Until I moved here to the Southcoast for the first time back in the 1990s, I had never heard of kale. Seeing Kale Soup as a restaurant menu choice only made me wonder who or what the soup was named in honor of. I soon learned that kale soup was a staple in many Portuguese households.

But fast forward to now. Have you noticed that this local favorite has hit the mainstream in America? And it seems to be thanks to healthier eating habits. Even McDonald's now offers a salad featuring kale, and the chain has introduced a kale and sriracha burger in some areas.

As a matter of fact, kale is said to be one of the healthiest veggies on the planet, as listed on healthline.com.  Low in calories, no fat and more nutritional value than spinach.

Kale has come into its own in vegan restaurants around the country and is even featured on pizzas in some restaurants. When I googled "kale," an article popped up from the Chicago Tribune called "Why Is Kale Everywhere?" It refers to the fact that 10 years ago no one was eating kale (not true for the Southcoast), and now it's one of the hottest new food trends.