You had me at Kale-O!
One day I was in the grocery store looking at an empty spot on the shelf where some kale had previously been. An older gentleman who saw my dismay said “I remember when kale used to be the poor man’s vegetable, no body wanted it”. Somehow in the last decade the tables have turned for our green, leafy friend. I suppose people realized kale was more useful then a plate garnish or a salad bar decoration. So what is kale’s super star popularity all about?
Kale is a hardy, leafy vegetable that can help you feel and look your best because you are giving your body so many nutrients to work with. Kale is packed with iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin B6 C, K, A and potassium to name a few. The health benefits of eating kale are off the charts. I swear I can actually feel my body thanking me when I eat it. Maybe that is because eating dark, leafy greens, like kale, support four out of the five life forces: detoxification, nutrition, oxygenation, alkalization. I also love the fact that kale is so versatile that it can be made into all sorts of different recipes. Kale chips, kale burger, kale smoothie, kale salad, anyone? Yes, please!
I never wanted to run out of kale again, so this year I planted extra kale in my garden box. I love kale because it is a vigorous producer and has the ability to grow with ease. If you are just starting to garden, I recommend raising kale. It is a very forgiving green that grows with little tending to. Believe it or not, kale is a member of the cabbage family and comes in many different varieties. Curly kale is the most common kind of kale you willsee at the grocery store or on a restaurant menu, so we will use it for this recipe.
OUR FAVORITE CURLY KALE SALAD
You will need these ingredients:
Step by step:
Let’s begin by preparing the kale. You will find a sturdy stalk in the center of each leaf.
Although this part of the kale is eatable, it tastes bitter and is tough to chew. We will not include the stalk in this recipe. You can either compost them or save them to throw in a soup or broth later. Remove the stalk by sliding your fingers down each side of the stalk while pulling away from the center rib as you go. If you are using bagged kale you will have many small, chopped leaves. You will have to individually go through to remove the stalks, which can take longer then de-stalking a whole leaf at a time.
Are you ready to show your kale some loooove with a good rubdown? Place your kale in a large bowl, sprinkle the lemon juice on top and begin massaging the juice into the kale leaves. As you continue to massage you will begin to feel the kale soften. You will see it turn darker in color and reduce in mass. This step is not absolutely necessary but it does help in the process of breaking down kale’s cellulose structure so it’s not so fibros to chew and the bitterness is neutralized. Plus, it gives your hands a good workout and my little one loves getting his paws in on the fun.
Alright, now that your hands are stronger and your kale is feeling the love, we want to add some flavor to this dish with a dressing. I love this super, sesame, tahini, dressing because it is thick and sticks to the kale nicely.
Once the salad is dressed, I like to add some toppings for some excitement to the eyes. Sprouts and hemp seeds are great toppings for adding some extra nutrients and textures. The gogi berries are really just for their color. I like to add a few for some color contrast.
To make the super, sesame, tahini, dressing you will need these ingredients:
I prefer to make this dressing in magic bullet blender because it is a smaller blender and is able to keep the ingredients together. A larger blender would splatter everything on the sides of the blender. If you have a magic blender you can add all of the ingredients and blend them for a minute until you see a beautiful, creamy dressing. If you want to make this by hand, I use a mug and a fork. Place all of the ingredients, except the water, into the mug. Give it a good stir and then start adding the water one tablespoon at a time until the water has combined well. It will get creamier and creamier with every stir.
Raise kale baby,