I have had sort of a love-hate relationship with leafy greens. Actually it is probably not even that passionate, it's more of a like-dislike relationship. I know that they are one of the best foods out there in terms of their nutritional value but since I seem to get a big bag of some kind of leafy green, (usually kale), almost every week in my CSA box, I go through phases of being really, really tired of them, to the point of disliking them. I do a "small bag, small bag, small bag" chant in my head as I open my box, hoping against hope that it won't be a jumbo bag for me to use up. I seem to use them the same old ways week after week--in soup, stir fry, steamed, juiced, sometimes I even give them away to a greens loving friend just to get rid of them.
Lately I am trying to approach my greens with a better attitude--especially after reading more and more about their health benefits. Greens strengthen the blood and respiratory systems and are especially good for clearing congestion in the lungs and building immunities. With all of my asthma and breathing issues, how can I not love a vegetable that does that?! Kale in particular is a nutritional superstar, considered to be even better nutritionally than spinach. Full of phytochemicals, antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K and it even has some protein and fiber. Basically we all should be eating kale and greens by the truckload. ;-)
Looking for new ways to use my latest bag, I saw this recipe for Kale Salad on the Whole Foods website and it sounded simple but good and perfect for a light and healthy lunch.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market
Note: The key to this salad is finely chopping the kale leaves.
2 bunches kale leaves, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves very finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, chili powder and salt. Add kale, toss to combine and serve.
Nutrition per serving: (about 4oz/110g-wt.): 130 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 10g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 3g protein
Notes/Results: Excellent! This is a really good salad--fresh and it tastes great. The combination of the lemon, olive oil and chili (I used crushed red chili pepper flakes instead of chili powder) was excellent. I sprinkled the top with some toasted sesame seeds and liked the flavor and texture they added. The recipe notes that the key to the salad is chopping the kale finely and I agree as the little ribbons of the raw kale are much easier to eat than big pieces would be. I ate a plate for lunch the day I made it and then the next day enjoyed some with a brown rice ahi roll from Whole Foods. With this salad I am much closer to loving my kale this week and I will be making it again.