If you are looking to incorporate more vital nutrients in your diet, dark green and deep purple kale is a good place to start.
Rich in vitamins K, beta carotene, and C, kale offers numerous health benefits associated with it’s family of cruciferous vegetables (that includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, arugula and bok choy).
The potent nutrients in kale are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant/anti-cancer, detoxifying, and promote healthy heart and vision.
Now we know why Kale has a well earned reputation as a “superfood”
The following recipe offers simple ingredients without specific measurements, so you can taste as you go. Once you become comfortable with the basic preparation, it is easy to create your own favorite version.
Simple Kale Salad
One bunch of flat kale (often called lacinato/tuscan/dinosaur), shredded*
One lemon, cut in half
Handful of shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
fresh ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
*I enjoy eating both curly and flat kale in salads, but recommend starting off with the flat kale, as it is easier to work with. It also tends to be more popular with children.
To shred the kale; fold the leaves in half lengthwise over the hard stem and slice down the length of the stem to remove it.
Stack a few leaves and slice thinly crosswise into ribbons. wash and dry well using a salad spinner.
Place dried kale in a serving bowl. squeeze 1/2 lemon on top and massage into kale with your fingertips until leaves begin to soften. Drizzle with EVOO, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust lemon, olive oil and seasonings as needed. Toss with parmigiana cheese.
Unlike lettuce, the kale will not wilt in the dressing, and can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. It still tastes delicious the next day.
This salad is perfect as it is, topped with a piece of chicken or meaty fish like salmon and halibut. As a complete vegetarian meal, toss in cooked chickpeas or lentils (for protein and high energy carbs).
Other delicious combinations include:
- toasted chopped almonds and dried unsweetened cherries
- diced apples and pecans.
- roasted butternut squash
- toasted unsweetened coconut and dried currants.