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3 Clean Kale Salad Recipes to Get You In Shape for Summer

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As summer is approaching, we’re all looking to get our six-pack before we start hitting the beaches. And no, you don’t want to starve yourself because this is not sustainable.

The easiest way to lose the weight naturally is to eat clean. And to eat clean is to avoid processed foods and keep your foods as natural, wholesome and raw as possible. This means lots of relatively less caloric-dense food sources like vegetables and fruit, which provide fibre and phytonutrients (natural chemicals in plants that make you look better and healthier) that animal proteins can’t give you.

While we can always buy ready-to-made salads and green dishes from restaurants, sometimes even the healthiest restaurants may put a bit too much of oil in your food. And some restaurants may use pre-made salad dressings which contain processed ingredients that can hinder your weight loss efforts!

So the best way to monitor your diet and ingredients is to cook yourself. Yes, this includes making your own *fresh* salad dressing!

But just because you’re monitoring what you eat and munching on greens, while salivating on the thought of losing that one-pack, does not mean that you need to sacrifice your taste bud and munch on “bland” and “boring” food.

Since we’re all busy, the most time efficient way, I think, is to whip up a salad. All you need are organic, fresh vegetables, as well as delicious and natural spices.

And if you don’t have time to buy different types of vegetables, you may want to buy kale, the super green that contains more phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals than most greens out there.

However, kale by itself can be slightly bitter and rough. Putting the health benefits of kale aside, some of you who don’t like greens may find the vegetable too “grassy” or “bitter” to eat.

To make kale taste more “multi-dimensional”, I’ve designed 3 kale recipes that are very easy to make, and soooo flavorful that I guarantee you’ll be asking for more after your salad.

 

Smoky Tangy Chipotle Salad

Smoky Tangy Chipotle Salad

SERVES / Preparation time

1-2 / 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

SALAD DRESSING

  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of grape must
  • Pinch of dill
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • c. 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon of organic shoyu soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional only if you want a sweeter taste)

DIRECTIONS

SALAD DRESSING

  1. Mix all ingredients together in bowl

SALAD

  1. Mix kale and dried cranberries with sauce. I love adding dried cranberries to salads because it is sweet, tangy and gives the salad an extra chewy texture. Cranberries are also full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer phytonutrients!
  2. Add garlic powder, onion powder and nutritional yeast into salad mix
  3. Mix again
  4. Add Pili nuts (add this  last to preserve crispiness of the nuts). Pili nuts have a very buttery taste so it is a great addition to salads. Its fats can also help absorb the vitamins in the kale better.
  5. Your salad is ready!

 

Creamy Cheezy Avocado Kale Salad

creamy cheezy avocado kale salad.jpg

SERVES / Preparation time

1-2 / 20 minutes* (not including time to soak cashews)

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

  • 1 bunch of organic kale
  • 1 avocado

SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoon of cashew sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of grape must
  • ½ tablespoon of garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon of onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon of cumin
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • 3-4 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

DIRECTIONS 

SALAD DRESSING

  1. *To make the cashew sauce, soak a cup of raw cashews in water for 2 hours. Blend cashews in blender with c. 2 tablespoon of water. Just eyeball the water content to make sure the consistency is thick. It is important to soak the cashews to activate the enzymes (stay tuned for more on soaked nuts!) and make the blending process easier. The fun part is, you can make lemon cashew mousse with this dressing by blending lemon juice, maple syrup, and coconut oil with the cashew and putting them it the fridge.
  2. Mix cashew sauce with lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, grape must
  3. This dressing is slightly sweet to complement the bitter taste of kale. Once you add in the spices such as cumin, onion and garlic powder to the salad (see below), this will make the salad a bit more savory.

SALAD

  1. Peel and pit avocado
  2. Mix kale with salad dressing (refer to the above)
  3. Add avocado into salad. Mix thoroughly and smash avocado so it meshes with kale and the dressing and turns into a creamy texture
  4. Add in garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, Himalayan salt and nutritional yeast.  I love nutritional yeast because it makes the salad taste cheesy and giving the greens full array of Vitamin B.
  5. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. You should see the avocado turning into a creamy paste, blending with the kale, dressing, and spices. The cumin gives the salad an extra smoky flavour that complements the creamy and light taste from the cashews and avocado!
  6. Add pine nuts (optional) if you want to give this cheesy salad extra depth.
  7. Your salad is ready!

 

Almost Raw Tomato Kale Risotto

almost raw tomato kale risotto.jpg.jpg

SERVES / Preparation time

1-2 / 20 minutes* (not including time to soak and pre-sprout grains)

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

  • 1 bunch of organic kale

SALAD DRESSING

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of mint sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of grape must
  • ½ tablespoon of garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon of onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon of cumin
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt

ALMOST RAW TOMATO RISOTTO

  • ½-1 cup of organic tomato sauce (I love Eden’s tomato and basil sauce)
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • A few basil leaves
  • Pre-sprouted quinoa*
  • Soaked wild rice
  • 1-2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Pinch of coconut sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

SALAD DRESSING

  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl

SALAD

  1. Mix salad with ingredients

TOMATO RISOTTO

  1. Cook tomato sauce in slow heat till it simmers. This way you can reap the benefits of tomato since the fruit’s phytonutrient lycopene is more bio-available after the fruit is cooked
  2. Add black pepper, chopped basil leaves,
  3. Add sprouted quinoa, wild rice, nutritional yeast, Himalayan salt and coconut sugar (if you think the tomato sauce is too sour) and stir for around 10-20 seconds. By not overcooking the soaked wild rice and sprouted quinoa, you are ensuring that their enzymes remain intact
  4. Viola, your risotto is ready!

POINTS TO NOTE

  1. To soak wild rice, what you need to do is to place the wild rice in water overnight (for around 10-12 hours). Of course its best if you can change water every 6 hours. You can then drain the water and use the wild rice.
  2. For pre-sprouted quinoa, you just need to soak the quinoa overnight. And then place quinoa on nut bag in moist area, and let it sprout.Once you see baby tails popping out from the quinoa, you know that the quinoa is sprouted – this is very fun! This process may take 12-24 hours depending on how humid where you live is. It took me 12 hours from soaking to sprouting to see the baby tails. Bear in mind I live in a very humid city though.
  3. If you think pre-sprouting and soaking grains is too time consuming, you can just cook the quinoa and wild rice – this will take you c. 15 minutes.

Have you been munching on kale to get in shape? Leave a comment!