Making a salad with kale instead of lettuce is one way to instantly up your nutrition for the day. But you have to know which ingredients work well with kale, and which don’t. It has a unique flavor, and if you try and simply sub out romaine with kale you might not like the results. Here are a hand selected group of recipes that take into consideration what tastes great when combined with kale, and what sort of dressings make it taste better without adding fat and calories.
1. Warm Balsamic Kale Salad
Warming up your kale salad is a good idea because it will make it more digestible. The kale is added toward the latter part of this recipe so you don’t end up overcooking it. The ingredients being used here all go nicely with the kale, and amp up the nutrition factor even further. Red and yellow peppers, portabella mushrooms, and an onion work to give it some strong flavor sources and additional textures. The great part about using kale in your salad is it doesn’t really need a lot of backup in the nutrient department, but they are using plenty of good add-ons here.
2. Vegan Kale Farro Salad
If you’ve never used farro in your cooking before, this is a nice way to get introduced to it. The visual explanation of the best way to prepare and chop up kale is worth the trip, and they do a nice job of laying out all the ingredients you need so you can tell at a glance what you have and what you need to pick up from the store. They’ve piled up the nutrition on this salad, accentuating the kale and farro with items like a shallot, beans, and basil. There are also some red pepper flakes being used to give it a kick. Spices generally work well with kale. See more vegetarian recipes here.
3. Steamed Kale and Avocado Salad
Steaming kale is a great way to soften it up without burning up all of it’s vitamins and nutrients. Even when you cook kale it still starts from such a nutritionally high place that even with a little loss it still ranks higher than most anything else in the vegetable world. When you pair up kale with another superfood like avocado, you are definitely treating your body right. The healthy fats from the avocado play the biggest role here, and you’re getting the potassium dose of two bananas between the kale and the avocado, both of which are high in potassium.
4. Broccoli and Kale Salad with Blueberries and Coconut
Forget the argument of which is healthier, broccoli or kale, and just eat them both. They are so nutritiously similar it’s almost like it’s the same food in different form. And that’s what your body needs, a healthy variety of whole, nutritious foods. So here’s you’re basically doubling up on the protein, iron, and fiber found in respectable amounts in both broccoli and kale. To help with the taste they’ve included sweet and yummy things like blueberries and coconut that don’t sabotage the inherent healthiness of this recipe.
5. Quinoa Kale Cherry and Apricot Salad
If this were a competition to make the healthiest salad it almost would be considered cheating to put kale and quinoa together. They are both superfoods that have only recently made it into the spotlight for just how good they are. Take the protein and fiber that quinoa provides, and match it with the high amounts of vitamins and minerals that kale provides, and what you’re left with is a salad that is bite for bite one of the better meals you can eat. Use it as a light and satisfying lunch, or serve it up along with dinner to cover your nutritional bases.
6. Chopped Kale Salad with Edamame, Carrot and Avocado
This is a fun salad bowl, with plenty of different foods all with varying textures to keep your mouth interested. Since it’s all chopped up it’s all in bite sized pieces so it’s easier to eat, and easier to get several of the ingredients onto one fork so they can all combine in your mouth. Kale and avocado are always a nice combination, since the kale can be pretty hearty, and the avocado comes in with a softer, more delicate flavor, almost like an undertone. The other ingredients are all good for you, and their flavors work to bring about a very tasty salad.
7. Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing and Toasted Seeds
They’re using both kale and cabbage in this recipe, which is interesting since these are both in the same vegetable family. The dressing that goes with this is listed as being creamy, but there’s no cream used it it, and no dairy either so it’s not going to be a fattening dressing, or one that adds unneeded calories to the bottom line. The use of toasted seeds along with this means you’re getting extra nutrition and potentially some added antioxidants, depending on which seeds you choose to use.
8. Detox Kale Salad with Lemon Apple Vinaigrette
Here’s a simple kale salad that you can use while detoxing the body. Kale is often found in body detox programs because of the dual function it has at providing you with plenty of vitamins, as well as kicking your digestive system into gear. The cranberries can also have a cleansing effect on the body, and they’re using Apple Cider Vinegar to make the vinaigrette so they’re keeping your best interests in mind and only using items that are commonly used when helping to rid the body of toxins and otherwise clean it out.
9. Kale and Watercress Salad with Apples and Balsamic Vinaigrette
One way to make kale taste better is to combine it with fruit. Here they’re using apples to go along with the kale, so you’re actually getting a few superfoods on one plate. Kale doesn’t need a lot of help in the vitamin or fiber arena, but it doesn’t hurt to have an apple along with it to round things off. There’s also watercress, garlic, parsley, and other healthy ingredients that make this a salad with a lot going on. The recipe includes how to make the balsamic vinaigrette from scratch so you don’t have to worry about buying a bottle of that anymore.
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