Hailed as a super food for good reason, Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition. One of nature’s richest sources of Vitamin K, it helps the body fight heart disease and osteoporosis. Its high beta-carotene content (which the body transforms into Vitamin A) aids cell growth and supports the body’s immune system. It’s also mineral dense, high in antioxidants and full of fibre. Best of all, Kale grows easily and is generally inexpensive to buy.
Personally, I have found that regularly incorporating Kale into my diet has helped improve my digestive health and boost my overall wellbeing.
Three tips for making a great kale salad
It took me a while to work out how best to regularly incorporate Kale into my diet. It’s a cruciferous vegetable with a dense texture that needs a lot of chewing and tends to have a somewhat bitter flavour.
I’ve found the secret to making a good kale salad lies in a three simple steps:
- Firstly you need to finely chop the kale, this reduces the chewiness and makes it more manageable to eat
- Secondly you need to add some tasty ingredients to balance the flavour. Sweet vegetables like carrot and beetroot balance the bitterness of the kale and the addition of avocado balances the texture. I also really like to add some good quality goat’s cheese to the salad – the slightly tart flavour compliments the bitterness beautifully
- Finally, it’s important to get the dressing right. In my opinion a lemon based dressing works best.
- 2 cups of finely chopped kale (around a third to half a bunch)
- 50-60g /2oz goat’s cheese
- 1 medium to large carrot – grated
- 1 small beetroot – grated
- Half an avocado
- Optional: 1 cup of cooked quinoa (ideally activated) OR
- Optional: half a cup of tamari almonds (ideally activated)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Equal parts olive oil (this will depend on how much juice your lemon renders but should equal around 3-4 tablespoons)
- 1 heaped teaspoon of dijon mustard
Remove the leaves of the kale from the stems, wash and drain thoroughly. Finely chop and add to a large salad bowl. Cut the avocado into cubes around 1cm /half an inch in size and add to the bowl, then grate in the carrot and beetroot and add the quinoa if you’re using it (if you’re using tamari almonds instead, avoid mixing these through until just before you’re ready to serve).
Separately, make the dressing by juicing the lemon and adding the juice to a jar with a lid along with the olive oil and dijon mustard. Shake well.
Pour around a third of the dressing over the salad and mix through. Taste to ensure there’s enough dressing for your palette, if not add a little more. Once you’re happy with the flavour, crumble the goat’s cheese into the salad and mix again. At least half the dressing should remain – reserve this for your next salad.
If you’re using almonds, mix these through just serving to ensure they retain their crunchiness.
Serves 2 for a large salad each of 4 as a side dish.