70 we think, "We should go visit that sometime."

So when we finished the task I came to campus for, he asked if we could just drive somewhere, even just around town, but immediately suggested we take a drive up the mountain to the whitewashed "M" made of thousands of stones near the top. The road they had had to walk up, with a ten pound rock to add to the M three weeks before, part of freshman orientation. Good idea, let's go.

The M can be seen from miles away, even at night, as it is lit up. And it looks high up. But it doesn't look nearly as high up when you are at the bottom, as it does when you are at the top looking down on the campus, ...and downtown Denver and probably Colorado Springs on a clear day. I don't think I have ever driven on such a steep mountain. I lost count of how many bikers I saw pedaling up the mountain road. Number Three Son said he heard it is about a 38% grade mountain. I just call it Sheer Dropoff from one side of the "hairpin curve" to the other.

This view is from the first pullout I stopped at. ( Click on the photo to see details.) See the tiny litle red and white sign in the distance... behind the athletic fields? That's the famous Coors Brewery. If you build a brewery, a college will come.

That group of buildings in the upper left corner is downtown Denver. Those are tall office buildings. They look like kids' toy buildings blocks from half way up the mountain.

This is the view from the place where Buffalo Bill is buried. You are truly at cloud level here... gazing down at plateaus, towns, cities, and roads like a map brought to life. We never did actually see the grave site because we ran out of time. Son had to get back to campus for a meeting. Next time we'll see it and the Boettcher Mansion, which is further up the mountain.