Kale. You either love it or hate it. I fall into the former category as I love greens of all kind and kale is no exception. I bought a big leafy bunch the other day and wanted a kale salad but different from my usual flavor combos of garlic, tahini, feta and so on.
A crunchy Asian salad seemed right up my alley and I decided to give this recipe a try as it incorporates fresh garlic and ginger, rice vinegar, soy, cilantro, peanut butter and more to give it that quintessential Asian flair. It’s super easy to whip up as you simply wash your veggies, chop them up and whisk up a salad dressing. I love a good salad, and my tip here is to leave half of the salad undressed and pack it in a mason jar for lunch the next day.
Kale is definitely a heartier green and is often softened by giving it a good massage. Massaging kale helps to break it down, making it easier to digest and chew. You will begin to see the change right before your eyes as the kale begins to change from a light to darker green and become softer in texture. The best way to do this is to add the kale to a bowl; add the dressing on top and massage it just like you would massage bread dough for a couple of minutes. Once softened, feel free to add in the rest of your ingredients, give it a good stir and dive in!
Love kale too? Check out my recipe for another delicious salad incorporating kale.
FOR THE SALAD –
- 4 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
- 3 cups chopped and/or shredded red cabbage
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE –
- 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 3 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, grated
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sriracha (or more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil
Whisk together all the ingredients for vinaigrette into a bowl. Pour over the kale and give the leaves a massage as mentioned above.
Next add all chopped veggies, the nuts and fresh cilantro into the bowl.
Mix everything together and you’re done! How easy is that?
I decided to serve this with a side of what was originally going to be an Asian chicken burgers which I turned into meatballs. I used ground chicken and a bunch of grated garlic, ginger, some lemongrass paste, salt, pepper and some sriracha. I also added a mystery ingredient to pack in more veggies – grated zucchini. Using my finest grater I grated about half of a small to medium sized zucchini into the burger mix. It keeps things super moist while cooking as well.
I used coconut oil in the pan and cooked them til lightly browned. Super tasty!
All in all, this combo hit the spot. Super light, healthy and satisfying. Enjoy!