POOJA KINI is a master of finding simple ways to eat healthy food while living a busy lifestyle. Here she shares a kale salad that is full of goodness without taking loads of time to prepare.
Ah, kale. The green that made an appearance out of nowhere, became everyone’s favorite overnight, and has apparently decided to stay for good. It’s the star of salads, grain bowls, and even chips! While intimidating and seemingly bitter, if you prepare it properly, it can taste amazing. And we all know it’s super good for you. Amongst other health benefits, kale is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
I love this salad when I’m looking for something quick, simple, and filling to eat for lunch on a weekday. It’s my go-to for a reason: it’s colorful, crunchy, and packed with flavor, while being healthy and light! I like to make a batch of dressing and pre-portion my veggies so that when it comes to lunch time, all I have to do is combine them, which takes less than 5minutes! Getting your greens in can be difficult, but this makes it easy.
This recipe is vegetarian and can be made vegan easily with the removal of the cheese.
- Kale (any variety), washed and stems removed
- Cheese of choice (I prefer goat cheese or feta cheese)
- Slivered almonds or sunflower seeds
- ½ avocado
- ½ cup chickpeas, white beans, or kidney beans
- Any extra veggies you like (I enjoy tomatoes, sliced apples, or sweet bell peppers).
- Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp)
- Lemon juice (½ lemon)
- Salt (to taste, but a generous pinch or a few healthy cracks)
- Pepper (same as salt)
- Red chilli flakes (to taste depending on your spice tolerance)
- Optional: a little honey for sweetness
Combine the ingredients for the dressing, whisking with a fork quickly until emulsified, in a small bowl or jar. You can make extra and keep it for the next day if you like.
In a salad bowl, add your kale, pour the dressing over it, and massage it in with your hands. This tenderizes the kale and takes away the bitterness.
Add the avocado–a trick is to cut it in half, cut a checker board shape in to the half that isn’t pitted, and then simply squeeze down on the skin, pushing out the avocado pieces.
Add in the remainder of your ingredients, and toss with the rest of the salad until everything is coated. Enjoy!
Pooja is based in San Francisco and loves to cook, read, drink coffee, and take long walks with no destination. She recently graduated from UC Santa Barbara after studying Economics and Accounting, and now works in finance. You can find her on Instagram @poojxk.