Ange, this upcoming spurt of recipes is all thanks to you! Thanks for your question about other gluten-free stuff for on-the-go peeps!
Kale is probably a “weird-food” for a lot of you. I know it sure was for Jon and I one year ago!
Dino Kale. Cool name right? I’ve also seen it for sale as Lacinato or Tuscan kale. I guess it’s actually in season during the colder months as it can survive frost, but it’s such a super food, eat it when you can get it!
This kale looks weird, and has an interesting texture, but there are actually quite a few varieties with different looks. Kale is from the cabbage family and it’s a nutritional powerhouse! The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) rating (you may have heard how blueberries rank very high in their ORAC) ranks kale at #1 for veggies. This means that it has the ability to work with other whole foods as a team and reduce the free radicals in your body. Kale comes in at 1770, with spinach at 1260. Kale is ridiculous! It is LOADED with fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and K. Cancer- doesn’t stand a chance!
Raw Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette (serves 2)
- 1 bunch Dino Kale (or baby/any kale variety)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large apple, sliced
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (my homemade recipe!)
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar (or white balsamic)
- 2 T + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Cut away the rib/spine in each leaf and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces*. Place in a bowl and massage with 1 tsp olive oil. Just gently rub the oil in to the pieces to soften the kale.
- Mix together the vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and agave, and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing. Place half of the dressing on the kale.
- Core the apple, cut into slices, and cut each slice into chunks. Put apple pieces in with the kale toss with the rest of the dressing, making sure each piece of the apple is coated with dressing.
- Top with sunflower seeds and toss again.
The basic recipe is simple, but really delicious! Even the next day the apples stayed fresh and still had crisp. It’s probably best eaten within 2 days. You can add dried unsweetened cranberries, pine/walnut/almonds or other nuts, feta cheese, and a variety of other toppings. Have fun with it and give kale a chance! All told, this salad would probably run you around $5. The kids might even try it just because of the name! The sunflower seeds are also great additions to salads, especially for those with nut allergies/sensitivities.
*I HAVE to put a plug in for my ceramic knife. It has made chopping, cutting and slicing a joy, especially kale and carrots! It is the second most-prized item in my kitchen, second only to my VitaMix. I only have the small knife and it has paid for itself already!! I will be buying the large one for sure!