Kale is my favorite superfood. It’s nutrient dense, easily available and you can prepare it in sooo many ways. My favorite is putting it in green juice. It’s great in smoothies, it’s fun to make kale chips and there are endless, beautiful kale salads.
Did you know it will grow all year round even in the snowy middle of winter? It survives under the snow and you just reach through to pick it. This hardy little vegetable also has a hearty ability to be warming and filling during the cold season.
So why am I writing about it at the beginning of spring? That’s a good question.
I got busy and distracted this winter. Stopped making my daily green juice and, because it was a super-cold winter, I ended up eating more for warmth and less for green nutrition. I ended up not feeling very peppy.
So now I’m loving kale as a transition food from winter to spring, from “falling off the wagon” to nurturing my cells in a green way again. I went back to making green juice every day and I love the way I felt almost instantly! And I’m craving kale salads.
Craving nutrient rich foods is a great sign, and usually after you eat them out of discipline for awhile that craving will kick in. And once it does, it means your body recognizes the nutrients and wants more of what’s good for you.
Making kale salad is a lot like making any other salad … you can be creative and go with your gut about what will taste and look good. It can be super simple on a busy day or more elaborate when you have time to experiment.
Prepping the Kale
Take the kale leaves off the stems and cut the leaves into bite sized pieces. If you’re using flat leaf (lacinato) kale, you can give it a nice look by cutting it into strips about 1/2 an inch wide.
That is all you need to do with the kale.
If you like, you can massage the kale for a wilted, softer salad.
Massage it by mixing the kale with lemon juice (1/2 -1 lemon for 1 bunch of kale) and a little sea salt (up to 1/2 tsp to taste). Now massage the kale with your fingers for 2 or 3 minutes until it starts to soften and all surfaces of the kale are coated.
Four Super-Simple Salads
1. Mix crumbled goat cheese into the kale
2. Mix in dried cranberries and pine nuts
3. Mix in thinly sliced red onion and very thin granny smith apple slices
4. Add edamame, sliced black olives and sun-dried tomatoes
Add a drizzle of olive oil or your favorite dressing to any of the above and enjoy!