A friend and I were talking recently about kale (because who doesn’t talk about kale regularly with their friends?) and she was telling me that she just isn’t a fan. I get it. I didn’t used to like the stuff either! And then I discovered the secret – the kale massage.
Start with your bowl of kale and dig your hands in there, almost like you’re kneading dough. Rub the leaves in between your fingers and the leaves will slowly start to soften and turn a darker green.
It not only makes for a more pleasant texture, but it also cuts the bitterness, making it a much more lovely base for salads. Also, there are different kinds of kale. I prefer baby kale for salads since it’s more tender than other varieties.
And this salad has become one of my favorites. The night before I ran my first half marathon, I went to a restaurant and ordered this salad with a side of salmon. I almost didn’t order it because of the kale, but they didn’t have a lot of healthy options to choose from (and chicken fingers and fries before race day would not have worked out so well for me!).
Holy cow. It was one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten! So, I pulled out my phone and recorded all of the ingredients so that I could remake it at home.
My favorite part about this salad is that it’s packed with other ingredients. I always tell people that ice cream and salad are just like a blank canvas – I order them for the toppings! This salad boasts salty roasted sunflower kernels, juicy cherry tomatoes, crumbly feta, mild red onions, and sweet cranberries and it packs quite the punch with a light honey, lemon juice, and olive oil dressing.
And did I mention that it’s amazing served alongside salmon?
Lesson of the day – get up close and personal with your kale. It’s a million times better that way!
- 5 oz (~4 cups) baby kale leaves
- 2 Tbs roasted sunflower kernels
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries
- 1/4 c. diced red onion
- 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 c. feta cheese
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked pepper
- Put kale in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with sunflower kernels, cranberries, onion, cherry tomatoes, and feta.
- In a small bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.