Simple Warm Kale Salad
Winter is nearing the end and there are delicious vegetables grown here in WNY that actually grow all winter long! Kale is one of them. Some would say Kale tastes best once the temperatures have dropped below freezing. This is because it actually tastes sweeter. I want to share this wintery salad recipe with you before winter is completely over! This past November I was given a generous donation of fresh Kale from Thorpe's Organic Family Farm for a cooking class I teach in East Aurora and it was delicious. (Thank you!!) Side note, if you have the chance to visit the farm it is a beautiful property and they have a farm store. If you LOVE maple syrup, you should try maple cream, they sell it here! They also sell a number of other fresh fruits/vegetables, local meat and so much more.
It might have taken up a third of my refrigerator, but it was worth it!
We made Warm Winter Kale Salads, and the salads were hearty enough to make a meal. Not only was the salad delicious, and filling, it was packed with health promoting ingredients. Before I share the recipe I just want to share with you why I think it is awesome!
1. Kale is a sturdy green because it is very fibrous. This makes kale a great addition to soup because it maintains some of the texture. If you don’t like your greens becoming mush in your leftover soups/stews try Kale in your next recipe!
That is a beans and greens soup I can share at another time. It is the go to cold remedy in my house.
2. The 3 grams of fiber per cup of Kale promotes healthy digestion, healthy gut microbiota (and their byproducts), reduces the risk of heart disease and can help keep you feeling full.
3. One cup of kale also provides you a healthy dose of Vitamin A: 133%
Vitamin C: 134%
B-6 : 10%
4. Vitamin K helps heal cuts and scrapes (it is required for clotting). It also aids calcium in bone building!
5. If that is not enough, it is also packed with antioxidants, and research suggests eating kale and other vegetables from the cabbage family may reduce your risk of cancer.
Pretty awesome if you ask me! But if you’re still not sold on kale, this recipe works just as well with spinach.
What you will need:
Maple Dijon Dressing:
Makes about 12 servings of dressing, this way you can use the dressing a few times during the week.
(Heat the amount you need in a small saucepan)
· ¾ cup Olive oil
· ¼ cup Maple syrup
· ¼ cup Dijon mustard
· ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
· ¼ tsp black pepper
Kale salad (4 large salads):
· 4 cups chopped kale
· 1 cup shredded carrots
· 1 cup cooked quinoa (still warm is best)
· 1 cup Craisins
· 1 cup walnuts
· ½ cup feta, crumbled
What you need to do:
1. Prepare quinoa according to directions.
2. While quinoa cooks chop kale, and measure other ingredients. Place in large salad bowl.
3. Mix dressing ingredients in a container with a lid and set aside.
4. When quinoa finishes cooking, shake your dressing and heat the amount you will need (about 2 Tbsp. per salad should be enough). Measure one cup of quinoa and toss all ingredients. This will warm the kale.
If you choose to dress the entire salad, the fiber keeps the kale nice and crisp. You can enjoy it the next day and it will not be a soggy mess!
Another benefit of kale.
This is a kale salad from the cooking class. It was taken home and enjoyed at a later date, just as delicious.