April 19, 2012

Vibrant Lemon & Avocado Kale Salad

We really have a thing for kale in our house. I think I've mentioned that a few zillion times already! I hope you like it as much as I do.

I didn't really eat kale until a couple years ago, so I think I'm making up for lost time. Plus it's seriously delicious. I like it raw, cooked, as a spread, in soup, growing in the garden, as a chip, in smoothies, & everywhere in between!

Last night, we had our kale in the form of a huge salad paired with Jenna's Spicy Black Bean Burgers. These are one of our go-to bean burgers because they're super yummy & easy to throw together.

The salad is fresh & bright, with lots of flavor. I love the creaminess that the avocado gives to it. Avocadoes are full of healthy fats, & in this case, it adds some bulk to an otherwise fairly light salad.

I brought kale salad to the Bup's family Christmas dinner & to my family Easter dinner. Both versions had variations of this dressing, but I felt like it needed a few tweaks to be just perfect. The recipe below is that I've decided is the best of the bunch.

If you've never had a kale salad, here are a few tips:

1. Unlike lettuce salads, you can dress it ahead of time & it will only get better. The flavors marinate & the kale softens slightly, making it easier to chew.

2. You have to commit to getting your hands in there & massaging the kale. There's really no better way to get the dressing spread evenly & to soften the kale leaves. Just be prepared - if you have even the slightest knick in your skin, it will burn from the lemon juice!

3. Kale is a chewier green than lettuce, so it's not a traditional salad. It is, however, extra full of flavor & health benefits!


Vibrant Lemon & Avocado Kale Salad
Dressing inspired by Tracy
Serves 2-4

1 bunch kale, stems removed & torn into pieces
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 apple, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T nutritional yeast
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Combine kale & dressing in a large bowl. Massage with your hands (wash them first!) until the kale softens & turns a dark, shiny green. Add avocado cubes, onion slices, & apple. Toss to mix & serve.

Note: Salad can be made ahead of time. Once dressed, just cover & place in the fridge until time to serve. Flavors will develop as it marinates.


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