Winter Kale Salad

Marinated kale salads are one of my favourite meals – something which you’ll be well aware of if you follow me on instagram. I’ll be the first to admit that raw kale doesn’t sound appetising but once it’s been massaged with a flavoursome tahini dressing, it wilts and becomes beautifully soft plus it’s packed full of nutrients from vitamins C, A and K to iron and calcium. And if you’re thinking that salads are just for summer, then think again – this hearty salad makes the perfect winter dish as it’s incredibly filling and packed full of healthy fats, carbs and most importantly flavour – all while coming in at 5 portions of veggies.

To me, a salad isn’t a plateful of limp lettuce leaves and soggy tomatoes – it’s about creating a meal (note that I said meal – yes, this salad will fill you up) which is truly nourishing and packed full of both nutrients and flavour. Not only are plain salads boring, they’re not satisfying either and eating a plantbased diet isn’t about deprivation or restriction – a point which this salad definitely proves; tahini marinated kale marries perfectly with caramelised sweet potato chunks, roasted pecans, tamari roasted aubergine and tenderstem broccoli. I would happily eat every aspect of this meal alone, especially the sweet potato cubes with their soft, creamy centre – but together it’s the most mouthwatering combination. Trust me, it’s so good that I would eat this for every meal if I could.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • tsp tamari
  • 0.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp miso paste
  • juice of a lime
  • water, as needed

For the salad

  • 80g kale, stems removed
  • 1 aubergine
  • tsp tamari
  • 1 pack tenderstem broccoli
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 0.5 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 0.5 tbsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 0.5 tbsp paprika (optional)
  • olive oil
  • handful of pecans

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6. Weigh out the kale, discarding the stems as you go and combine the dressing ingredients, adding a tsp of water at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
  2. Line a small baking tray with baking paper, add the pecans and roast for around 8 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Whilst the pecans cook, pour the dressing over the kale and massage well. I spend about five minutes doing this in order to ensure that each leaf is infused with the dressing and is perfectly soft. Don’t be afraid to scrunch it either – it can be quite a workout but the longer you’re able to massage it for, the more delicious it will be!
  4. Once the kale has wilted, set aside so that it can continue to marinate. Remove the pecans from the oven and set aside.
  5. Chop the sweet potato and aubergine into cubes and place onto two separate lined baking trays. To the sweet potato, add the coconut sugar, cinnamon and paprika and a generous amount of olive oil. Mix everything together so that all of the cubes are coated. To the aubergine, add the tamari and olive oil, and again mix well to ensure that everything’s coated.
  6. Put the sweet potato and aubergine in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes.
  7. When the veggies are nearly done roasting, chop the broccoli into smaller pieces and add to a pan of boiling water or steamer and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and serve!

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @nourishingyas x

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