Mix things up this summer with our Thai Kale Salad with crunchy cashews and say goodbye to boring salads.
Helllloooooo super sexy kale salad with serious health benefits.
Normally you wouldn’t find the words “kale” and “sexy” in the same sentence, but we think it’s time to change that. Kale is king when it comes to leafy greens because it’s loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, convenience and versatility.
So why do we love kale? Well, it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can get your hands on. Just 1 cup (2 1/2 ounces) provides¹:
- Vitamin K: 547 mcg (684% of the RDA*)
- Vitamin A: 10,302 IU as beta-carotene (260% of the RDA)
- Vitamin C: 80 mg (134% of the RDA)
- Calcium: 91 mg (5% of the RDA)
- Manganese: 0.5 mg (26% of the RDA)
- Also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper, potassium and phosphorus
- Plus 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per cup
*Recommended Daily Allowance
Now that deserves a “Kale Yeah!”
Avoid a sore jaw by massaging the kale. This is key!
Kale, a leafy green, is a member of the cabbage family – cousin to other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts which are all hearty vegetables – and kale is, too. The thick, fibrous leaves can range from green to purple and be curly or relatively smooth. It’s heartiness lends itself well to sautéing, steaming, adding to soups, juicing and blending into green smoothies.
However, if you’ve ever eaten kale in its raw state, you’ll know that it’s hearty texture does not lend itself well to chewing. The chewing! So much chewing that your jaws ache and you start to wonder if you’ll ever finish your salad before lunch time is over. I know from experience as one time Jess and I met up for lunch with a fellow dietitian who also is a representative of one of the brands that we work with and I chose the kale salad on the menu. Well, let’s just say, I’ll definitely think twice before ordering a kale salad from a restaurant at future business outings and it’s a good thing Jess likes to talk, because I was across the table just chewing away.
So this brings me to why we remove the hearty stems and massage the kale. This is a 2-3 minute step that’s well worth your time! Adding a bit of salt and a quick massage with your hands causes the leaves to soften and turn a vibrant green while making them easier to chew and digest. While chewing physically breaks food into smaller bits so enzymes in your saliva and stomach have more surface area to act upon, massaging the kale with sea salt starts the process for you so you can enjoy more flavor with less chewing.
A party in a bowl.
As you can see by the photos of this recipe, there are so many colors, textures and flavors going on in this Thai Kale Salad that it’s like having a party in a bowl with every bite offering something new and exciting. And it’s so beautiful too.
If ever a salad could “party in your mouth,” it would be this Thai Kale Salad. The flavors are complex, fresh and exotic, and transform everyday vegetables into something worthy of sharing at your next party or potluck. This salad is for everything as it’s Whole30 friendly, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, dairy-free and nuts are optional. Oh and the Ginger-Lemongrass Vinaigrette is just too good to be true! It’s amazing how just a few ingredients can come together and create out-of-this-world flavor. If you’re not sold on the kale part just yet, go ahead and make this salad with spinach or mixed greens.Mix things up this summer with our @whole30 and #vegan friendly Thai Kale Salad with crunchy cashews and say goodbye to boring salads. Click To Tweet
Not convinced about the massaging part? Check out this video to see how it’s done.
That was easy, huh? Grab yourself some kale and get massaging. Your healthy kale salad party awaits you.
Now that you know the key to a killer kale salad, it’s time to get the party started and try your hand at this Thai Kale Salad with Cashews!
- 3 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (or ½ tsp. ground ginger)
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1½ tsp. lemongrass paste (found in the produce section; may substitute 2 tsp. lime juice + 1 tsp. lemon juice if can’t find or for Whole30-compliant)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 6–7 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium carrot (~3/4 cup), peeled and shredded or julienned
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper (red or yellow), thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced or chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/3 cup dry roasted cashews, chopped
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- Place kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Using your hands, massage the kale with a kneading motion until leaves start to wilt and become slightly shiny or wet-looking (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add carrots through cilantro, then pour dressing over all. Toss to combine.
- Garnish with chopped cashews just before serving. Serve with lime wedges.
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- Serving Size: 1/4th recipe
- Calories: 190
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 247mg
- Fat: 14g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 4g
Nutrition Facts for Kale, Raw. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2
What’s your favorite way to eat kale?
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