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Stay Healthy This Cold and Flu Season: Sesame Kale Stir-Fry

By Debbie Whitaker
September/October 1998
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Leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants, particularly vitamins A and C, and are recommended by many health practitioners for preventing colds and flus.

One 3/4-cup serving of kale provides 60 mg of vitamin C, 100 percent of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), and 4,500 IU of vitamin A, nearly the RDA of 5,000 IU. Sesame seeds are high in antioxidants, including vitamin E, which is important for a healthy immune system. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a compound that fights viruses and stimulates the immune system.

Sesame Kale Stir-Fry


•1 tablespoon sesame oil
•3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
•12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
•1 cup water
•2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
•1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
•1 teaspoon soy sauce
•1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
•2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1. Coat a small saucepan with the sesame oil.

2. Add the garlic and shiitakes.

3. Cover and cook over low heat until the shiitakes lose their juices and the garlic is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

4. Scrape the contents into a bowl and set aside.

5. Put the water and ginger into the pan and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes to make a ginger tea.

6. Transfer the tea to a pan large enough to hold the kale, and raise the heat to medium high.

7. Add the kale when the tea starts to boil, then cover and cook for 2 minutes.

8. Uncover the pan and quickly boil off any remaining water, taking care not to let the kale burn; the kale should be a bright green.

9. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients.

10. Stir to heat through, then serve.

For a heartier meal, double the amount of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and add 1 cup of cooked brown rice.

Click here for the main article, Stay Healthy This Cold and Flu Season.

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