Friday, February 8, 2013

Dinosaur Salad! ( Kale Salad )


Dinosaur Salad! ( Kale Salad )
In the Winter, healthy eating meets with some extra challenges. The price of produce has shot throught the roof for the season, and for those who garden, the garden is usually "asleep." Of course, you can eat a healthy diet from frozen and dried foods, but if you're like me you crave FRESH food in the Winter! I DO buy some salads of out of season lettuces and tomatoes, but I like being able to rotate some salads onto the table that are made from Seasonal, Fresh Produce that is not only frugal, but also nutritionally stellar.  Kale Salad, Better than Coleslaw, and Carrot Raisin Salad are Seasonal salads that are delicious, fresh, and wallet-friendly : ) And, the proverbial "Icing on the Cake?" - they're all made with the same oil-free, frugal, homemade dressing that you can make once, and enjoy over and over in its different variations!

On to the Kale:

I'm sure you've noticed that junk food for kids is nearly always endorsed by some character from cartoons, movies, television, or video games. Kids love to buy & eat something related to their favorite character!

My little daughter is going through a phase of dinosaur fascination. She's a very good eater, but why not use this latest fascination to my (and her!) advantage?

The bumpy surface of Dinosaur Kale ( Lacinato Kale )
We were at the grocery the other day, and I noticed that they had Lacinato Kale. I've read about it, and was wanting to try it (we usually buy "regular" kale, and I had not yet seen this fancy sort at our regular grocery). I pointed it out to my little one with great enthusiasm - "Look! They have DINOSAUR KALE!" and I explained to her how the bumpy texture was like dinosaur skin. She was SOLD! She insisted on trying it before we even got to the car (raw & plain) - and then she wanted MORE. Then MORE! A little celebrity endorsement never hurts when you're "selling" a food to your kids : )

Cutting Kale leaves Chiffonade
When I got home I had to decide what to do with it.  I decided to try making the Kale Salad that I've heard so many rave about. I took inspiration from this article on Melomeals Blog - I loved how she explained how to design your own kale salad : )

I also surfed several other places for my research, and discovered that all the recipes I could find called for oil. And, I try to minimize my oil intake as much as possible for my heart health (I am VERY prone to hereditary high cholesterol - I need to minimize my oil intake in addition to my vegan diet to keep my cholesterol in healthy limits). I like Dr. Esselstyn, and even though I don't perfectly follow his advice about oil, I try to keep it low.

So, armed with my research, this is the salad I created. It was incredibly yummy - so much so that I ate ALL of it (except the portion my little one ate). And, after I ate it I had a bizarre & uncharacteristic burst of energy (my picture is normally by "sedentary" in the dictionary - though I DO try to walk every day - more on that in another post).

Not only is this salad packed with a HUGE amount of nutrition, it is also made with winter-friendly veggies & fruits - so it's easy on the budget.

You'll want to use your hands to make this salad.

Dinosaur Salad ( Kale Salad )
1 bunch Kale (I used Dinosaur Kale, but the plain sort would be equally good) washed, stemmed and shredded (cut Chiffonade)*
1 cup Shredded Cabbage*
1 cup Shredded Carrots*
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt (if you prefer, you can use a couple of Tablespoons of dressing instead of the salt), and massage the vegetables for 2 or 3 minutes. They should reduce to about 1/2 their volume as the salt draws out the natural juices.
Add
1/4 cup of my Non-Creamy Slaw Dressing, and massage briefly to mix and reduce volume a tad more
Add **
Handful of Raisins
1 Chopped Apple (or a Clementine or other Orange, if you prefer)
(A handful of nuts can also be good- roasted, salted peanuts are nice here)
Mix & Taste - you may want to add a dash of sweetener at this point if needed.
Then, DEVOUR! (you know - like Dinosaurs do - as my Little One can tell you, many dinosaurs were Herbivores, who ate literally TONS of veggies : )

*I use the slicer on my Salad Shooter to Shred the cabbage & and the shredder on my Salad Shooter for carrots. You could also use the slicing & shredding discs on a food processor or a good, old fashioned knife & box grater.
To remove the stems from kale, after washing the leaves, I fold them in half - as if the stem were the spine on a book. Then, I hold the top of the leaf, and take the sharp point of a chef's knife, and cut quickly between the flesh of the leaf and the stem - from the top of the stem to the base (the base being where it attaches to the dirt when it grows). It's really quick and easy to do it this way. If you prefer, you can just hold on to the stem and pull the leaf off - it works great this way if you don't have too many to do.

**If you surf to  this article on Melomeals Blog you will see lots of great ideas for variations on this salad - adding nuts & seeds, different fruits, and different seasonings. This salad is VERY versatile : )

I'm sharing this on Healthy Vegan Fridays and Frugal Tip Tuesday and Fitness Friday

12 comments:

  1. Dinosaur kale is my favourite type! It's summer where I am now, but as soon as the weather cools down I am planting a whole bunch of kale in my garden so I can eat it all winter :)

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    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely! Enjoy that summer. We surprisingly have sunshine and non-freezing temps here today, but it's still Winter. (Love the name of your Blog, BTW : )

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  2. I had my first Kale salad last night and it was so good. I bought it at Walgreens in Chicago. It had cabbage, kale, sunflower nuts, carrots and red peppers. I might try your recipe.

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  3. That is so funny that your daughter was enjoying the raw kale as she thought it was like dinosaur skin! I'm going to have to get creative with my fussy toddler like that! This looks great and so glad it gave you a burst of energy. I tried to grow kale over the summer and haven't looked at it over the winter. I think it's still there but not sure if it's still OK to eat. I don't know the first thing about growing my own veg!
    Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back on Friday to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again this week. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:
    http://www.greenthickies.com/healthy-vegan-fridays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My little one LOVES the whole dinosaur theme - after she eats Kale, I say, "Look! You're turning into a dinosaur! Your tongue is even green!" She loves it : ) (full disclosure - she'll only eat a wee bit of this salad, she prefers her Kale straight!)

      I don't garden (we have no land, among other reasons) but I understand that Kale is traditionally grown in winter, and gardeners even harvest it from under the snow sometimes. I suspect your Kale would be great about now (but welcome input from those better informed).

      Looking forward to the next Healthy Vegan Fridays : )

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  4. Looks delicious! I definitely crave kale in the winter. I love your dinosaur skin story!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura - thanks for stopping by. I surfed by your blog last night - pretty cool : )

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  5. If you have a Veggie Grill near you, you have to try their Kale Salad too! I love this one cause it looks so easy to make. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - I haven't heard of Veggie Grill, so I doubt there's one near us (but then, I DO live under a rock ; ) Hope you enjoy the salad!

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  6. This looks so yummy! Now I'm off to check out Healthy Vegan Friday.

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    Replies
    1. It's great to see you here, Jill. I really enjoy your Fitness Fridays AND What's for Dinner blog hops, too!
      Here's the link for others who might like to see those:
      http://jillconyers.com/

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Welcome!
Please, DO chime in! : )

If you want to share a link to a pertinent and supportive post of your own that directly relates to my post (if, for instance, you also have a great vegan pancake recipe, or a post about Christmas) I don't mind a bit!

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