Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes using the Queen of Greens – Kale! It’s a wonderful winter green that provides SO many delicious nutrients when eaten (fiber, folate and Vitamins A, C and K to name a few). This amazing green has become one of my favorite edibles that God has so generously gifted us. It’s such a hearty green it’s even proven itself against light ice and snow in our garden!
Kale and I met several years ago. I had begun working with a fabulous Health Coach and beautiful friend, Kate Lindsay, to help guide me through the beginning of our journey as a family with Food Allergies. We had just discovered that Noah, our oldest, was allergic to gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and sugar and I was a complete novice in the kitchen. At the time, the microwave and eating out were just a way of life for our family.
I went to a cooking class hosted by Kate and I learned the in’s and out’s of Kale and never looked back! One of the oddest things Kate taught in this class was that if you’re eating raw kale it needs to be massaged. I glanced at my best friend who had come with me with my “WTF?” face (that’s “What the French Toast” in our family). But it’s true, tribe, it’s true! If you give your kale a little love and a lot of squeezing, the texture changes completely and it becomes a joy to eat. Now I scoff at any unmassaged kale salad. Well, not really, but I won’t eat them because it feels like I’m chewing on cardboard.
So, if you’re curious how to massage kale, like I was, here’s what you do! De-stem the kale leaf. Tear the leaves up in a big bowl. This is fun to do with your kids. Stella, my toddler, likes to do this with me (I’ve found if the kids help out with dinner they are much more inclined to eat what they’ve made). Then, grab the torn leaves in two handfuls, squeeze them and give them a little rubbin’ for a few seconds. Just like giving someone a hand massage. Do this with all of the kale until it’s become limp and bright green. Literally just a couple of minutes completely changes the texture and color – and I think the taste, too!
There are several varieties of kale and it’s fun to mix and match them in this amazing Winter Citrus Salad. Our family LOVES it and everyone heads for seconds when I make this recipe. A few tips: it makes enough for several meals, you can easily switch out different ingredients to what you have on hand or what sounds delicious to you that day AND if you let it sit overnight and eat it the next day(s) then all of the ingredients have had a chance to dance and party and the flavors blend magically together. We love it most on Days 2 and 3!
Citrus Winter Salad
1 head of curly kale, washed
seeds from one pomegranate or 1 cup of blueberries or any other favorite fruit
1 apple or pear (or both)
1/2 c sliced almonds or nut of preference, toasted
Pull the kale leaves off of the stems. Tear or coarsely chop leaves and place in a large bowl. Massage kale for a few minutes. Thinly slice apple or pear. Peel grapefuit. Remove seeds and skin. Cut grapefruit slices in half. Add fruit to the kale and toss.
Let’s toast the almonds! Toasting nuts is like browning meat. Simply pour raw almonds onto your pan or skillet. Turn heat to med low. Start stirring them around pan after a couple of minutes. As they start to brown, remove from heat. Keep in a tightly sealed container.
zest of one orange
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 TBL raw honey
2 TBL Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
juice of zested orange
1/4 cup of oil (I used Avocado oil from Costco, but Olive Oil or Sunflower Oil works great, too)
Combine and whisk all ingredients, except for oil, into a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle oil in. Toss dressing with kale salad. Top with toasted almonds. Remember Days 2 and 3 are the best days for utmost salad enjoyment!
Kate later inspired me to go to Nutrition School and my life was forever changed! ANNDD her and her crazy beautiful family are making a documentary and set out on a two month long road trip last summer, interviewing families all over the country. Did I mention they did this with two kiddos under 5 and she was 7 months preggos? I did say crazy beautiful! Check out what they’re up to here.
In Love and Joy!