How to Crave Kale, a Power Veggie

– October 28, 2010

Raw Kale

Head/Brain of Kale

For years, I heard about the incredible benefits of kale but just couldn’t find a way to enjoy it.  In fact, to me Kale was a nice garnish at salad bars that could look good for weeks but should not to be eaten.

Last year my mother dried kale for me and I sprinkled crunched up leaves in salads and casseroles to try to get some of the benefits without actually having to taste that nasty stuff.  Then I started experimenting with it and now I LOVE kale.

This is how the wonderful transformation happened for me:

I visited my aunt who made a phenomenal kale and avocado salad that is not only fantastic just the way it is, but it has inspired me to build on it and make some fun and yummy discoveries.  Every time I find something new to do with this salad I am inspired to try more things.  As a result, I now love kale and I am trying other recipes with kale.  In fact, I often think about my kale salad sitting in the fridge when I get hungry.  I am actually starting to crave the stuff!

This is the basic recipe she used for the salad:

AvocadoKale and Avocado Salad

Yields about 8 generous servings

1 Head/Bunch of Fresh Kale

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 T Olive Oil

2 Ripe Tomatoes – Diced

Salt and Pepper to Taste

¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper (or more to taste)

1-2 Avocadoes – Diced

Pine Nuts, Pepitos, Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds (shelled)

Directions:

Rinse the raw kale and remove the hard stems (they taste too bitter).  Tear the kale into small, bite-sized pieces and place into a plastic bag or big bowl.  Make sure the kale is fully drained and/or patted dry with a towel.

Add diced tomatoes, lemon juice, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper and olive oil to the kale and shake or toss with hands until evenly distributed.

When ready to serve add the avocados and shake or toss thoroughly so the avocado pieces are coated.

Top with pine nuts, pepitos, pumpkin seeds or shelled sunflower seeds.

Tips:

  • Kale usually needs to be blanched or cooked a little to take a bitter edge off of its taste, but with this recipe the acid in the tomatoes and lemon juice serve the same purpose.
  • Kale can be “marinated” in the tomato/lemon juice mixture for a day or so in advance to give the kale a more wilted texture.
  • If the avocados are well coated with the lemon juice mixture they will still be fine for the next day or two in the fridge without too much browning.
  • Always add the nuts just before serving so they don’t get gooshy in the marinating process.

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Try the salad and see what you think.  If you like the base salad get creative and make it even more interesting.  Here are some things I do:

  • Add Your Favorite Veggies – I suggest experimenting with sliced olives, red cabbage or mix with your favorite greens.
  • Make Enough for Leftovers – I always make a ton of it because it keeps for days and tastes even better the second and third day.
  • Add Protein – Try slices of grilled chicken or tuna steaks.  Add chunks of tofu, black beans or even top a serving of the salad with a couple spoonfuls of cottage cheese.  Try mixing in a little cooked quinoa.
  • Stuff a wrap with leftover salad and little feta cheese.
  • Sprinkle the salad with ground flax or hemp seed to add more bulk and Omega-3s.

Tell me what you’d like to see in this salad.  What have you tried?

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