Kale is for Kool Kids

Posted on March 12, 2013


Yes.The Kale Craze. I admit I jumped on the bandwagon a bit after it had reached some fever-pitched hyping–(but appropriately so, say many trusted sources). But I’m not about to let this be just another health food fad…more on my concerns with those later…

Our first summer of CSA we received dino kale a few times and scratched our heads and didn’t quite know what to make with it or of it until we did roasted kale (with oil and a tiny bit of raw sugar to combat the naturally bitter flavors). Then, we were hooked. Since then, I haven’t varied much in preparations—the roastedness just always suited me and I’d toss it into whatever recipe I was augmenting after I’d done that…but this salad swept me off my feet. Love at first bite, when my roomie made it for her recent detox.

The recipe was wonderfully described over at Hello to Healthy, and I made a few changes so listen carefully.

I prepped this salad one evening when I was in major cooking mode–had hrs of playing with Emma interspersed with grabbing roasted purple potatoes out of the oven, and chopping for a future stir fry…so I do recommend allowing a bit of time, but once you have a big bowl of this prepped, it can last deliciously (getting better with age as the oils mellow the kale) for days!

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Small tub of cherry or grape tomatoes

1 bunch kale (lacinato or curly)

1/2 cup red or white quinoa

few handfuls of chickpeas

Red onion chopped and roasted with the tomatoes

1/4 – 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese  (I was fine without having this…it’s up to you)
1/2 cup roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds


1-3 cloves garlic

juice and zest of 1 lemon

lemon olive oil if you have, or regular olive oil works too

honey balsamic is a wonderful, though not essential addition–mellower than traditional balsamics but gives it the edge you need…

Now go for it:

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut tomatoes in half, along with diced red onions, place in baking tray lined with aluminum foil, pour over a little olive oil, salt and pepper and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. On a separate tray, roast sunflower or pumpkin seeds for about 8-10 minutes until brown.

Rinse the quinoa well to remove the bitter taste, and prepare as the package instructs you:)

Rinse kale and then tear up the leaves into small pieces. Remove stems…Emma really wanted them in the salad so they did end up in it again at the end…thanks for the extra fiber, lovey.

For the salad dressing: crush 1-2 cloves of garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the lemon juice and whisk all together adding the oils and vinegars to taste.

Then have some fun massaging your kale with the dressing! In a large boil, combine the kale with the salad dressing.  Massage/rub the leaves with the dressing vigorously. You’ll notice the leaves start to soften and wilt. Then add the cherry tomatoes, onions, chickpeas and quinoa and mix it all up. Top off the salad with the roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

*Note, quinoa can be omitted if you’re looking for more of a side salad with a meal, but with the quinoa it stands alone as a healthy iron and vitamin-filled lunch.

Posted in: Roasted, salad