Ekk. I have the 3am insomnia, friends. That tossing, turning, so much on my mind that I can’t fall asleep and stay asleep kind of night. That may-as-well-write-about-all-the-kale kind of feeling. Do you ever get that feeling? The Kale Yeah! kind of feeling? You will when you eat my Superfood Kale Salad.
Or when you can’t sleep at 3am.
If you’re not there yet, don’t worry, friends. It’s taken me a while to jump on the Kale Yeah! bandwagon. And I’m a dietitian! It’s just that all the advice out there is confusing: Do I marinate the kale? or massage it? Do I remove the tough stems or just chop them up and deal with it? How and why do I prepare this kale stuff when I could just tear up some romaine and call it a day?
From a nutrition standpoint, here is why:
- A cup of kale has more than 600% of your daily vitamin A (good eyes, good skin, lower risk of cancer)
- and more than 900% of your daily vitamin K (adequate blood clotting, lower risk of cancer).
- Calorie for calorie, kale has more iron than beef (good for your blood)!
- Calorie for calorie, kale has more calcium than milk (good for your bones)!
- And of course, low-calorie, high-fiber, zero-fat doesn’t hurt.
From a get-in-my-belly standpoint, here is why:
- You guys, I just can’t explain it. But I get the kale cravings. Once you eat REALLY GOOD KALE, you will get them too.
Are we on the bandwagon yet?
So what is the preparation secret? Add your salad dressing first (not last) and sauté your kale before you sprinkle all your toppings over it.
Yes. I’m telling you to build your salad backwards. And also to cook your salad. Just a little. First, remove all the hard stems if you don’t like that bitter taste or keep them on if you want that crunch. Add your dressing and then let the kale soak up that liquid flavor while it wilts just the tiniest bit in over medium heat.
And now, of course, add all of your superfood toppings. Chickpeas, Pecans, Feta, Lemon. Final Step? Eat it!
Superfood Kale Salad with Chickpeas, Pecans, and Feta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 10 ounces fresh kale tough ribs removed, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper, salt, coriander, and garlic. Add the kale and toss until kale is coated evenly and slightly wilted, 3-5 minutes.
Remove kale from heat. You may serve the kale warm, but the feta will melt slightly or you may choose to chill the kale or allow it to come to room temperature.
Top kale with chickpeas, feta, and pecans. Sprinkle with lemon juice and lemon zest. Serve.