With its earthy flavour and super food status, kale has become one of the most popular greens around. This nutrient rich plant is high in calcium, potassium, copper and iron as well as vitamins A, C and K and folic acid- which are essential for healthy bones, skin and eyes. Safe to say its achieved cult status as the trendy way to get your daily dose of green- the hippest cafés around the world, will always feature a kale-something-salad on their menu. And in my opinion, the praise is well deserved! Equal parts good for you and tasty, it’s a fresh new way to incorporate vibrant raw greens into any diet.
If you’re new to this popular green (which is considered to be related to wild cabbage), the best way to increase the amount of kale in your diet is to start using it in your salads. I love using kale as an alternative to lettuce. The bonus surprise? Even dressed kale salads keep well in the refrigerator. Unlike most pre-made soggy salads featuring lettuce, kale salads work well as a pre-packed lunch option.
Kale salads are also great during the festive season. They are a simple, nutritious option when you’ve overindulged and find your jeans feeling a little tighter around the waistband. Flavoursome and filling, kale salads are the “virtuous” way to get you back on track.
When preparing your kale there are a couple of things to keep in mind. As it’s super fibrous, kale is chewier than other leafy greens. The best way around this is to finely slice your kale before adding to salads. Secondly, remember to massage your kale if you don’t want the sensation of eating a tree. To massage, sprinkle on your dressing and take a bunch of kale in your hands. Squeeze them with medium pressure, then pick up another bunch and keep squeezing.
Use the kale salad recipe I’ve shared below as a light and satisfying lunch, or serve it up along with dinner to cover your nutritional bases.
- 2 cups ribbed and finely sliced kale
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 green apple, sliced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- ½ cup toasted seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower
- 100 grams danish feta
- one clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon
- juice of one lemon
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- Place the kale in a large bowl and massage the leaves until slightly bruised and softened. Add the wild rice, apples, cucumber, seeds and feta to the bowl.
- To make the dressing, whiz the garlic, honey, dijon, lemon juice and olive oil in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing on the salad and toss until the leaves are well coated. The salad will keep in the fridge for a two days before losing its crunch.