As the weekend approaches us and fall’s winds start to make their way in for good, I wanted to share one of my healthy and hearty recipes with you in honor of the autumn season. One of my favorite ways to combine healthy fall foods such as root vegetables is with hearty and power-packed greens like kale in a huge, nutrient-dense kale salad.
This Autumn Harvest Kale Salad combines raw, plant-based protein, probiotics from fermented veggies, an oil-free natural dressing, and hearty root vegetables that provide a filling texture with a sweet flavor. The combinations of ingredients are absolutely stellar!
Slightly sweet, tangy, a little salty and nutty too, this recipe is my go-to option when I crave something dense in nutrition and filling at the same time during the fall.
Nutritional Stats of This Kale Salad:
- 3 cups of organic raw kale, shredded
- juice from one lemon
- 1 tablespoon organic mustard (I enjoy Annie's Horseradish Organic Mustard best.)
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- pinch of salt-free seasoning (Ms. Dash, sodium-free Herbamare, etc.)
- 3 tbsp. Bragg's organic raw apple cider vinegar or Coconut Secret's raw coconut vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp. of raw hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup raw kimchi or sauerkraut
- 1 cup cooked, cubed and cooled sweet potato, winter squash or roasted carrots (any orange root veggie)
- Spices to taste such as a dash each of: black pepper, oregano, cilantro, chili powder
- In a bowl add your kale, juice from the lemon and vinegar of your choice.
- Next you'll want to start to "massage" the kale to break down the fibers. This also helps distribute the flavors. Just 1-2 minutes is all you need. It will make the kale sweeter, softer and reduces it in size.
- Now add the hemp seeds, kimchi, celery, salt free seasoning and herbs of choice. Toss to coat.
- Last add in the cooled roasted veggies. I prefer them chilled since they sweeten up in the fridge, but you can also add them warm if you choose. (I bake mine ahead a day or two so they're ready on hand all the time.)
- Hemp seeds are a complete source of plant-based protein, but if you'd like to make this salad even more protein-rich and filling without excess fat, add 1/4 cup cooked red lentils which add a nice, sweet yet hearty flavor.
- You can also let this sit overnight in the fridge if you prefer, though I would reduce the vinegar by 1 tablespoons so it doesn't get too soggy, or you can simply add it right before you eat it and then toss to coat.
I used to truly hate kale before I tried making it this way, but to enhance your kale salad experience, I encourage you to try different varieties of kale. There is curly kale (a little heartier and more bitter, and dino kale which is also known as lacinato kale. Dino kale is a little less intense, but both are just as nutritious as the other. No matter which type of kale you choose, you’ll want to de-stem it first, or buy bagged organic kale that’s been pre-washed to make things even easier. Or, you can buy packaged baby kale in the salad containers which is even more tender, doesn’t need to be shredded, and also goes great in smoothies!).
What’s your favorite way to eat kale (if you do)?