I was lucky to head home for a short vacation this past weekend, to celebrate Father's Day with my whole family. With a couple of us living in different provinces/countries, we really appreciate the time we can all spend together.
One perk about heading home is having my mom take the reigns on family meals. With more experience in the kitchen, there are much fewer mistakes (and mess!) than I tend to make. She is always trying new things like me and has great resources for finding new recipes. As a side salad for dinner one night, she prepared this delicious kale salad, rightfully named "the best kale salad ever." It combines many things I love, including ginger, apples, avocado, nuts and of course the superfood kale (skipping the trendy brussel sprouts for now :)). This salad is great as a side salad for dinner, or as a main dish for lunch topped with grilled chicken or salmon. Not only does it taste great, the ingredients are all healthy, doing the name justice.
What's all the fuss about?
Kale - Green leafy vegetables are definitely something I stress to include in a daily diet. They are packed full of nutrients, such as vitamin A, C and iron, and a source of antioxidants. Its insoluble fiber also helps to eliminate toxins through your digestive system and regulate bowels.
Garlic - Allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, is an antioxidant and immune stimulant. It helps decrease blood pressure, fight off infection and and much more. Although adding it to food for flavour is not quite as effective as chopping up a clove and swallowing it raw! Not as scary as it sounds...although my sister would beg to differ :)
Ginger - Another powerful antioxidant, and carminative (calming to the digestive system).
Apples - Apples are a source of quercitin, a natural antihistamine, and blood sugar regulator. They also provide you with insoluble fiber.
Lemon juice - Stimulate digestion, and your overworked liver to work optimally.
Avocado - A great source of healthy fats, which will slow down digestion, keep you full for longer and avoid a spike in blood sugar.
2 bunches washed and dried kale
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 whole ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium apple, cored and chopped
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp tamari (a wheat free alternative to soy sauce, with a slightly different flavour)
1/2 cup raw, chopped cashews
Remove the large stems and then chop the kale; place in large bowl. Add the lemon juice and avocado. With your hands, mix together until the avocado is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately. (Serves 6)
(This recipe is taken from the cookbook "More Vegetables Please!", passed onto my Mom through Wellspring's Holistic Nutrition Class.)
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did. You may want to add less ginger and/or garlic, depending on your preference.
In health and happiness,
(Photo credit: MindBodyGreen.com)