Kale is one of the best leafy green vegetables, considered a star amongst healthy-eaters. It is loaded with nutrients including potent phytonutrients from the Cruciferous vegetable family which includes broccoli, cabbage and bok choy. Studies have shown that two phytonutrients in these foods, the Indole-3-carbinols and the sulforaphanes help prevent heart disease and cancer, can act as anti-inflammatories and helps our bodies slow down the aging process. A recent study of several cruciferous vegetables found that the phytonutrients and fiber in these foods play a role in increasing the function of the healthy gut bacteria. This is yet another study supporting the complex relationship between our good bacteria, phytonutrients and fiber. Purple Kale is an even bigger star, as the purple coloring represents the anthocyanin family of phytonutrients, the same family that gives foods such as blueberries, raspberries and grapes their health power. Enjoy this amazing vegetable while it’s in season. Steam and season it to your taste, add it to soups or stews or eat it in a salad, softened by vinegar or lemon juice and oil.
This salad is wonderful for those seeking expansive, cooling foods and will keep you cool in the hot summer weather. It also is rich enough to be eaten any time during the year. Thanks to the yogurt, it meets the criteria of the phytonutrients, fiber and good bacteria to help our gut health. The dressing must be mixed with the kale ahead of time in order to soften the kale. This is a salad that does not wilt shortly after being dressed as most lettuce salads do. Kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables and is packed with nutrients, but it has a slightly bitter taste. If this isn’t to your liking, spinach can work as a substitute.
1 head purple kale, washed
2 celery stalks, chopped
I small red onion, cut into half circles
1/2 cup chopped cashews (can be lightly toasted if desired)
2 tbsp parsley
Yogurt dressing – enough to cover the kale
Trim the kale and tear into pieces suitable for a salad. Add the celery, red onion, and parsley. Mix well. Add the tahini dressing and mix. Allow the salad to sit for an hour before eating to soften the kale. Chopped cashews can be added to make it more substantial and for extra grounding. Season to taste.
2 tsp raw honey
1/2 cup full-fat organic yogurt
1-2 tbsp olive oil or rice bran oil*
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
2 tsp fresh dill
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Mix the olive oil or rice bran oil and tahini together. Add the honey and lemon juice and whisk thoroughly. Add the garlic and dill and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
*Tahini texture can vary depending on which brand you purchase or if you make your own. Adjust the amount of oil and lemon juice to the desired consistency and taste. For more ‘zing’, increase the amount of lemon juice or try this recipe with apple cider vinegar.