I’ve joined the kale wagon here, forgive me. Kale is very “in” right now. Being low-calorie, high fibre, rich in vitamins and minerals makes kale one of the latest “superfoods” and kale salads have been popular for a while now, I even posted one here.
One of the first things to grow at my allotment this year has been kale, I hadn’t realised quite how prolific it would be and its only been big enough to pick for 2 weeks! Dont be surprised if there are a few kale recipes on here as it looks as if I’m in for a glut!
I really like kale and quite like the heartiness it provides in a salad. I am aware though that raw kale may not be to everyone’s liking as it can be a little chewy! So recently when I began reading about people “massaging” salad dressing into kale, (that does sound a little crazy, I know!) I was intrigued. You only have to look at kale after its been watered to see how those leaves repel any moisture, it’s actually quite beautiful with the water droplets making little silvery balls all over it. So its easy to see that any dressing in a kale salad wouldn’t really be absorbed without a little help. All you do is mix your dressing and rub it into the kale leaves, the kale darkens as it absorbs the dressing. I think a quick rub is all the kale needs as my intention is not to lose all of the texture of the kale but just to soften it a little so one’s jaw isnt aching by the end of the meal!
This is a really quick salad to prepare and provides a good healthy base for many accompaniments. I enjoy this salad with boiled egg or smoked mackerel, black olives also make a good addition.
In preparation for my kale glut please do leave any kale recipe ideas in the comments section!
Kale Salad (for 2 servings)
- 200 grams fresh kale leaves, washed
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 small onion or 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- Strip the kale from its stems and roughly chop, place in your salad bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until its well blended. Pour the dressing over the kale and rub it into the leaves, be quite firm using your thumbs and fingertips to “massage” the dressing in, stop after a couple of minutes or when the kale begins to darken.
- Add the onion and carrot to the kale, toss together. If not serving immediately chill until needed.
I love chickpeas any which way, cooked in stews and curries, cold in salad, even sprouted. This salad happened one evening when I realised I had no pitta bread to go with the falafel we were having for dinner. The tomato salad I was making now needed substantiating as it was now going to be the only thing to be served alongside the falafel, especially if I was going to try to keep my husband happy. Somehow I felt just falafel and tomatoes would be too healthy and not enough for my hard-working man! The can of chickpeas I saw in the cupboard was the answer. Happily we both liked this salad so much it has now replaced the pitta when we have falafel.
I admit the addition of kale goes in at the end only for me, that would be a healthy step too far for my green fearing husband! That is how I know that this salad also works with out the kale but it is better with it, my husband doesn’t know what he is missing! Spinach, if kale isn’t available, makes a good substitute. Chickpeas are a good source of fibre, low in fat and can help lower cholesterol levels so I’m so happy that my husband not only eats but likes this dish!
The tsp of chilli flakes make this fairly hot, use less if you don’t like so much heat.
Chickpea, Tomato and Kale Salad
- 1 can Chickpeas, drained
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, at room temperature, rinsed
- 3 Spring onions (scallions), trimmed, rinsed and sliced into small rounds
- 1 heaped tbsp Basil, rinsed and chopped finely
- a handful of Kale, rinsed and chopped into small pieces
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
- Sea Salt to taste
- Cut each cherry tomato in half and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
- Add the spring onions, basil and the kale to the bowl.
- In a jug mix together the lemon , vinegar and olive oil until blended.
- Add the chilli flakes and salt, mix in and pour over the salad.
- Toss together and season more if necessary.
This stores really well in a Tupperware in the fridge and the recipe can be doubled to make a good make ahead lunch to take to work, the kale leaf is robust enough not to wilt too much, in fact some may prefer it a day or so after it has softened a little.
Some time this month is/was national kale day and as I’m in my first week of doing my 4th October Unprocessed it seems only fitting to celebrate such a healthy day! This post was meant to be timed with that day but sometimes life gets in the way of such plans.
I have been trying to think of ways to use up kale as my crop keeps coming from the allotment! I’ve had lots of kale salads and one of my favourite quick dinners is stir fried kale with fried eggs. One of the pod casts I enjoy listening to is the Splendid Table and while perusing their website I came across a recipe for Kale and Sweet Potato soup. I happened to have both sweet potatoes and kale so set about making this soup for a healthy lunch. I wondered why there was no picture of the soup on their website, strange not to have a picture with a recipe especially on a food site. Well once I made the soup and took approximately 60 pictures trying to get the soup to look like anything other than bile I understood why they decided not to include a picture! The soup certainly does taste nicer than it looks, but don’t let its vivid green appearance put you off! Unfortunately that did happen to my husband, I couldn’t help but laugh hearing his worried shout up the stairs “this soup isn’t for me is it?” No, he could not be persuaded to share any!
I really like this soup, the sweet potatoes lend their typical sweet tones and the toasty cumin and heat from the chilli combine to make a very tasty, warming soup. It’s quick to make and good for you too with both kale and sweet potatoes been high in vitamins, fibre and iron. To avoid the bright green colour you could blend the soup a little less or adjust the sweet potato/kale ratio.
Kale and Sweet Potato Soup (inspired from this recipe)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sweet potato, approx 350 grams
- 225 grams kale, I used curly kale but any is fine. Remove tough stems and roughly chop leaves
- 750 ml vegetable stock plus a little more to thin soup at the end
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chilli pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the oil to a large saucepan and sauté the onion and sweet potato over a medium heat until the onion is softened.
- Add the stock to the potatoes and onions and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cumin and chilli , stir to combine then add the kale and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the kale cooked through. The kale will sit right on top of the soup, if you put a lid on the pan the kale on top will steam.
- Carefully pour the contents of the pan into a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. If necessary add a little more stock if a thinner soup is preferred.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.