Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

January, 2004
Regional Report


Braised Kale with Cider and Apples
Kale is a great winter vegetable, easy to grow, inexpensive to buy, and a nutritional powerhouse. Kale is rich in beta carotene plus the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both associated with eye health. It is also rich in potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and calcium, and even has 2 grams of protein in a serving.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound washed and chopped fresh kale
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cooked and crumbled turkey bacon or soy bacon bits

Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add oil. Stir in onions and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Add kale, and cook 5 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Stir in cider and vinegar, then cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add apples, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon pieces.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Color and More Color
Don't plan on writing a book about plant combinations anytime soon as there are already dozens of books on the subject, many of which are excellent. One to consider is The Garden Color Book, by Paul Williams (Chronicle Books, 2000; $27.50). Designed in a flip-book style, you can mix and match over 600 plants, giving you 343,000 different combinations. Basic growing information and plant descriptions are included.

The Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Beds and Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals, and Bulbs, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust (Timber Press, 2003; $39.95) is a more scholarly tome, covering garden design considerations and color theory, but it also offers a color section on attractive plant combinations.


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