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Luann’s Kale Salad

Kale. It's one of those crazy, green vegetables with lots of curly leaves that you have no idea what to do with. (At least I didn't!) I've probably picked up a bunch of kale 2-3 times in the past year or so, after reading the health benefits and deciding we have to try it. And then it sits in the fridge for a few weeks until I dump it into the trash on clean-out-the-fridge day. Not any longer! I finally tackled the kale dilemma and prepared a delicious tossed salad - Luann's Kale Salad. It's a great mix of flavors, including kale, crisp apple, tart dried cherries, roasted peanuts, and tangy red onion all in a sweet vinaigrette.   IMG_4796   Kale might just be one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It's full of fiber, iron, Vitamins A, C, & K, calcium, and antioxidants. It's practically a cancer-fighting machine! (Source: MindBodyGreen)  

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  To make your salad, start with the kale. Kale is a green, leafy vegetable that can be tough or bitter when eaten raw. The key to making a delicious raw kale salad is to massage the leaves. (Yes, massage! And yes, you will feel strange.) After massaging for about 2-3 minutes, the cellulose structure breaks down, and basically wilts. The greens go from tough and bitter to soft and silky. The greens will actually darken in color and reduce in size by quite a bit.  

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  Once you've massaged the kale, add in the fun toppings. Apple, dried cherries, peanuts, and red onion. This really is a superfood salad!  

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  Then, whip up your vinaigrette. It's super simple, just a combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Shake it all up in a little jar, pour it over the salad, and you're ready to dig in.  

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  One of the great things about this kale salad is that it holds up really well in the fridge. Because kale is a more substantial green, it doesn't get soggy that other tossed salads might. You could make a big batch of kale salad on Sunday and take it everyday for lunch throughout the week. IMG_4794 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Luann's Kale Salad

Servings/Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 2-3 bunches kale
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 apples, diced
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • pinch salt
  • For the dressing
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • ¼-½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Method Wash and tear kale leaves from stems. Pat dry, place in a large bowl, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Massage kale leaves about 2 minutes, until the leaves have turned dark green and have reduced in size. Add onion, dried cherries, apples, and peanuts; toss to combine. In a small bowl or jar, combine dressing ingredients; whisk or shake to combine. Pour over salad, toss, and serve. Source: adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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