Kale has become extremely popular over the past few years. It took me a while to jump on the kale-loving band wagon, but once I started experimenting with it in some of my favorite recipes my opinion slowly started to change. Kale has a great texture and can be prepared in many different ways: sauteing, steaming, or adding it to soups, salads or even smoothies. Raw kale can be pretty tough for our bodies to digest, which is why I like to “massage” kale when I plan to use it for salads. Massage?!? Yes- giving your kale some love can help break down some of the cellulose (fiber), making it a bit easier to digest. The kale will become softer in texture and will actually turn a brighter color.
A good rule of thumb: the more vibrant the color, the more nutrients a fruit or vegetable contains and kale is a great example of this. Kale has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, fiber, and a phytonutrient called indoles, which stimulate liver detoxification and help fight cancer.
Kale salad is a great side dish for any meal and also makes a perfect weekday lunch. I like making a big batch on Sunday to have something quick and easy to bring to work with me. Kale salads don’t get soggy like many other salads and in fact, they get better with time as the flavors come together and the kale breaks down a bit. This salad is exactly what I crave after over-indulging on the weekend- something light and nutrient dense to start my week off on the right foot.
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of kale
- Juice of one lemon
- ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and toast until golden brown.
- Trim stems off kale and tear leaves off of ribs.
- Slice kale in thin, bite sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine kale with 2 Tbsp olive oil and juice of one lemon. Using your hands, massage the kale (kind of like kneading dough) for a few minutes until the leaves are soften and the kale turns a more vibrant green.
- Top with toasted breadcrumbs, cheese, walnuts and dried cherries.
- Let sit before serving to allow flavors to blend.