On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon to visit friends, I was surrounded by restaurants boasting the plant-based cuisine I love to eat. My friend, Danielle, told my husband, Travis, and I that kale was literally everywhere, including sitting on the pavement outside of her car one night! She said that nearly every restaurant offered a kale salad of some kind and that got me thinking about a kale salad recipe that I really enjoyed back in Arizona.
Another friend, Lissa, introduced me to a yummy kale salad recipe that she obtained from a colleague. The salad was simple, with the only vegetable being the kale itself. It was dressed in a mix of lemon juice and olive oil and topped with finely grated parmesan cheese. This recipe inspired my Green Salad Formula, which is a healthier, plant-based version of the greens.
When I make a green salad, I like for the only vegetable to be greens so that I’m consuming a large quantity of them. Kale, in particular, is high in fiber, iron, and calcium and packed with antioxidants. A true super food! This mix boasts a variety of organic baby kale leaves that are more palatable in a salad than their adult counterparts.
I add a little protein and crunch to my kale salad with the addition of raw sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews. Cashews mimic the flavor of parmesan cheese, so I use them as a cholesterol-free substitute.
Finally, I make a lemon vinaigrette dressing for this salad that is fat free. The aforementioned kale with parmesan salad includes a dressing that is largely oil and in my opinion, too fattening when paired with cheese, or in this case, nuts. I add a hint of agave syrup to balance the tartness of the lemon juice and no oil whatsoever. Enjoy!
FORMULA BASE: GREEN SALAD
Serves 1 as a meal or 2 as a side
- 4 cups fresh greens –> I’m using a mix of baby kale leaves.
- ¼ cup raw seeds and chopped nuts –> I’m using 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp almonds, and ¼ cup cashews
- 2 tbsp dressing of choice –> I’m using a homemade lemon vinaigrette.
- Juice of ½ of a lemon
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- One grind fresh black pepper
- Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
Mix the salad dressing with a small whisk and set aside.