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The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood 80+ Recipes
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon July 4, 2012
Sharon Hanna's "The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood 80+ Recipes" is filled with information on lots of different varieties of kale. Did you know that out of all foods, not just vegetables, that kale has a whopping 1000 out of 1000 in the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index scoring system? It's one of the healthiest foods on the planet when you consider nutrient density per calorie. Years ago, when I first read Dr. Joel Fuhrman's books on Foods for Health and realized that kale was way up at the top of the list, I started looking for more ways to get it into my family's meals. I really had no idea what to do with it other than sauteing it with garlic and onions as a nice "greens" dish or blending it into a smoothie. But Hanna's book opens up all kinds of new possibilities. There are recipes sections for Breakfast, (Can you believe it, kale at breakfast?) Starters & Light Meals, Salads, Soups & Stews, Vegetable Dishes & Sides, Pasta, Polenta & Risotto and Main Dishes. My favorites so far are: Kalekopita, Tabouli with Quinoa & Kale (good as a main course salad or to fill wraps), Pasta Puttanesca with Kale and Karefree Kale & Spud Soup with Italian Sausage (I made this with vegan Italian sausage and it turned out just delicious - and easy!) Each recipe is marked with symbols telling whether it's gluten free, vegetarian or vegan. Although we do occasionally eat meat I like to cook vegan at home. It was easy to find vegan substitutions for any meat or cheese products to make the recipes that weren't already vegan. There are 80+ recipes included.

But there is much more to this book than just the recipes. There's a whole section on the nutritional benefits of kale, listing all the different nutrients. There's also a section on it's history and how it's been used throughout history, around the world. One of my favorite sections was on how to grow your own. Hanna swears it is an easy vegetable to grow, hardy even in area with short growing seasons. She has photos of it growing in the Vancouver area in the snow! There is lots of information here about growing it from seed, from transplants and from purchased plants. There are more varieties than I would have imagined. She has me convinced; I think I'll plant some in the fall. A section on kids and kale presents ideas about how to get them interested in growing and caring for it (and eating it, once it's harvested!) It has an index at the end where you can cross reference by other ingredients. There's also a list of seed sources for Canada and the US, the UK and France.

The thing I like best about this book is that it has lots of beautiful color photographs, both of the plants and varieties as well as preparation methods and photos of some of the recipes. (I love the fonts used for the titles!) This is a beautiful book not only for your own cookbook library, but would also make a nice gift for anyone interested in exploring nutrient packed recipes. I received a complementary reviewer's copy of this book from the publisher and have found it entertaining as well as informative.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2013
I never thought I'd be so enthralled by a book about Kale, but this book is a great read. It really did teach me all I wanted to know about kale and more. I'm sure that I'll be using many of the tips for successfully growing more than just Kale. I'm so inspired in fact, I convinced my husband to build the raised beds we've long talked about doing, just so I can grow him his own personal supply of kale for his juicing habit. It feels strange to be this excited about a vegetable. Especially considering all of this was brought about by a simple visit to the UBC botanical garden shop, where I casually asked a question about a kale starter. I was told by an employee that I should really go inside and direct my questions to the lady who literally wrote the book on kale. Sharon was extremely helpful and the book was so attractive I thought I'd pick it up. Now, here I find myself writing my first ever review just to show my support and appreciation for her book. Thanks, Sharon!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
I bought this book for my husband's birthday. He loves to cook, and he has to use a recipe, but most of all he loves recipe books with lots of pictures, and this one does. It also has all kinds of information about kale, how to grow it, what to look for etc. which is just what my husband likes.

Only one disapproving thing: the recipes do not have the nutritional values listed. With health being a great part of our lives, especially now that we are seniors, we do like to know the nutritional value of recipes, and alway read the nutrition value listed on item we buy from the grocery store.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
This is an excellent source of information about kale. I've prepared several of the recipes and they were great. I look forward to growing my own kale and making more of the recipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2013
Wonderful cookbook. I wish it were hard bound but it's a good resource. Kale IS good but I often have a hard time thinking of good ways to use it. This is your starting place if you have lots of kale and don't know what to do with it. It also is fun to read. I love reading cookbooks. One thing I like about it is that it has taken a lot of familiar recipes and adapted them to have kale in them. Making kale familiar makes you feel more comfortable with it. Another thing is, it's affordable. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2014
This is a good book; however, it really needs the nutritional information (calories, fat, pro., carbs, fiber...) listed for each recipe and it doesn't have it. I would also like to have seen photos of each recipe, there are few photos of the finished products. These two points are really important in a cookbook and were enough to knock it down from 5 to 3 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2013
Before I bought this book I was wondering how one whole book could be devoted to one green veggie. But I found myself so engrossed in reading this book that I would take it to bed with me. Sharon Hanna's writing is very engaging and she knows her subject matter inside and out. The recipes are very creative, exciting and easy to make. I have since bought copies of this book for friends and family and they all agree with me that it's an incredible book and loaded with tons of ideas for making the best and tastiest kale dishes.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2013
First of all, thank you Amazon for offering this at a resonable price. After seeing this title on your site, I called my local retailer to have a copy reserved and almost fell over dead when the cashier said $28 (t w e n t y - e i g h t??) dollars. I had expected, perhaps, a small mark-up, but not ten bucks...

The planting section of the book is great fun -- I'm entirely inspired (and feel well prepared) to take this project on in my own home garden... and I'm thrilled to learn that I can do it this fall, as kale is hearty and resilient and will not only survive but THRIVE in cooler temperatures and even snow! So, I'm excited to give this a try... It would be quite amazing to simply go outside and pick fresh kale (for cooking, salads, juicing, etc.) all year long.

As for the recipes (preparing!), I have to say I'm disappointed, but only because I'm a vegetarian who doesn't eat dairy (I occasionally eat eggs) and most of the recipes contain cheese and/or meat. Though there are several offerings in the book that are labeled as "vegan," almost all of them are also meat and/or cheese dishes with an asterisk saying the dish *becomes vegan* if you "omit the pancetta" or omit the cheese, etc. While this is technically true, that could be said of almost any recipe, and I get a kind of half-hearted "missing something" sort of feeling about preparing a recipe that calls for ingredients that I must leave out. In reality, this is partly a mental hurdle (assuming it's delicious, the same recipe in a vegan cookbook might look great if I didn't know there was anything "missing"). Then again, omitting something like pancetta, for example, without any attempt to replace or supplement the flavor seems like a disservice to the recipe... Good vegan cooking should be just as full-bodied and complex, using a variety of different plant-based ingredients. So... something to be aware of if you are a vegan or someone who is expecting more low-fat recipes based on the subject -- KALE!

Otherwise, I think it's a great book... Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2013
This is a book with beautiful photos, full of delicious, healthy and easy recipes, Everything I have made has been a hit! My only recommendation is that I love it so much, I wish it was a hard cover, so it would last longer! Good price; Great cookbook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2013
This is my favorite cookbook in years - it is practical, full of knowledge and excellent recipes. I love kale and this gives me new and unique ways to use it. I am a vegan and it was easy to adapt most recipes.
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