Monday, May 28, 2012

Toasted Kale Salad with Coconut

I LOVE kale and eat it all the time.  My husband jokes that he has eaten more kale in the past year then he thought he would eat in his lifetime.  But it is so tasty and so healthy!

This is by far one of my favorite recipes.  Not only is it super easy to prepare, but the mix of salty and sweet is so yummy.  This recipe is from Heidi Swanson's book "Super Natural Every Day."  If you don't own it, I definitely recommend it!  Some of my favorite recipes are from this book.  I sometimes adjust the amount of sesame oil and tamari, usually adding more than the recipe calls for. 
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (shoyu or soy sauce can be substituted but contain gluten)
  • 3 1/2 lightly packed cups of kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed (any kind of kale will work but dino/lacinato kale is my favorite)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (or other whole grain like farro if gluten isn't an issue)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 with two racks in the top third of the oven.

2. In a small bowl, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil and tamari.  Put the kale and the coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive oil mixture. 

3. Spread the kale evenly across two baking sheets.  Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way.  If the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to the lower rack.

3. Remove from the oven and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl.  Taste.  If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, add some and toss.  Place the quinoa mixture on a platter and top with the kale.  Serve warm. 

Health Benefits

Kale - I don't even know where to start with the health benefits of kale!  It is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and is so good for you.  Kale is full of nutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that help your body stay vibrant and youthful. Kale is also packed with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll removes heavy metals and chemical toxins from your body.   Check out this article on why kale is the new beef to learn more about the awesome health benefits of this dark, leafy green.

This is also a great kale resource!  Learn some helpful hints and how to cook it.

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