Daily Tip Number Four: Don’t Forget the Greens

Halloween has come and gone, and I’ve definitely eaten more candy than I will admit. And after riding an up and down sugar-high for the past few days, I’m dying for something green and full of vitamins and minerals. So, this week I thought I’d make one of my favorite recipes, the famous lacinato kale salad.The original recipe is from marinmamacooks.com .

Here’s why I love this recipe, and why it’s the best comeback to days of continual sugar consumption. Kale is one of those vegetables that gets the superfood label because it’s so nutrient dense. According to healthline.com, kale has 206% of the recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin A (from beta-carotene), 684% of the RDA of Vitamin K and 134% of the RDA of Vitamin C, all while being low calories. It also has the antioxidants Quercetin and Kaempferol, and a lot nutrients hard to find in other foods.

The problem though, is that kale on its own kind of tastes like grass. And because we’re not rabbits, it’s hardly palatable in its natural state. But this recipe is the secret to making it not just edible, but delicious. Once I’ve made it, I look forward to eating it everyday. A crazy thought for kale, but it’s true. The dressing is made from olive oil and lemon juice, and the it’s the juice that breaks down the tough kale and makes it soft and yet still crunchy.

So here’s how it’s done:

Take two bunches of lacinato or dinosaur kale. After washing the kale, pat dry with a paper towel.

Kale

Then with a knife, cut out the hard stem of each leaf to make two long strips.

Strips

Then take one strip and roll it up and cut it into pieces, like a sushi roll. It’s important to make sure the kale is cut into small enough pieces so the leaves can absorb the dressing and become soft.

Strips2

Then you’ll need garlic, olive oil, two lemons, salt and pepper, and some cayenne pepper (if you like a little spice).

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I have a special little tool that makes it easy to peel garlic, which can be found at most home stores.

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I love my green garlic peeler

Once the garlic is peeled, put each clove through the garlic press. Or you can chop it with a parry knife, but I like presses because they seem to juice the garlic along with cutting it into pieces.

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Then take the lemons and press out the juice in a presser. For the amount of kale above, I would make about 4 tablespoons.

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Then add the same number of tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper taste. For an extra little kick, add a bit of cayenne pepper. Careful! A little goes a long way.

Take a whisk, and mix all the ingredients together to make a dressing

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Then gather to the yummy extras: a package cranberries, about 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 2/3 cup of parmesan cheese. I like a brand of low-sugar cranberries, but the normal kind will add a little extra sweetness.

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Now, it’s time to pour over the dressing on the kale….

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…and stir until all the leaves are well covered.

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Then mix in the extra ingredients!

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Now it’s mixed and ready!!

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Now comes the last, and most important step: let the kale sit and soak up the dressing. It needs a least a few hours, or possibly overnight. If the next day the kale is still a bit bitter, add some extra lemon juice.

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Once it’s ready, you can add whatever extra ingredients you like to have a full meal. For lunch this week, I plan on adding a hard-boiled egg, some left over pulled chicken, some bacon bits and a few croutons.

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And there you go! Now you can pat yourself on the back for being so healthy!

Yummy Lacinato Kale Salad

  • 1-2 bunches of lacinato or dinosaur kale
  • 4 tbs of lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 4 tbs of olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 package of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup of parmesan cheese

Wash and dry kale, then cut into strips. De-peel garlic and put through the garlic press. Press juice out of lemons, then add to garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Whisk the dressing, then pour over kale and stir until all leaves are well covered. Then stir in cranberries, almonds and parmesan cheese. Most importantly, let salad sit for a couple hours or over night to absorb dressing. If kale is still a bit bitter the next day, add a 1 or 2 more tablespoons of lemon juice, along withe the same amount of olive oil. Then add any extra ingredients you like, such as eggs or chicken, and enjoy!

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