Kale has become one of my favorite vegetables over the past year. The health benefits are endless – Kale is high in Calcium, Antioxidants, Iron, Fiber, and Vitamins K, C and A, and is low in calories with anti-inflammatory properties. With all those benefits it is amazing how good it tastes. My food friends and I have debated “massaging” Kale. Working the leaves with your fingers makes them soft and easy to eat. But I have found that the same is true when you toss Kale with a homemade Vinaigrette and let it sit for a bit. The oil and vinegar help break down and soften the leaves, and the end result is delicious. I’ll post a couple Kale salad ideas in the weeks to come. It is a hearty green that grows great in cool weather, even in the early frost we’re getting this year. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!
Yield: About 8 Servings
“ME” indicates a healthier Mindful Eating option.
1/2 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seed Kernels), toasted
1 Large Bunch of Kale (I recommend Lacinato/Tuscan/Dinosaur), largest vein of stem removed and rolled long ways and cut into strips down the stem
2 Carrots, shaved into strips with a peeler
2 Ears Fresh Corn, removed from cob*
5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree, Fresh or Canned
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely chopped
1/2 Shallot, finely chopped
Freshly Ground Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
*You can also substitute 3/4 Cup thawed frozen Corn.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Scatter Pepitas on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until seeds start to puff a little and become golden. Do not over cook. Keep an eye on them as they will start to burn at a certain point.
2. Prepare Kale, Carrots and Corn and put in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. In a small food processor combine Olive Oil , Pumpkin, Vinegar, Ginger and Shallot until smooth. Add Salt and Pepper to taste, pulsing between additions to blend. Taste and add more if needed.
4. Pour dressing over Kale mixture in the large bowl and toss together so veggies are thoroughly covered with the Pumpkin Vinaigrette. Add Salt and Pepper to taste, if needed.
5. Leave roasted Pepitas off until you’re ready to serve. Just set them aside, and toss into the salad before serving.
6. Cover the salad and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!