Jewelled Omega Kale Salad

Every health blogger’s favourite leafy green is currently in season in the UK, and is just begging to be put into as many dishes as possible (no joke -I like to buy local and/or organic kale from my local health food shop as it’s much nicer than the supermarket offerings, and I currently have the hugest bunch of kale to munch through). Although kale can be eaten raw (after a bout of “massaging” to break down the structure) I personally prefer it lightly steamed or grilled. A member of the cabbage family, kale is right in many essential nutrients including vitamin A, C and B. Nutrition Stripped penned a full nutritional breakdown here, alongside a full explanation of how to massage kale. Although tipped of the list of the most nutritionally dense foods by the likes of spinach, kale is a serious power player. In fact, Dr. Michael Greger wrote on Mind Body Green that we should aim to eat at least one portion of cruciferous vegetables each day. This is as these veggies contain sulforaphane, a liver-enzyme that stimulates one of the liver detoxing systems. Pretty cool huh?

Make use of in-season kale in this omega fats-rich salad this lunchtime. Via @eleanormayc

This recipe is inspired by the salad that accompanied the avocado on rye toast that I had in York’s Filmore and Union earlier this month. Fun fact: when visiting California, my parents came across the two streets that this health food cafe was named after! I wasn’t sure if the kale in the salad was cooked or raw, but it was fantastic. All the ingredients blended together beautifully and took the simple instagrammable dish into a full meal.

The blend of rich, warmed olive oil glazed walnuts and sharp flavours in this dish, balanced by the kale, is heavenly. In this recipe, I have used feta, but to make it dairy free, simply omit this in favour of pomegranate seeds or even blueberries. This recipe is full of plant-based fats, including omega fats (note: the ingredients here do have a great proportion of omega-6 to omega-3. If you are concerned about balancing the two, include chia seeds in your day, which have a higher omega 3 portion).

Ingredients -serves 2

  • Two large handfuls curly kale.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 30g walnuts, broken
  • 30g pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
  • About 10 dried apricots, unsulphured if possible, chopped.
  • 50g feta, chopped
  • Two large handfuls curly kale, torn and tough stems removed.
  • Optional: seeds from half a pomegranate (or 4 tbsp preprepared seeds)

Chop or tear the kale into bite sized strips, removing any coarse stems. Lightly massage the kale to break it down before it gets cooked. Do this by squeezing or crushing the leaves in your hands. Set aside. 
Make use of in-season kale in this omega fats-rich salad this lunchtime. Via @eleanormayc
Over a medium heat, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan. You don’t need to use extra virgin olive oil here, but if you have a slightly nicer bottle tucked away, you will really appreciate the flavour of it in this dish. Add the walnuts and pumpkin/sunflower seeds and heat, moving the pan around often, until they start to pop. This should take 3-5 minutes. Next, add the apricots and heat through for a few seconds before adding the feta, if using. Stir, and as soon as the feta starts to soften tip the whole lot into a bowl and set aside.
Without adding anymore oil, return the frying pan to the hob, and add the kale. Stir frequently until cooked, at which point the kale should be a vibrant green and have reduced in size by about a third. Add a splash of water (about a tablespoon) and stir for another few seconds to make the kale really tender. Split the kale between two bowls and add the rest of the ingredients to serve. So good!