Healthy kale salad recipes are all the rage at the moment and if you go into any self respecting ‘healthy’ restaurant odds are you will find a kale something on their menu, because kale is awesome. Today I’m going to share one of my absolute favourite ways to eat kale, but first, we need to have a little chat about kale. Kale is a tricky little leaf and it needs a lot of love and extra attention. It doesn’t take kindly to being treated just like lettuce, because it’s better than lettuce (no offence lettuce). If you don’t know how to prepare and work with kale, odds are you’ve tried to treat it like lettuce and been left disappointed; looking and feeling like a cow chewing on grass instead of a majestic health goddess.
Kale is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, K and a good portion of the rest of the alphabet and is high in iron and fibre. It also has cancer fighting properties, can lower cholesterol and is anti-inflammatory. Lettuce, well, lettuce is basically just green water made solid (sorry lettuce I still love you). I’m sure you can see why kale doesn’t respond well to being treating like lettuce – kale is the queen. If you’re planning on eating kale as a part of a salad, you need to treat it with a mixture of olive oil, salt and lemon juice before you do anything else.
Kale and Toasted Almond Salad
1 bunch of kale
3 juicy lemons
1 clove of garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. De-stalk the kale. You can either tear the leafy part of the kale off the stalk or cut it away – whatever makes you happier.
2. Place the kale in a bowl and drizzle a decent amount of olive oil over the top (pretend that you are dressing the salad). Squeeze the juice of about 1 lemon over that too and add a pinch of salt into the mix.
3. Massage the kale. Yes, you read that correctly, massage the kale. Get involved, and massage that kale like it’s Channing Tatum. You’ll notice the kale will become much greener in colour and it will seem like its reducing in size. What you are actually doing is breaking down the kale so that you can digest it without having to cook it. Kale isn’t supposed to be this chewy thing that makes you feel like a cow while you’re trying to chew it and love the healthy life.
4. The next step is the dressing. In a food processor place the avos (no skin and no pips obviously), the clove of garlic a handful of spring onion, the juice of the remaining two lemons salt and pepper and some chilli if you’re feeling festive. Pour about 2 Tbsp of olive oil in there and blend it until it is smooth and guacamole-like.
5. Add the salad dressing to the kale in the bowl and make sure it is completely coated.
6. Toast some almonds on the stove in a pan, chop them up and add them on top of your kale salad for some extra crunch, protein and general deliciousness.
*All photos are my own but the recipe inspiration came from Jessica Sepel.
*Special thanks to my lovely hand model, sous chef and co-eater of the salad – Lexi Ryman.