As with any other salads, kale salads do not have to be bland. Kale is a versatile leafy green that goes with a variety of dressings, spices, and many foods. Simple dressings made with a vegetable oil, lemon juice, and various spices generally work well in kale salads. The salads can be tossed with grated cheese, onions, and many other nutrient-rich vegetables. In addition, kale salads can be consumed raw, sauteed, and steamed along with many other vegetables.
Kale is a good source of calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. Studies indicate that it can help to protect against cancer and other health conditions. The leaves are crispy and do not wilt as easily as many other leafy greens, which allows for the salad to be tossed several hours in advance. Some prefer to remove the hard stem before preparation, while others prefer to leave it intact. Either way, the kale can be chopped into bite-sized pieces or cut into fine strips.
Raw kale salads are easy to prepare and can be served as a meal or as a side salad for meat and potato dishes. Olive oil and lemon juice are common ingredients for the dressing, but many herbs and spices, vinegars, and commercially packaged dressings can be used as well. Most vegetables, including onions, cucumbers, and radishes, work well in just about any kale salad. Lightly toasted nuts and seeds can be sprinkled on top just before serving for extra protein and healthy fats. Avocados are another good source for fat and can be mashed and used as part of the dressing, or they can be cubed and used as a topping.
Cooking with kale is a good way to add the leafy green into the diet. The kale can easily be steamed along with other vegetables for a warm salad. The only thing to remember is that kale does not need to be steamed as long as potatoes or carrots, and therefore, it should be added toward the end of the steaming process. The steamed vegetables can be tossed with a light oil, vinegar, and cheese before serving. Combining the kale with mashed potatoes, beans, or eggs is a tasty way to prepare it as well.
Another idea for kale salads is to saute the kale in olive oil along with onions and garlic. Many other ingredients, such as lemon juice, spices, and nuts, can be added for extra flavor. Once again, the kale should be added at the end because it only needs to be sauteed until it begins to wilt.