I can’t get enough of kale lately – I’ve made kale hummus (recipe coming soon!), kale chips, garlicky sauteed kale and finally kale salad.
Kale has amazing health benefits:
-Source of vitamin K: important for healthy bones & blood (also helps prevent bags under your eyes)
-Source of vitamin A: important for healthy skin & eyes
-Source of vitamin C: powerful antioxidant/cancer-fighter/immune system strengthener
-High in fibre: important for healthy digestion & helps control appetite
I wasn’t always a lover of kale though. I didn’t really know what to do with it, and every time I tried to include it in a salad I hated it – the leaves just tasted bitter, and their hard, thick texture make them difficult to eat.
I recently attended an intern dinner for the Living Kitchen Wellness Group, where I shared my kale salad frustration. A fellow intern shared with me her secret to making kale salad delicious – put it in a food processor or using a knife, slice into small strips, and marinate for about 10 minutes in evoo & lemon juice. The food processor & dressing breaks it down; making it easier to eat, and the sweetness of the extra virgin olive oil counteracts the bitterness of the kale.
I know what you’re thinking – eating salad is difficult enough, now you want me to take an extra step and process & marinate it too? Yes I do.
The great thing about kale is that it doesn’t get soggy. You can make a big batch of processed/marinated kale leaves, and it will last you a few days. Than all you have to do is chop fresh veggies each day to add to your kale.
Here’s an important truth to realize: eating healthy is more work than eating unhealthy – it’s a reality that you’re going to have to face if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. That being said, the effort you put into your healthy diet is worth it. It’s like most things in life – anything worth having (ie. being healthy, losing weight, increased energy, improved digestion, clear skin, improved mood) is worth working hard for.
This kale salad & dressing recipe is inspired by Nicole’s Kale Slaw recipe, enjoy!
Best Kale Salad
1 head organic kale (washed, dried & processed or sliced thinly into strips)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 avocado cubed
1 bell pepper julienned
1/2 an English cucumber diced
Organic cherry tomatoes halved
Handful of seeds (sunflower, hemp, or pumpkin)
Handful of raisins or currents
Wash and dry kale in your salad spinner. Place kale in food processor and pulse a few times until shredded. Or, stack a bunch of leaves on top of each other, role and slice into thin strips (repeat until all kale is sliced).
Place sliced kale in a large bowl, and toss with evoo and lemon juice. Let marinate while you chop the rest of your veggies.
Add veggies to kale mixture, toss and enjoy!
You can eat the salad just like that, or add in this delicious creamy Asian-flavored dressing:
Creamy Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
2 tbsp evoo
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 garlic clove minced
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine everything in a Magic Bullet or food processor until smooth. Drizzle & toss into kale salad.
If you want to make this a complete meal; combine the kale salad & tahini dressing with cooked soba noodles or brown rice noodles, and a legume (chick peas or green peas) and you’ve got yourself a seriously healthy, complete protein, pasta salad.
Once you start experimenting with healthy ingredients, the combinations & flavors are endless. Go for it – put in the work, and start living a healthy lifestyle; you’ll soon find out that it’s worth it.