Monday, January 30, 2017

Green is Gorgeous - Delicious Kale Salad

One Christmas at dinner, a dear friend began telling my family about a fabulous kale salad recipe she had found.  As she described the recipe, my family began to smile - everyone recognized my recipe.  She looked around and asked why we were all smiling - my brother broke it to her: "My sister published that recipe years ago."

I began sharing delicious super healthy recipes - some raw, some not - in 2006 and 2007. I knew how healthy kale is, but I am a lazy, impatient cook.  Therefore I came up with a simple and easy kale salad Sometimes, depending on its season, the leaves can be more hard and bitter.  I faced just such an adverse salad at another family dinner for about 20 people.  My kale salad that just wasn't perfect and yummy.  I came up with back up plan.  If you can't get the salad to taste delicious, just throw it in a very hot cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of water and quickly close the lid for 1 minute.  A failed salad can still make a great sautee.

Since I can't say enough about how much better my health and weight have been since I added green veggies to my regular eating habits -- here it is again - My favorite way to prepare kale salad.

Use the softest kale you can find at the market.  If it is a small bunch or if you are entertaining several guests, use 2 or 3. Sometimes dinosaur kale is softer than curly kale, and sometimes vice-versa. If you can find "siberian kale" it is usually super tender.

Cut any thick portions of stem out of the leaves and rinse them well (more mature kale will have fatter stems than younger plants)  Chop the kale into fairly small pieces. 

Put the chopped kale into your salad bowl and add the dressing ingredients. 

Olive oil is the main ingredient - don't skimp - this is what prevents the salad from being dry and chewy.
Use enough to make salad nice and moist.  I use at least a half cup on a large bunch of kale, but start with what you think won't be too much, because when you start to massage the kale, if it seems dry you can always add more.  
Cayenne pepper - adjust to your taste (again start with a little and add more if you so desire)
Juice of 1/4 (more or less, to taste) of a lime, lemon, or meyer lemon
Salt to taste (use good quality natural salts like Real Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt rather than commercial processed salts)
"Massage" (squeeze) the dressing into your kale. Use very strong squeezing/squishing to break down the kale so it is tender (squeeze the heck out of it).

I always add plenty of tomatoes. A good trick to know is that if your dressing is a little too sour, you can squeeze in a few pieces of tomato to balance it out.   Then toss in the rest.

Other additions people like for variety - (any or all of them) include red onions, green onions, cucumber, red bell peppers, mild chili peppers, and even shredded beets or shredded carrots

I have gone into a lot of detail here, but don’t be fooled - it only takes about 7 minutes to make this yummy salad. Kale contains excellent resources for Vitamin C, K, A, B6, Manganese, dietary fiber, copper, potassium, calcium, and a good resource for a host of other nutrients including Omega 3, B vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin E. It is also a source of Sulforaphane (if you chew it well) which is thought to prevent cancer.   I Love Kale.

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