Chopped Kale Salad . . .

18 Apr

Last year I changed my diet pretty radically. I tried to go organic (as much of the time as possible), eliminated sugar, most dairy, processed foods and all soy products (eliminating soy is harder than you think, soybean oil is in most everything these days). Every day I focus on three things: 1) avoiding processed foods, 2) getting enough protein (from low fat and non-chemical sources), and, 3) increasing the amount of fresh vegetables and fruits in my diet (I try to consume 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, with a heavier emphasis on vegetables – although this is hard sometimes). I also try to consume as many dark green and colorful vegetables as possible.

Chopped Kale Salad

The darker green the better. And, if possible, I try to eat at least some vegetables daily that are raw (cooking can take out the good stuff, so I try to go raw when I can). Well, it can get a little boring sometimes, so I have come up with a few recipes over the past year.  Kale is a great vegetable. It is high in antioxidants, high in fiber and just good for you. However, raw, it tastes like a tough lettuce that is made out of broccoli. I have eaten it raw and cooked and also put it through a juicer. Other than adding it to soups, it was something that I ate in spite of how it tasted. Not any longer. If you do it right, it tastes good in a salad – or, a better way of putting it – is that you can’t tell it is in the salad 🙂

The key is to chopped up the kale into small pieces and add it to a sturdy lettuce (I prefer hearts of romaine). Keep the hearts of romaine chopped up in about one inch pieces (like you would do for a Caesar’s Salad). The two together (kale and hearts of romaine) are complimentary. Hearts of romaine tends to be a bit sweet so it helps to cut some of the bitterness of the kale. And, when you chop up the kale into really thin sections (1/8 of an inch or less thickness) then it really changes the flavor of the Kale. It is much more subtle and actually tastes a little bit like arugula. Again, the key is to chop it up pretty fine.

Ingredients:

Organic Hearts of Romaine Lettuce (1 1/2 heads to 2 heads)

Organic Kale (about 6 to 8 large leaves)

Organic Apple (1)

Organic Orange (1)

Organic Raisins (1 handful)

Organic Olive Oil (1/2 cup)

Organic Balsamic Vinegar (2 tablespoons)

Spicy Mustard (about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons)

Organic Garlic (to taste, I use organic garlic from a jar for this salad, it comes in olive oil and is chopped. As a result, it is tender and mixes well in the vinaigrette. If using fresh garlic, then I suggest you press it and use less than one clove, probably about a 1/2 clove or less)

Ground Pepper to taste

Directions: Wash kale and cut about 8 large leaves/stalks of the kale. Bunch up the kale and chop it up (holding it into a bunch helps the chopping to go faster). Chop kale into pieces that are 1/8 inch or less. Wash two heads of hearts of romaine lettuce. Chop hearts of romaine into one inch sections (as you would do if making a Caesar’s Salad). Core one apple and slice into thin pieces (do not remove skin). Keep the pieces of apple about 1/2 inch or less. Cut one orange into four wedges. Take each wedge and cut fruit away from the skin (this will leave a small amount of pulp close to the skin). Take each section and cut it into four or five pieces so that you have small cube like pieces of orange. Reserve the skins to use in vinaigrette.

To make vinaigrette: combine one 1/2 cup organic olive oil with mustard and garlic. Blend well. Squeeze the remaining pulp from the orange sections into the olive oil mixture. Add balsamic vinegar. Whisk.

Combine all above ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly so that salad is coated well with vinaigrette.

You can add additional raisins and fruit to the top of the salad (if you do so, reserve a little bit of the vinaigrette to mix your fruit into – this salad is best with the fruit and dressing combined well).

I often add chicken or salmon to this salad – mixing the chicken or salmon into the vinaigrette first before tossing it into the salad (it makes for a better flavor and consistency).

2 Responses to “Chopped Kale Salad . . .”

  1. Sandy Gougis April 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM #

    Wow… this sounds and looks so good, I might even get Michael to eat it! 🙂

    Love,
    Sandy

    • cancerfree2b April 18, 2010 at 3:56 PM #

      It is good. I forgot though, the salad pictured actually has about a cup of green beans in it as well – I had some leftover green beans that I tossed in. You can put anything in it though.

      To health!

      Love,
      Lisa

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