While sometimes a bit tough, if you know how to prepare it correctly, Kale salad can be a tasty side dish or main course. Kale is a green that’s gained popularity in the past couple years—we see it in our grocery stores, farmers’ markets, salad bars, and restaurants. The leafy green is packed with vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. It’s part of the Brassica family of veggies (known to be super-nutritious) that includes cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Last week we posted about a raw food workshop some members of the Honest staff attended and we mentioned the importance of massaging the kale before you eat it raw. This may sound silly but for a tasty, healthy, and affordable green like kale, this 2 minute step is worth the extra effort.
Kale is in abundance right now at farmers’ markets because it’s in season, so you might be able to get a great deal (go to a farmer’s market about 30 minutes before it closes down when vendors are willing to haggle to get rid of their produce). Some specialty grocery and health food stores sell baby kale, which doesn’t need to be massaged, just soak it in an acidic dressing for about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Another great thing about kale is that since it’s a tougher leaf (hence the massaging and soaking) if you make a giant kale salad for dinner, you can easily save the rest for the next day’s lunch without it getting overly soggy.
Kale and Persimmon Salad
Meyer Lemon Dressing:
1. Wash and dry kale using a BPA-free salad spinner or a thin dishtowel. That’s it with this type of kale! No massaging necessary.
2. Wash and slice persimmons into two-bite pieces—large enough so you can really taste the flavor. Yum!
3. Using a chef’s knife, roughly chop about 1 cup of almonds.
4. Add all ingredients to a bowl.
5. To make the dressing mix 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil, with 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar. Squeeze 3-4 Tbsp. of juice from a Meyer lemon. Then grate as much zest as possible into the mix (Meyer lemon zest has an amazing flavor!). Finally mix in 1 Tbsp. organic agave nectar.
6. Toss and enjoy!
*Dressing adapted from DamnDelicious.net.
Kale and Pomegranate Salad
1. To prepare this type of kale, first spray with a veggie wash, leave on for 1-2 minutes, and rinse. Shake leaves dry and use a utility or paring knife to remove the thick stem leaving just the leaves. To make this easier, fold the kale in half with the inside facing out, exposing the stem.
Slice the kale into strips, so it’s easier to bite with a fork. Drain kale in BPA-free salad spinner or let dry in a colander.
2. Next you’ll want to massage the kale. This makes it less rough, easier to chew, and much more tasty! Pour about 2 tsp. olive oil, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt over the kale. Massage the lettuce for about 2-5 minutes until you notice it shrinking in size and looking more salad-like. When massaging it, act like you’re mixing cookie dough with your hands or even giving someone a massage—don’t be afraid to get in there!
3. Next, you’ll need to deseed the pomegranate. The easiest way to deseed a pomegranate is to fill a bowl with cool water. Slice the ends of the pomegranate, then begin to tear it apart while it’s in the water. The seeds should easily separate from the membrane. This also helps to prevent pomegranate juice from getting on your clothes because any juice that comes out of the seeds as you gently squeeze them ends up in the water. After all the seeds are out, pick out any remaining membrane from the bowl.
4. For texture purposes, we peeled the apple and sliced it into strips, but feel free to use the skin!
5. Toss the apple in with the kale, add about half the pomegranate seeds (or as many as you’d like. We’re saving the other half for pomegranate martinis!).
6. To make the dressing mix 3 Tbsp. cold-pressed organic olive oil, 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate juice), 1 Tbsp. agave, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, vinegar, and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour dressing over salad. Toss. This should lightly coat the leaves with a sweet flavor.
What are your favorite kale recipes? Tell us in the comments!
When it comes to quick healthy dinners at my house, I stick to what I know best: Green salads and fresh in-season farmers’ market vegetables.
But the tricky part is getting my family to crave these things the way I do and making something fast and fairly mess-free that doesn’t just look like a leafy green blob on a plate!
Imagine taco night meets pizza night. Now re-imagine them with sprouted grain tortillas, fresh homemade salsa, herbs, avocado, and kale.
Sound too earthy for you? Here’s the trick – whipped garlic sauce and Parmesan cheese. I’m talking the fresh grated stuff, not the tall green can.
Yep, layer these ingredients before throwing in the rest of the leafy greens and veggies! You will have a gourmet Italian style wrap. You won’t even know it’s healthy!
You barely need any cheese because the garlic sauce is so freakin’ fantastic. If you don’t have any of these at your local health food store, you can buy them online or try making your own. It lasts for weeks in the fridge.
KALE WRAP RECIPE
Makes endless wraps, but 1 head of kale makes about 4 wraps. Plan accordingly.
Mix everything in a large salad bowl. Let sit and marinate while you prep the rest.
Mix everything in a medium sized bowl.
Optional: Arugula, corn, anything else you like in tacos. You can also add meat but you will NOT miss the meat if you leave it out, I promise. Kale is VERY hearty and filling.
WHIPPED GARLIC RECIPE
In a food processor pulse the garlic and the salt until garlic is in small pieces – almost like a paste. About 1 minute. Slowly mix in a little lemon juice. And then a little of the oil. Pour VERY SLOWLY. Keep repeating this until the mixture is fluffy and all mixed up.
You can store it in the fridge for a few weeks.
*Again, you can buy your whipped garlic. I don’t usually make my own. I buy it already made at Whole Foods Markets: Garlic Garden’s Original Lebanese Breeze, Majestic Garlic (the best garlic sauces ever!), and Fresh ‘n Nova (based in Pasadena, CA).
If you have a moment in the late afternoon, you can prep these wraps by soaking the kale in a bit of sea salt and olive oil. Chop tomatoes and mix the salsa up beforehand as well. Then, set everything aside until you’re ready to eat.
Once you’re ready to eat, heat a frying pan on medium-low. Add the tortilla. Then layer 1 heaping Tbsp garlic sauce under 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (or as much or little as you want). Add the kale and salsa (or anything else you might want). Remove from heat when cheese barely starts to melt. And wrap it up! Voila. Simple as that.
Once you get the hang of it, this will take you no time at all. It might seem like a large list of ingredients and steps. But it’s really not. You can do whatever you want with these and have fun!
Eat as many as you’d like.
Seriously I had these for 4 nights in a row one week. And I’m still not sick of them. When I make these wraps people freak out because it takes no time at all and yet they taste like a gourmet meal.
Oh wait, one more thing, depending on the ages of your kids, you can teach them to make wraps themselves. Now that’s probably the best part of this entire meal. (wink)
Enjoy! – Juli Novotny of PURE Mamas.
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