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Be kaleful!  Kale is in season and it’s time to embrace this leafy green. This nutritional powerhouse is loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin K- nutrients needed to fight cancer, high blood pressure and protect your immune system. Kale is often dismissed because of its rough texture. Be nice to the kale! If you massage kale before using it, it softens the texture and sweetens the flavor a bit. In this recipe, I used corn oil, which is an inexpensive, heart-healthy oil with a neutral taste. Pumpkin seeds and dates add color, flavor and texture. This is a great recipe for a picnic or potluck.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dry quinoa

8 cups fresh kale, cleaned and ripped

2 Tbsp. corn oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)

1 Tbsp. honey

2 ½ tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. minced ginger or ginger paste

1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds

¼ cup chopped dates

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions and set aside to cool.
  2. Place cleaned, ripped kale in a large bowl. “Massage” the kale for 3-5 minutes to soften it up. It will look shiny after a few minutes.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together corn oil, lemon juice, honey, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and lemon zest to make a dressing.
  4. Add cooked quinoa to the kale mixture and toss in the pumpkin seeds and dates.
  5. Pour dressing over the salad and toss before serving. The salad may taste better the second or third day after the kale surrenders.

Makes 10 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving: 125 calories, 5.9 grams fat, 3.7 grams protein, 16.5 grams carbohydrate, 2.5 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 mg sodium

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