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Kale Salad

April 30, 2011 by Janice

This is an easy go-to salad that everyone loves. The other night when my son, Ben, saw that I’d made this salad he informed some of his friends. His phone was lighting up with texts asking him to share the salad! Be prepared for a surprising new favorite in your kitchen as well!

THE TWIST

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit consumer advocacy group, set out to find the most nutritious vegetable. And the winner was…..drum roll please… Kale! This powerhouse is not only a complete protein but is packed with cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and antioxidants.  It is one of natures most abundant sources of vitamin K which is important for the blood. A sign of vitamin K deficiency is bruising easily and heavy bleeding. Kale is chock-full of other nutrients as well such as vitamins A and C as well as several from the B-complex group. Kale has a nice balance of several minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus and copper.  Whats more, it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are important for neurological function, reducing the symptoms of depression and ADHD among many other things. The combination of nutrients in kale are perfect for maintaining strong bones and connective tissue, healthy blood, clear skin, muscular coordination, healthy immune function, maintaining proper vision, brain health and the prevention of degenerative diseases, regulate metabolism, control blood pressure and promote youthfulness.

The purple in the cauliflower indicates that this vegetable is a forceful cancer fighter. It is also far more tender than other varieties of cauliflower. Since it is very low in calories and high in fiber is a perfect food for anyone watching their waistline. It contains folate, necessary for proper development of an unborn child’s brain and spinal cord, warding off depression and dementia, and supports a healthy cardiovascular system.

A little ginger goes a long way! Just a tiny bit of ginger in the salad dressing adds a bunch of flavor and health benefits as well. It is known for reducing nausea associated with pregnancy and motion. It helps the digestive system by reducing the effects of heartburn and gas and increases the production of saliva and digestive enzymes.

Another flavor booster in the salad dressing is the sesame oil. It is a natural source of COQ10, a highly revered nutrient to help maintain the qualities of youth. It is an excellent source of vitamin E and antioxidants and research has shown that sesame oil may have a positive effect on blood pressure.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/kale.html
http://alternativemedicinenow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ratings.pdf
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2
http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002399.htm
http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/folate-health-benefits-foods/2011/01/13/id/369432
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/ginger-root-benefits-of-ginger.html
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4610945_what-benefits-sesame-seed-oil.html

KALE  SALAD

1 bunch kale, stemmed (any variety)
1/2 head purple cauliflower, florets chopped small
2 large carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 finely diced shallot
1 (8 oz.) pkg. seitan, chopped (optional)
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable based mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup water
2 T Braggs amino acids
1 T rice vinegar
2 t minced fresh ginger root
1 t sesame oil

Chop the kale into small pieces using a sharp knife. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and either whisk or blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add additional water to the dressing if it seems too thick. Toss the dressing into the salad to evenly coat all the kale. Serve immediately. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

Variations:
Use purple cabbage in place of the cauliflower.
Yellow or orange bell peppers work just as well as the red.
Replace the seitan with 1 can cannellini or other beans.
Instead of almonds, use pumpkin seeds, walnuts or other nuts
The kale can easily be swapped with Swiss chard.
Add a touch of sweetness with a 1/2 cup of raisins or dried cranberries.
©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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