I can’t help but grab a bunch of kale when I’m in the grocery store or at a farmer’s market. I fully realize it’s the blue cheese of vegetables (you either love it or hate it). It’s totally polarizing. But it’s so inexpensive, versatile, and nutritious, I can’t help myself.
Kale is known as a “superfood” for good reason. A cup of curly, chopped kale has just over 7 calories but provides a hefty dose of folate, vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene. Kale also gives you fiber as well as vitamin K- a nutrient needed for good bone health. The older I get, the more important my bones become to me!
The trick to making kale taste good lies in improving the texture. Kale is a hearty green and it needs to be massaged to soften it up. If you’re adding it to soup or sauteeing it, this might not matter. For salads, it’s best to give that kale a good rub down.
I made this recipe by the seat of my pants the other night. In search of a side veggie for dinner, I used up the remnants in my fridge including a part of an onion, half of a lemon, shredded Asiago cheese, and some Dijon mustard.
Making your own salad dressing is ridiculously easy and makes your salad so much tastier. All you need is oil (avocado, canola, corn, olive) and some form of acid (apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar) or citrus (lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges). Add honey, maple syrup or agave syrup for sweetness or mustard for something tangy.
I had a handful of cherry tomatoes and added those along with the grilled chicken. The chicken was marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, and a dash of paprika and salt. The salad really hit the spot! Below is the recipe.
4 cups chopped, cleaned kale.
¼ onion, diced
1 Tbsp. canola or corn oil
Juice from ½ of a lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
2 grilled (3 oz) chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- Place cleaned kale in a medium size bowl. Massage the kale by rubbing it for 3 to 5 minutes or until it looks shiny. Set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet and add canola oil. Sautee the diced onions until they’re translucent. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and cooked onions. Whisk together to make a dressing.
- Add the halved tomatoes and shredded cheese to the salad and toss to coat.
- Place the grilled chicken on top of the salad and serve.
Makes 2 salads. Nutrition information per serving: 315 calories, 20.8 grams fat, 29.7 grams protein, 4.1 grams carbohydrates, 2.3grams fiber, 97 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium
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