Simple Kale Salad

IMG_5742It’s safe to say that this is my most requested recipe. Many times dessert recipes tend to steal the show, leaving the savory and “healthy” meals as scraps for the birds to pick at. Okay that might have been slightly exaggerated, but you get my point. For those who stick their tongue out or roll their eyes when kale is mentioned; I get it. It’s a tricky green that takes more than a dressing to get right. There’s some technique behind a kale salad, but I promise you it’s not too hard. Kale is full of so many nutrients that it’s honestly difficult to say no to the health benefits.

How about we make a deal? You give kale one more shot with this recipe. If you still truly despise it, then kick it to the curb and enjoy something else! You have to love what you’re eating, whether it’s healthy or not. Too many people get down on themselves for not eating each and every meal that claims all these health benefits. Nobody is going to like it all. As a matter of fact, I HATE eggplant. Bread it, fry it, hide it in lasagna; I’m not a fan! Find healthy foods that you truly enjoy, and represent those ingredients wholeheartedly in your meals. Now, let’s get to it!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 10 ounce bag chopped kale
  • 1 lemon; juiced
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar* (I use Bragg’s)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 tsp olive juice (juice in glass jar of kalamata olives)
  • 2 large pinches salt
  • 1 tsp tahini or/ original hummus
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 avocado; cubed
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives; chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta; crumbled
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds; chopped
  • small handful basil; julienned
  • *optional toppings: dried cranberries, pistachios, apple slices, pear slices, hemp seeds…

Directions

  1. Add chopped kale to a large bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, olive juice, salt, tahini/hummus, black pepper, and garlic powder to the kale.
  3. Mix with tongs or clean hands for 5+ minutes.
  4. Let kale mixture sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and toss entire salad for 2-4 minutes.
  6. That’s it! You’re done!

IMG_5733

IMG_5723See, that wasn’t that difficult, was it? The trick behind kale is letting it marinade in a dressing for a few minutes. Too many people assume that you can pour a dressing on top, throw in some ingredients, and it should be good. Kale needs a little TLC to taste delicious. My favorite part about this salad is that it can be made in only ONE bowl. How great is that?! There is no need to make a dressing in an individual container and then pour it on top. Do it all in one bowl and make it simple on yourself. You might be surprised with the addition of tahini/hummus, but it truly adds a great flavor. Also, don’t be shy on tossing the kale. It really does need some mixing to break down its fibers. Combining acid (lemon juice and apple cider vinegar) with salt brings a similar practice to the kale as it does for raw fish. When you combine those ingredients to raw fish it slowly begins to “cook” the fish. Same concept with the kale, but instead of cooking it, it makes it more readably digestible. Enough chit chat, get to it!

*Raw apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar that is alkalizing on the body. All other vinegars are very acidic; stay away from those. When you’re at your local health food store, make sure to look for “raw” and/or “with the mother” on the bottle. The mother is part of the beneficial bacteria that is produced from the fermentation process. Don’t hesitate using that part in your recipe; it’s great for your digestive system! Disease grows in an acidic state-the more alkalizing you can make your body, the healthier you can become.

Just to clarify acid/alkaline in ingredients like lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar: The taste might be acidic, but inside your body they are much different. They are internally alkalizing and do wonders for your health. According to Bragg Live Foods, consuming raw apple cider vinegar prior to eating a meal can help boost your digestive system. “Five minutes before each meal, take 1 Tbsp distilled water with 3 tsp raw, Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, then swallow it to stimulate saliva.” Saliva contains digestive enzymes that start the break down process of your food before it even hits your stomach. The more saliva, the more digestive enzymes, the better!

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