Friday, March 2, 2012

Raw Slaw

Do you ever have those moments when you're so proud of yourself for what you eat? You know, that mental feeling you get when you think to yourself "Hot damn, just EATING this makes me feel super-duper healthy!!" Generally I try to eat pretty well, but even this dish spikes my healthy-o-meter. So what's the secret ingredient?

Super Salad!

Kale. Or as I like to call it, spinach on crack.

One of my favorite veggies to photograph. 
Although this fractal veggie takes the cake.

Yup, kale. I've blogged about kale a few times before, and almost each time I've used a different type of kale. Like this lacinto kale in a hearty vegetable soup. Or regular, curly kale when I made kale chips (they're insanely addictive) and barley risotto (with mushrooms and kale). This time, I managed to find PURPLE kale!

The stems, they're purple! I love colorful food.

I mean just check out this salad. It's tart. And purple. And crunchy. And green. And hearty. And orange. And raw. 

Salad + avocado = a delicious, lazy dinner

Yup- you read that right. This time I'm serving up my kale completely raw. No baking or steaming or sautéing. Healthy-o-meter is off the charts people!!

I have to admit, I first made this salad more out of curiosity than anything else. It sounded a bit odd (raw kale?!) But the fact that my friend Liz, who is an amazing cook, gave it Liz's Seal of Approval, well, that's all I needed to try it and judge for myself 

So even though the skeptic in me questioned the deliciousness (or even edible-ness) of this salad, I was convinced after my first bite. Why? Well first off, the kale is sliced in thin ribbons. And there's apple in the salad, so the sweetness and crunch helps counteract the earthiness of the green. And after heating the salad dressing and letting it sit, the kale softened up just enough to make it awesome. The best part about this salad is that unlike most slaws, this one is totally fine after multiple days. In fact, I think it gets even better with time, as the vinegar and dressing soften the greens even more.

Just make sure to head to the grocery store soon if you want to give this salad a go, ok? Kale's a cold weather veggie, so if you don't make this salad now, you'll have to wait until fall. 

And you wouldn't want to make your body angry, would you??

Yours in trying to cancel all the bad crap she's been putting in her body these days with a nice, healthy salad,
Jacqueline

Liz's Kale Salad, adapted from my friend Liz

Note: The original recipe called for a hefty amount of maple syrup. I tend to prefer my salads on the tart/vinegary/savory side, so I omitted the sweetness. I am curious how it would be with the sugar, so next time I'm going to try it as-is and see which way I prefer. So use the syrup, omit the syrup, or split your salad in half and experiment with both versions!

Ingredients
6 cups (packed) greens, such as collards, kale, and mustard greens; washed, trimmed, stems removed and thinly chopped [this was ~one bunch from the grocery store for me]
3/4 cup carrots, shredded
1 sweet, crisp apple, thinly sliced, with skins on, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, sprinkled with lemon juice

Vinaigrette 
2 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, optional
1 to 1 1/2 TBSP spicy mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions
In a large bowl, toss together salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients. Microwave on high for 45 to 60 seconds. Pour over salad and toss well. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes before serving so the greens soften and become infused with the vinaigrette.

Store remainder in refrigerator for up to (at least) a few days.

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