Kale Power Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing
Craving a hot salad with my dinner, different from my usual go-to mixture of romaine lettuce and fresh vegetables, I decided to use kale, my favorite “superfood” as the base. After raiding my fridge for other disease fighting ingredients, I was so excited with what I found: variety of mushrooms, red onion and purple cabbage; I could tell this was gonna be good!
Kale: A fully loaded nutrition power-house; a leading source of antioxidants, fiber and cancer-fighting vitamins (source).
Mushrooms: Besides for their meaty texture and low calorie benefits, mushrooms are a leading source of antioxidants, and help strengthen the immune system (source).
Red Onion: Loaded with nutrients that are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and good for the heart (source).
Purple cabbage: High in fiber, this vegetable adds tremendous health benefits raw or cooked. The deeper the colour of the leaves, the greater the levels of anthocyanins–these help to lower risk of many diseases including cancer and heart disease (source).
After sautéing all of the vegetables with a little salt, pepper, and turmeric, I thought the salad could use a little sweetness to counter-balance the slight bitterness of the kale, and so the “Creamy Cashew Dressing” was born.
Kale Power Salad
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 bunch kale (5-6 cups)
1/2 medium red onion chopped small (1/2 cup)
8 ounce button mushrooms, sliced thin
8 ounce cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
5 leaves purple cabbage chopped small (3 cups)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
I like to use a wok, but any large sauté pan will work. Heat pan for a few minutes on medium heat. Heat oil then add onions and cabbage. After the onions and cabbage start to get soft and tender (about 5 minutes) add mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes longer, until mushrooms are cooked but not soggy. Mix in salt, pepper and turmeric if using. Add kale, sauté another 2-3 minutes. I like the kale to keep some of its crisp flavour and not be fully cooked.
yield: 4-6 portions
Creamy Cashew Butter Dressing:
1/3 cup tightly packed fresh basil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon cashew butter
3-4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup water
Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Dressing will thicken overnight, so I would recommend adding lemon juice or water to thin it.
yield: 1 cup, but 1/2 cup is enough for this salad portion