Kale‘s nutrient density and its long list of benefits make it an obvious superfood. While we love the texture and flavor of kale in all forms, its raw form might be tough to swallow if you’re new to this leafy green. Marinating kale salad and massaging the dressing into raw leaves helps soften the texture and toughness of kale. If you’re new to raw kale we think this is the perfect recipe to try! Always on the go? You can always try adding our Greens to smoothies or even just water!
BLOOD-SUGAR STABILIZING DRESSING
The flavor of this salad is all in the dressing. We’ve chosen simple, clean, and flavorful ingredients to make this salad both tasty and nutritious. The lemon juice helps move waste through our system, and further acts as an aid to the liver in filtering toxins out of our system. If you’re feeling sluggish or bloated adding lemon to your meals and drinks is a great way to detox (using Eliminate is another great way).
Apple cider vinegar helps reduce the glucose in our blood and, in turn, helps reduce our insulin response. Frequent insulin response due to spikes in our blood sugar can eventually lead to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. Including plenty of whole foods and avoiding excess caffeine and sugar are important for regulating blood sugar. Adding booster foods like apple cider vinegar can act as a further safeguard against insulin issues.
TRY GOOD FATS TO ABSORB NUTRIENTS
Many of the vitamins found in this kale salad come from the vegetables we’ve included. It’s important to note that just eating micronutrients in isolation is not enough to encourage optimal health. Some vitamins, specifically fat soluble vitamins, require fat to become utilized by our body. Vitamins E, D, A, and K are all fat soluble and are all present in this dish. We’ve paired these nutrient-dense vegetables and grains with healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, and avocado to ensure the body can reap their benefits.
DELICIOUS “CHEESY” VEGAN TOPPING
Toasted quinoa combined with nutritional yeast and pecans gives an added layer of crunch and warm flavor to this salad. Nutritional yeast gives a subtle cheesy taste without any added dairy. Nutritional yeast is high in vegetable protein, with just 2 tablespoons containing 8 grams! Along with its protein content comes with a slew of nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins, folate, riboflavin, and niacin. Nutritional yeast also contains B12 which is normally only found in animal products.
1-2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups dino kale, finely sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup raw pecans
2/3 cup quinoa, toasted then cooked
1.5 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pinches fine sea salt
Place broth or water over high heat. While liquid comes to a boil, in a separate pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa and stir frequently until lightly browned and fragrant, being careful not to burn (3-5 minutes).
Add quinoa to the boiling broth, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked, and drain any excess liquid. Set aside. Wipe the pan you used to toast quinoa clean. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add pecans and toast for 2-3 minutes until crispy and lightly browned. Set aside.
Prepare produce. De-stem and cut kale into thin ribbons. Slice red onion thinly. Cut lemon in half. Cut avocado in half, remove pit and cut into chunks.
Make dressing. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on low until fully combined and smooth. Place kale ribbons into a large bowl. Pour dressing over kale (you can start with half and continue to add until the desired coating is reached).
Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. This step will ensure that the texture of the kale is softer and the dressing flavor is fully integrated into the salad. Add half of the onions and avocado, toss gently, and let the salad marinate while you finish the topping.
In a food processor, combine all ingredients for cheesy topping. Pulse until the ingredients are all finely minced and fully combined.
When your kale is finished marinating add 1/2 of your cheesy topping and toss to combine. (You can let it marinate for just 15 minutes, or overnight, however, if marinating overnight we recommend waiting to prep the avocado until day of). When you are ready to serve the salad, add remaining avocado, onion, and quinoa topping to the top of the salad. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble.
If you like this article, you might also be interested in This Butternet Squash Lasagna Will Make You Say, “No Cheese”?