For The Love Of Kale
It can be tricky navigating dining out when you're a vegan, but I had the best kale salad when I went for lunch at my local sushi restaurant, Okura, recently. It's been on my mind ever since. What do you do when you can't get a certain food out of your head? You crave it until you can't stand it anymore, then you attack your kale plant with a knife, and hit the kitchen. My version didn't come out exactly like theirs, but it is pretty delish, even if I do say so myself! I really tried to get the dressing right, but the salad part I completely riffed on other recipes I found online. I really liked the looks of this one, here, from Food & Wine. The one big problem with this one though, is it doesn't have any kale, and kale is the whole point, remember?
Kale is one of those amazing foods that is really packed with nutrition. It is a high fiber food packed with lots of vitamins, like vitamin K, which helps to keep your blood healthy, and promotes strong bones, then there's immune booster vitamin C, a good amount of vitamin A, which is great for eye and skin health, as well another immune booster, and B6, which helps turn your food into energy. It is also high in calcium and magnesium, and has plenty of potassium, and don't forget the 2.2 grams of protein per cup, too. If you'd like to read more about kale's nutritional values, click here.
If you've ever had a bad kale salad, one that's chewy and dry, you won't likely forget. And you probably won't be making any kale salads anytime soon either. It is not good, not good at all. If you know how to prepare kale correctly, it really can be great. The tip is massaging it with oil & citrus about a half hour or more before you start assembling your salad. Chewy kale can be a complete turn off. But now you can be rest assured that will never happen to your kale.
Miso Soy Kale Salad
For the dressing:
- 1 TBS miso paste
- 1 TBS nutritional yeast
- 1 TBS + 1 tsp rice vinegar
- ! Medium lime, juiced
- 1 Medium garlic clove, chopped finely
- 1 tsp Agave nectar
- 1 tsp Spicy mustard. I only had a brown grainy mustard, so that's what I used.
- Water to thin the dressing. Add 1 TBS at a time for desired consistency. I used 2 TBS.
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until dressing is creamy, and the consistency that you want and set aside.
For the Salad:
- 1 Bunch of kale torn into bite-sized pieces, and placed into a large bowl.
- 1 Lime, squeezed
- 1 TBS light oil, I used grapeseed oil.
- 1 Medium zucchini, cut into ribbons. If you have a mandolin, use it on the carrot, zuchini and cucumber. I used my veggie peeler.
- 1 Medium carrot, cut into ribbons.
- 1 Medium cucumber, cut into ribbons
- 2 Small nori sheets
- 1/2 Cup almond slivers.
- Drizzle the oil and lime over the kale and massage with your hands, making sure mixture coats the kale entirely, and gets into all the nooks. Do this for a few minutes. Set aside to let the enzymes break down the kale a bit.
- In the meantime cut the zucchini, carrot & cucumber ribbons.
- Cut the nori into small strips.
- Now it's time to dress and assemble the salad. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of dressing over the salad and toss. Start with a small amount and add more if needed. You don't want to over saturate the kale.
- Roll the veggie ribbons and place on top of kale.
- Sprinkle the almond slivers over the top.
- Sprinkle the nori slices over the top and enjoy!