Monday, January 30, 2012

"Everyone Loves It!" Kale Salad

The yummy Kale Salad
I've been seeing a lot of people eating kale salads recently. And in the winter, it's a great way to get all those vitamins from your leafy greens! I've bought some pre-made kale salads from the market before, and while some were tasty, others weren't so good, and either way, they were expensive and didn't last more than one meal! I'd been looking around for a good one to make at home, and then one day my Dad told me about this kale salad that my Stepmom makes. His main selling point was that "everyone loves it!" For a family that includes some people who aren't usually kale lovers, that statement was what made me want to give it a try!

This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but most are probably already in your kitchen. You can also play with it, leaving out things your don't like or don't have, and adding in other things that sound good to you. Be warned, it does take some advance planning to make this, as both the kale and the onions need to "marinate" for a few hours before you mix everything together and you'll need to cook the orzo or quinoa (if you're using them) in advance. But when everything is said and done, you'll have enough salad to serve 4-6 people as a main course, or more if it's a side. We enjoyed eating it the night I made it for dinner, and also very much enjoyed the leftovers a few days later. The great thing about this salad is that the longer it sits, the more the flavors blend together. I hope you love it as much as we all do!

"Everyone loves it!" Kale Salad
5C Kale (any variety is fine), chopped into thin slices
4T Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ Red Onion, thin/small slices
3T Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 Carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1-2 Celery, sliced into matchsticks
4T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2t Cumin
2t Turmeric
Pinch Cayenne
1/4C Sunflower Seeds
1/4C Hemp Seeds
1/2C Toasted Almonds (or other nut of choice)
1C Dried Cherries/Currants/Cranberries
1/2C Sun-Dried Tomatoes, sliced into strips
2T Toasted Sesame Seeds
1T Toasted Sesame Oil
2C Cooked Orzo (or Quinoa), cooled to room temperature
1/2C Feta Cheese, crumbled
Salt, Soy Sauce, Honey to taste

2-4 Hours Ahead – Slice the kale, massage with lemon juice, let sit in fridge
1 Hour Ahead – Marinate onions in vinegar, discard any leftover liquid

- In large bowl, combine kale, onion (minus the extra vinegar), carrot, celery, olive oil, cumin, turmeric, cayenne. Toss to combine. Be careful of the turmeric getting on your hands, fabrics, or other surfaces, it will stain!
- Add seeds, nuts, fruit, sesame oil, grain. Toss to combine.
- Add feta, gently toss.
- Add salt or soy if desired. If the onion is too strong, add some honey to counter it.
- Serve and enjoy!

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