Kale used to be one of those things I had to sneak into something else — eaten more out of health-conscious guilt than any real appreciation. Then one day, something clicked. It was delicious. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with all the different ways I can cook with kale. From juices, to dehydrating, to stews… to big, sloppy dinner salads like this one. And best of all, it’s a real meal. After all, I’m a six-foot-two guy; so salads tend to hold me over for minutes, not hours. This was a combo I came up with that I loved.
- 1 Bunch organic Lacinato kale
- 2 to 3 medium organic beets
- ½ Bunch organic flat-leaf parsley
- 1 handful raw, whole organic pumpkin seeds
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw, whole organic chia seeds
- Organic Parmesan cheese
- Organic olive oil
- Raw, unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar
First, I get the beets going, since they’ll need a little time to steam. After a good washing, chop them into die-sized cubes and plop them into a veggie steamer on the stove for about 10 minutes. I personally prefer mine a little al dente, and the less they’re cooked, the more nutrients you leave in tact.
Once they’re steaming away, wash and de-spine the kale leaves. (I personally prefer Lacinato because its smooth leaves are easier to clean and less likely to have stowaways.) Then throw it and the washed-and-chopped parsley into a vegetable spinner.
At the bottom of a salad bowl, add your pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and Parmesan cheese — and dump your now-dry greens on top. I usually do equal parts of apple cider vinegar and olive oil, but you can add yours to taste.
Now the fun begins. I don’t even own salad tongs; I dive right in and massage everything together with my hands — tearing apart the kale into smaller, bite-size pieces and adding more Parmesan cheese or seeds as needed. Once they’ve cooled, toss the beets into the mix and give everything one last go.