Start Spring Fresh With this Healthy Kale, Apple and Pecan Salad
My oldest brother loves to tell me how, before the kale craze, the largest single buyer of kale was a pizza chain – not for the pizza, but for the decorative green stuff that lined the salad bar! I have no idea if this is true, but it does speak to the bad rap that kale gets. Luckily, that is totally changing. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and you should do yourself a favor and get to know it a little better. Raw is my favorite way to eat kale, but it is remarkably versatile and can be baked, braised, sautéed, roasted, pureed, and dehydrated. It’s also easy to grow and always available in stores.
This kale, apple and pecan salad is one that I prepare, not only for my family, but also for my cardiac support group. It’s versatile and you can change the fruit and nuts to whatever you like. Tart dried cherries are really tasty in it.
The secret to making kale tender and yummy is massaging it! Sprinkle a scant pinch of salt on your kale after it’s been washed and shredded. Then drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on it. Then take both hands and massage your kale. It will begin to break down and become soft and sweet. It only takes a couple of minutes for this step and it’s totally worth it!
2 bunches Lacinato kale with stems removed, torn into bite size pieces, washed and dried
1 teaspoon olive oil
Scant lemon juice
2 medium-sized apples, chopped into bite size pieces (I like Granny Smith)
1 cup pecans, toasted, roughly chopped
1/2 cup low-sugar dried cranberries
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste
- Place kale in a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Drizzle with one teaspoon of olive oil. Massage kale for a couple minutes to tenderize.
- Sprinkle a little lemon juice over apples to keep them from browning.
- Mix together kale, apple, pecans and cranberries.
- Make dressing: Put the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a jar and shake it up.
- Toss salad with dressing and serve. Start with 1/4 cup of dressing, then add more as needed to taste.
Note: This information is based on using all of the dressing. More than likely, you won’t need it all. You can reduce the sugar and carb count substantially by reducing the amount of dressing you use.
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 254 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 33.1g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3g
Submitted by Amanda Bloom, RN at Kaiser Permanente