Photo Credit: Primarily Paleo
Kale is all the rage. However, it appears that there are three types of people. Those who love it, those who hate it, and those who are afraid to touch it.
I fall into the first category. Kale is my favorite vegetable. I eat it almost every day. I’ve even brought the raw leaves on my last trip as a mid-flight snack wrapped around leftover steak. I probably started eating it well before it was trendy as a natural evolution from his more ordinary friends, spinach and arugula. As popular as kale is for both its’ versatility and potent health benefits (in case you haven’t heard it’s the highest rated food on the aggregate nutrient density index), many people haven’t tried it yet. Gasp.
For those of you who want to convert your friends and family to kale lovers and the rest of you who have no idea what to do with kale, please start with this recipe! I have served this at numerous dinner parties and everyone exclaims, “We don’t even like kale and we couldn’t stop eating this salad.” In fact, even my vegan friends (they love all veggies in all forms, right?) admitted the didn’t normally like raw kale salads until they had this one. This recipe will take you less than 30 minutes to make. It is a hearty side for any meal or can be a complete one dish meal when cooked (preferably leftover) chicken or steak is added over the top.
The appeal of this simple, yet hearty, salad is the variety of textures it offers your palette. Crispy, salty pumpkin seeds, juicy, crunchy pomegranate seeds, and strong, slightly spicy kale merge together into one perfect bite that bursts with flavor.
Primarily Paleo’s World Famous Crunchy Kale Pomegranate Salad
4 cups green curly kale (washed, very dry, thick stems removed)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (fresh or previously frozen)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (the thicker the balsamic the better)
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1. Over medium heat, add the coconut oil and pumpkin seeds to a saute. Allow the pumpkin seeds to lightly brown on each side. You will hear them pop gently when they are done. Keep a careful eye on them because they can quickly go from toasty to burned.
2. Season with sea salt while they are still warm. Place then in a small bowl to cool.
3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar until well emulsified. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
4. Break the green curly kale into bite sized pieces and place them into a large bowl. The small pieces are easier to eat and allow the kale to become more evenly coated with the dressing.
5. Gently drizzly the olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing over the kale. Take a few minutes to thoroughly toss the kale with the dressing so it is well coated. This step is actually the key to success because the kale will absorb the flavor or the dressing.
6. Sprinkle the toasted pumpkin and pomegranate seeds over the dressed kale.
7. Mix all the ingredients together and add extra salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.