Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Avocado Kale Salad

Leafy greens are a staple in my family's diet. I try to cycle through the darker varieties - spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, and kale.

This salad was inspired by one I had from a health food store salad bar. I thought that salad had potential, but was a little boring with just kale, onions, and the avocado dressing. I livened up this version with mini heirloom tomatoes, raw pepitas, and cucumber. 

There is a lot of nutritional value to be excited about in this tasty raw salad. Kale is high in Vitamins A, C, and K, and also contains significant amounts of calcium, folate, and potassium. Avocados contain beneficial fats in addition to a high fiber content, Vitamins C and K, and folate. Lemons are full of potassium and Vitamin C.  Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc and other trace minerals. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants.

Avocado Kale Salad

1 big bunch of kale, washed, chopped, and stems removed (or a 10oz bag of pre-chopped kale)
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 lemons, peeled and seeded
1/3 cup water
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup raw pepitas (hull-less pumpkin seeds)
1 medium English cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes (I used some mini heirlooms)

In a food processor or blender, puree avocados, lemons, water, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Pour avocado dressing over the kale, mix well, and then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. This will make the leaves tender.

Stir in the pepitas, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes.

The salad can be served immediately or refrigerated and allowed to marinate for several hours or overnight.

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