Hello again my dear friend, it is that time for little ol’ nutritionist me to throw more kale at you.
Okay don’t leave just yet, this one’s special I promise.
Kale salads may have peaked on the trendy scale in 2015 but they still deserve a regular appearance in your pantry for a few reasons:
- They are sturdy. Leave them coated in dressing for a couple days in the fridge and you wont find a puddle of mushy leaves. In fact, a lingering dressing helps to break down the toughness of the kale. (No choking on dry kale florets here)
- They are high in protein: Compared to some other limp greens I wont mention, kale is packin’ 7.5 grams of protein per 3 cup serving! Make those salads super-sized!
- Micro-nutrients: Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, and heaps of fiber your body needs to regulate blood sugar and maintain weight. Kale is also extremely anti-inflammatory which we know is the root cause of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.
Living with omnivores and the nutritionally-disinclined provides the unique challenge of making one of the healthiest foods ever NOT taste like what comes out of the lawnmower.
This Italian Kale Salad is my way of bringing the pizza and the pasta we can’t get enough of into the humble realm of the kale salad. There’s salty sun-dried tomatoes, an addictive garlicky dressing, and a cheesy sprinkle of parmesan I pulsed up with a combination of brazil nuts and spices.
If you’ve been missing your sprinkly- cheese fix since going dairy-free, have faith this simple blend is going to bring your cheesy dreams to life!
- 1 head of kale, washed and destemmed
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly (packed in oil)
- 1 small bulb of fennel, sliced thinly (with a mandolin if you have one- I don't)
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 t tamari
- 1 t dijon mustard
- pinch garlic powder (optional)
- 1 cup raw brazil nuts
- 3 T nutritional yeast
- 1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
- generous sprinkle of sea salt
- pinch garlic powder
- (1 t olive oil, optional)
- Start by making your parmesan. In a food processor combine brazil nuts, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon and oil if using. Pulse on and off until fine crumbs form. Be careful not to over process or you will verge on nut butter territory. Taste and set aside. You want it very salt and cheesy.
- For your salad dressing: simply combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake or whisk until combined. Store in fridge until the rest of the salad is ready.
- Massage your kale: In a large bowl drizzle your de-stemmed kale with the salad dressing. Using your hands work the dressing into the kale, tearing the kale into bite sized pieces as you go. Kale will be softened considerably and ready to eat!
- Add in your sun dried tomatoes, sliced fennel and sprinkle with a hearty portion of the brazil nut parmesan. Top with extra salt, pepper or nutritional yeast if desired!
- Both the parmesan cheese and the salad dressing can be made ahead and stored in a glass jar. The recipe for the cheese makes much more than you will need for the salad, but you probably wont mind putting it all over your pasta, pizza, salads and more :)