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The "It" Veggie
While fresh kale is available year-round (and you can even buy it prewashed and chopped), you may not realize you can also buy frozen bags of the popular leafy green. Sure, you'll want the fresh stuff if you're making a salad, but frozen kale is superversatile. Kristen Gradney, director of nutrition and metabolic services at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, adds it to smoothies. (Bonus: since it's so cold, it'll keep the smoothie chilled—just throw it in frozen.) When she's cooking, Gradney mixes frozen kale into any dish that includes ground meat, whether meatloaf, spaghetti sauce or lasagna, to give it a nutritional bump. She also stirs it into breakfast dishes, from hash browns to quiche to scrambled eggs. You don't even have to defrost it first, since the hot ingredients you're combining it with will do the job in a flash.