All Hail Kale!

The lean, green plant is quickly becoming the go-to superfood

Loaded with culinary possibilities, this inexpensive, green leafy superfood is popping up on menus across the Valley, and not just as stand-in for good ol’ spinach. Kale is a relative of cabbage, but proves to be much more versatile. We’re seeing this vegetable appear as a souped-up side dish, served as a hearty main course salad and even as kale chips, a healthful snack-food alternative to greasy potato chips. Kale can even be blended into smoothies for an extra power boost. Most importantly, kale is full of nutrients your body needs, and in the age of multitasking, a boost in your day can do your body good. These are just a few of the tasty ways we’re seeing kale get the star treatment it deserves.

Braised Kale, Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak

This tasty accompaniment still has just the right amount of wrong. While the dish begins with basic kale and white beans, the finish is anything but ordinary. The chef adds crispy, flavorful bacon and a rich Bordelaise sauce for a tasty mate for your bone-in rib eye.

$13, in MGM Grand, 891-7318,

Kale Caesar Salad, Honey Salt

An updated take on one of America’s favorite salads, the kale Caesar at Honey Salt is both delicious and nutritious. Executive chef Kim Canteenwalla infuses classic ingredients with his creative flare. A tangy black garlic dressing lightly coats the kale leaves, Parmesan cheese and white anchovies. You can, of course, order this salad with the standard romaine lettuce, but we prefer this unexpected twist.

$10, 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., 445-6100,

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie, Greens & Proteins

We’re impressed. It isn’t often we’d order leafy greens in our chocolate peanut butter and banana shake. And when we do take that risk, we expect it to taste like Brussels sprouts in chocolate mousse. But the people at Greens & Proteins have cleverly disguised kale, along with other vegetables such as spinach and zucchini, in a delicious, addictive shake. So go on, drink your vegetables.

$7.50, 8975 S. Eastern Ave., 541-7800; 9809 W. Flamingo Rd., 541-6400,