Lifestyle Medicine: Kale

By April D. Beresford, FNP-C, DipACLM

Each month we highlight a new veggie each month with an easy-to-make dish to please our palate and
our waistlines. Aiming for half of of your plate to be piled high with fruits and vegetables will help you
avoid many, many health problems.

This month’s superstar veggie is KALE!

Kale isn’t just the decoration on the side of your plate, its the rock-star of vegetables! Not only is kale a
fat-free high-fiber (4.1g) food, its packed with Vitamins A, B-6, C, K, folate, catorenoids, calcium,
potassium and magnesium. A whole cup of kale contains just 20 calories, but will keep you feeling full
and nourished for hours, and help lower blood pressure, strengthen bones, and lower risk of diabetes
and cancer.

This month’s recipe is simple: just 6 ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your
kitchen, and only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Cranberry Kale with Balsamic Dressing


  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 cups shredded kale leaves (no stems)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (may substitute raisins if preferred)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan
  2. Add onion and saute/ until starting to soften and brown, about 3-5 minutes
  3. Add kale, cranberries, water and salt. Cover pot with a lid sitrring often until the kale is wilted
    and tender, about 3-6 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and enjoy!
    Another way I like to enjoy kale is to add it to berry smoothies (even the picky eaters in my family can’t
    tell its in there!) or make kale chips by massaging the leaves (large stems removed) with a drizzle of olive
    or avocado oil to make them less fibrous – a great job for kids in the kitchen! – and seasoning with a few
    pinches of desired seasoning (chili powder, sea salt, cumin, curry, or nutritional yeast are common),
    spread out on baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes at 225 degrees. Chips are done when they are
    crispy and slightly browned on the edges. They will crisp up even more once they come out of the oven.