Eating kale just got hotter. The very-good-for-you green is playing a naughty role in this new ode to kale that’s both digital cookbook and erotica. Or, “kale-rotica,” as its authors call it.
Complete with scientifically founded nutritional facts, romance novel clichés, and recipes like “Thai’d Up Roughage,” 50 Shades of Kale is the lovechild of Drew Ramsey, MD, and Jennifer Iserloh, both credentialed professionals and authors—with a latent kale-loving side. He’s a Columbia-affiliated psychiatrist, brain-foods expert, and author of The Happiness Diet, and a trillion white papers. She’s a professional chef, recipe writer, morning-show regular, and author of Secrets of a Skinny Chef.
What turned them on to the idea?
“Kale virgins everywhere need to be introduced to the plant’s benefits,” say Dr. Ramsey. We’ve been telling people to eat healthier for 30 years. It’s time to provide more motivation,” says Dr. Ramsey, who hopes the parodic project won’t tarnish his medical reputation. (Though the book could have women readers lining up at his office door with handcuffs.)
Celeb chefs are always talking about the sexiness of food, adds Iserloh, “but so many of their recipes are not going to make you sexy—they’re just not healthy for you. Kale is so healthy and it’s a food that’s a turn on.” Particularly in the form of Chocolate Kale Fudge Pops, another recipe in the 75-page book.
That sure sounds sexier than 50 Shades of Chicken.
The easy recipes, from breakfast to cocktails, are all under 400 calories. And the book comes with how-to videos (don’t worry, they’re safe to watch at work), and a real devotion to kale, which is personified as a healthy, sexy, gorgeous woman: “Everyone wants to be with her these days. And yet when it seems she has found the perfect partner, another beckons. Sweet. Savory. Spicy. I know I will never own her. No one will.”
The authors point out that whole foods don’t get pitched or marketed like supplements or packaged foods, with labels that read “Meets Your Daily Vitamin C Requirement.” So, it can be surprising to see just how many nutrients are in one cup of kale, says Dr. Ramsey. The book spells it out: 134% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 684% of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A, and more.
50 Shades of Kale should help with the vegetable’s PR problem. After all, sex sells—even leafy greens. “Food can be erotic because it touches all the senses and it’s something your body needs, like sex,” says Iserloh. “Your body has a visceral response to it, to crispy, crunchy, or carmelized…” Little did you know that kale was the new chocolate-covered strawberry.
What’s important is that you get some healthy kale action. “Whether you’re a cooking novice and want to start with a one-night love affair or a real kale submissive cooking a different recipe every day,” kale is for you. —Melisse Gelula
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