For those of you new to the world of kale, keep your eyes and ears open. This is an incredibly versatile and tremendously HEALTHY veggie that needs to be in your daily diet. Believe me, once you try kale, you won’t be able to stop incorporating it into your daily life.
The health benefits of kale far outweigh the prep time of this vegetable. Loaded with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals like calcium, it’s hard to top this powerhouse. Kale has so many new colourful varieties too (like dark curly green, purple, lavender, red and dinosaur- just to name a few) to choose from that will keep your cells happy with a rainbow diet and give you a abundantly healthy assortment of phytonutrients and antioxidants
Kale is about as an unlikely star in your kitchen, as you can imagine. In days gone past, kale was used as the adornments on the salad bar (and still is I’m sure). No one thought about eating the garnish! It was resilient and hardy enough to stay on a salad bar all day and not dry up or wilt. It’s tough and fibrous and withstands abuse in the fridge. If you ever bite into a stalk of kale, be prepared for splinters between your teeth! Nevertheless, kale is growing in popularity and is quickly becoming the cool veg to keep in your fridge at all times so you can use it everyday. You can cook it (of course, the lower the temperature the better to preserve its nutrients). You can blend it in green smoothies with fresh spring water and other fruits & veggies and ‘drink your kale’. You can grill it so that it softens and the edges turn to a delicious brown, AND you can use it ‘raw’ in salads. The raw state is my preference as I’m always after optimal nutrition and the micro and macronutrients you get in this amazing veggie are, as far as I’m concerned, the best the planet has to offer.
The way to incorporate it into a salad in its raw state is to remove the stalks and tougher branch like appendages and give it a massage. Yes, that’s right! Grab bunches of kale leaves with both hands and squeeze. Then rub them together and repeat. After a couple of minutes, you’ll be amazed at the difference. The tough cellulose fibre breaks down and you’ll be left with soft and supple leaves. You will be able to see it happen and see the leaves actually turn dark and soft. The flavour changes too. The bitterness becomes mellowed and please know this that this is very unusual. Other vegetables lose their bitterness and turn mellow only after cooking them, kale is a superstar and can stay in its ‘raw’ state and turn into yumminess with a massage!
To know you have massaged your kale long enough is not to check it by merely sight and feel, the kale may look done but the only proper way to know for sure is to taste it. Taste never lies. The best way to enhance the flavour is with some olive oil and a pinch of sea salt while massaging. This way, you don’t need a salad dressing to mask the wonderful flavour of kale. Perhaps just a touch of lemon juice will compliment the kale. This will make a perfectly balanced salad. The good news is that kale works equally well in smoothies, as a grilled side dish or even in Caesar salads. I hope you enjoy this happy vegetable as much as I do!
I’ve incorporated two CAESAR DRESSING recipes here. One is Raw, one is not. Either one is fabulous with kale and try to open your mind to your newfound taste buds and all the possibilities as to how you can incorporate kale into your daily diet. Just remember that before you use it in a salad, you MUST massage it first to make it more digestible.
Kelly’s Kale Caesar (Gluten Free and Vegan)
1/4 cup raw cashews
¼ cup raw almonds
1/4 cup mellow miso (yellow)
1 tbsp stone ground mustard
1 tbsp wheat free tamari
1 tbsp GF Worcestershire sauce (and vegan)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
6 ounces Silken tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
2 or more tbsp of fresh spring water to thin the dressing
pinch of salt
1 tsp dulse flakes
Add everything to your blender and blend away!!! 2-3 minutes to make it smooth. Feel free to add a little more water to thin out the dressing. Do it slowly!!
This is an incredible dressing. Please use a Vitamix or Blendtec Blender (high powered blenders) to make it as smooth as possible. For those of you who haven’t purchased one of these blenders, please use your food processor for great results.
Toss as you would normally toss your romaine with your dressing. Please be sure to massage your kale first and then give it a light toss with this dressing. You don’t want to weigh the leaves down. Enjoy!!
Kelly’s Raw Caesar made with Kale!!
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 cloves garlic
1 cup avocado
2 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Fresh spring water (or more to thin it to your liking)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dulse flakes (seaweed)
Blend cashews and almonds and garlic and 1 cup water until smooth in your Vitamix or Blendtec. Add avocado, lemon juice and olive oil and blend until smooth.
Then add salt, pepper and dulse in your high-powered blender until combined! Toss with your massaged kale leaves and enjoy! This is RAW vegan and VERY nutritious.
Brazil Nut Parmesan
1 cup Brazil Nuts
2 small garlic cloves ,minced
4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Sea Salt (to taste, add more if needed)
Add brazil nuts to the food processor and Pulse on and off 10 or more times until coarsely pulsed. Then add the garlic and nutritional yeast and sea salt and pulse 4-5 times (you can see the finished product in the photo). Sprinkle on finished salad!! This is simply delicious. Can be used on pasta too.
This will WOW everyone at your dinner table. You’ll also be giving them some of their best nutrition ever.
We can heal the planet, one meal at a time. xo
I made your Caesar salad first for my husband who really liked it, then we had it again the other night since the dressing makes a lot. I still had some dressing left over so made a kale Caesar salad for my son and his girlfriend and they absolutely loved it! (and my son is very picky)
Thanks so much for the recipe…..
You’re welcome!! So happy everyone enjoyed it. Even your picky son. 🙂
I was just at Lettuce Love Cafe this afternoon for my birthday lunch with a friend. I had the kale caesar salad and almost fell on the floor it was so delicious. Both my friend and I decided on the spot that it was the best caesar salad we had ever had.
I live outside of Burlington and can’t get there often, but I would LOVE to make it at home. I see from the footer in this post that you work there — or perhaps you did in the past. Can I be so bold as to ask if one of the dressings in this post is the one used there?
Thank you thank you so much. That salad rocked my world!
It is in our Made With Love Cookbook. It is available at Chapters Indigo, Amazon and we also sell in our bake Shoppe. Just a note that we sold Lettuce Love Cafe in May of last year (2017). We are very happy the owners are doing an amazing job!
Oh sorry! A bit more research and I see you STARTED Lettuce Love Cafe and then sold it. You, my friend, are a genius!
Thank you 🙂