Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kale Salad with Mexican Flavors

I am currently in love with Kale Salads and I know that some of you remember that I wrote that I didn’t like Kale that much, until I discovered it in a salad. I know that I am a late adopter on the Kale bandwagon and I even read a few days ago that it is not longer an “In Food” for 2013. But I  don’t really care if it is in or not because it is just so good.  In any case, here’s my new favorite Kale Salad with Mexican flavors. I made it with Lacinato Kale simply because it was a special price and I discovered that this is now my favorite Kale for a salad – mostly because it is more tender and also sweeter. I decided to add avocado so I opted for some Mexican flavors in the dressing – red wine vinegar, which is quite popular in Mexico with a little lemon juice to brighten it up.  I also used a little chili powder and Cayenne along with Agave Syrup.  I also used pine nuts and sunflower seeds for a little crunch. It was so delicious that I wanted to make another bowl immediately except I was full. If you love Kale Salad, I think this one is the best one yet!

Mexican Kale, Avocado and Tomato Salad

1 large bunch Lacinato Kale – also called Dinosaur Kale, washed
1 large avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, washed, stem removed and cut into small pieces
½ small red onion, diced
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon of Agave Syrup or Honey
3 – 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Chili Powder
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or both

Optional:  Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds in any combination, lightly toasted in a frying pan.

Strip the kale leaves off the stem and discard stem. Cut into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl with the green and red onions. In a separate bowl, mix together the Red Wine Vinegar, lemon juice, Agave Syrup, Olive Oil and salt.  Add to the Kale and onions and toss. Let the mixture sit for about 15 – 20 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, add in the avocado and tomatoes and toss to coat with the dressing. Sprinkle on seeds and serve.

Five Element Analysis

Kale belongs to the Wood Element, but the dark green color adds a bit of the Water Element as well. The avocado brings in both the Water and Wood Elements too. The vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil contribute even more Wood, so this is primarily a Wood dish. However, the seeds bring in more Water. The tomatoes and Chili Powder add the Fire Element and the green and red onions add the Metal Element. Finally, the Agave syrup represents the Earth Element – so all the elements are present, making this a balanced salad by itself!

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