Kale + Quinoa Salad with Tangerines
My Kale Crush
Something has frozen over. Or maybe pigs are flying. I actually, um, like kale. After all my mocking, my nose crinkling, my eye rolling. After tweeting disparagingly about the taste of this dark leafy green (I believe the word I used was swampy). Behold. I am converted. I have seen the light.
The turning point? Lacinato kale (also called Tuscan black kale, or dinosaur kale). The long, slender leaves are delightfully un-swamp like. And unlike many good-for-you greens, there is little bitterness to harsh your mellow. Lacinato (like its curly kale cousin) does benefit from massage- especially in silky extra virgin olive oil.
But then Darling- what doesn't?
Those of us wrestling with auto-immune issues benefit the most from kale's generosity in the anti-inflammatory realm. Kale is a goddess-send when it comes to nutrition. Extremely gifted with carotenoids and flavonoids, minerals and vitamins, it is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Translation?
It's a sexy vegan super food.
Eat it daily and it will help calm inflammation and feed you body and soul. In a clean, vibrant, living way dead junk food never can.
You'll *feel* the difference. Trust me.
Naturally gluten-free doesn't get any better than this.
I like to remove the ribs- which can be challengingly, jaw-numbingly chewy.
After washing the kale leaves and patting them dry, lay them on a cutting board, fold them at the rib, and use a sharp knife to slice the rib off the leaf.
Slice the trimmed leaves crosswise into ribbons.
Toss the kale into a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Massage the kale with your fingers to soften and tenderize (your winter skin will thank you).
Some folks add sea salt at this point to help break down the kale (this is helpful when using it for salad). If you are roasting the kale for chips- do not salt it. Salt softens the kale and will keep it from getting crispy.
Karina's Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted AlmondsRecipe posted February 2012.
New to kale? Try this super easy recipe we made with Tuscan kale and quinoa (another fabulous vegan super food), accented with juicy tangerines and crunchy roasted almonds. Vegan and gluten-free yum.
2 cups cooked quinoa
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 bunch Lacinato, Tuscan black or dinosaur kale, washed, patted dry
Sea salt, to taste
2 fresh tangerines
1 tablespoon gluten-free low sodium tamari sauce
2 tablespoons raw organic agave or brown rice syrup, to taste
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup roasted almonds
See how to cook quinoa the easy way here. Note: Before cooking, rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve.
Fluff the cooked quinoa and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil to moisten.
Follow the general directions above (in the post) to prepare the kale (remove the rib, slice into ribbons, massage with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, to taste).
Peel the tangerines and separate the wedges. Save half a tangerine for the juice.
In a cup, whisk the juice from half a tangerine with the tamari sauce, agave, ginger and garlic. Sprinkle over the kale and toss to distribute.
Add the kale to the quinoa and toss.
Add the remaining tangerine wedges.
Add a grind of black pepper, to taste. Taste test. Adjust seasoning if you need to.
Just before serving add the roasted almonds and toss gently.
Serve immediately at room temperature. (May be chilled ahead of time; add almonds right before serving to keep them crisp.)
More kale inspiration from food bloggers:
Kalyn's Kitchen: Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino
Running with Tweezers: Raw Kale Salad with Balsamic and Pomegranate
The Year in Food: Kale and Persimmon Salad with Yogurt Dressing
The Perfect Pantry: Shrimp, Kale and Cannellini Bean Casserole