Kale Salad with Cranberries 12

A couple of years ago a lovely woman named Pua introduced me to a kale salad with cranberries that I fell in love with – and I don’t love kale. As I watched her make the salad, she shared the recipe with me in a “little of this, little of that” kind of way. I made a big batch of it today, duplicating her instructions, and noted the measurements so that I could share. If you cook by feel, I totally recommend that you just eyeball it.

The finished salad has a lovely earthy flavor and I find that I crave it. If I have it made in the fridge I keep going back for “just a bit more.” But there’s nothing wrong with snacking on kale all day, right? Especially if it’s straight from the garden!

This crunchy kale salad with cranberries is great as a side dish or light lunch.Kale Salad with Cranberries

  • a dozen curly kale leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/2 very ripe avocado
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of add-ins: sunflower seeds, pepitos, dried cranberries, nuts – whatever you like
  • 1-2 tablespoons feta cheese (optional)

Remove the stem from the kale leaves. Thoroughly wash and dry the leaves, then tear them into bite sized pieces. Place leaves in a big bowl along with the olive oil. Lomi – or massage – the kale leaves. Don’t be afraid to really go at it – kale tends to be a bit tough when raw and massaging the leaves makes them much more palatable. Add the lemon juice and Bragg’s; lomi some more. Add the avocado; lomi more. The avocado will add a bit of creaminess to the salad. Toss in the remaining ingredients.

The add-ins are totally flexible. Try various nuts, different dried fruit, a bit of nutritional yeast, fresh slices of apple; really, the only limit here is your imagination.

More ways to use kale

  • Saute the leaves with a bit of olive oil and garlic until they’re tender, then add eggs for a breakfast scramble. I use two leaves for three eggs. No use overdoing it and making everyone hate kale.
  • Stir into marinara sauce. Kale disappears beautifully in marinara sauce – I use 6-8 leaves for a big stock pot. The people who don’t love kale don’t even know it’s there.
  • Ditto for soups. I’ve stirred it into minestrone style vegetable soups and cream based chowders with equal success.
  • Add two or three leaves to a green salad.
  • Toss several leaves into the pot when you’re making chicken or beef stock.
  • Add a leaf or two to fruit smoothies.
Beyond the subversive use of kale, we love kale chips. Really. I originally just massaged torn leaves with olive oil and sea salt and dried them in a low oven. Yummy, yes, but then I discovered a recipe for cheesy kale chips and ho boy. Serious snack attack.

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