Mandarin Orange and Kale Salad

I’m not sure about you, and maybe it is just me, but I am not very familiar with the now super popular vegetable, kale. It has been touted as being a super-food and I seem to be seeing it everywhere. Honestly, I would like to try it, but I’m not quite sure what to do with it.

Kale Salad

Curly Kale - Photo attribution: Rasbak (CC)

However, being a fanatically inquisitive person, (Just ask my family…lol), I had to do a little a lot of research and ultimately found some very interesting facts about kale:

  • there are several varieties of kale; these include curly kale, ornamental kale, and dinosaur (or Lacinato or Tuscan) kale, all of which differ in taste, texture, and appearance.
  • kale has a pungent flavor with delicious bitter peppery qualities.
  • it has green or purple leaves and unlike lettuces, the central leaves do not form a head.
  • kale belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts.
  • it is easy to grow and can grow in colder temperatures where a light frost will produce especially sweet kale leaves.
  • kale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available, and at its peak, from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring.
  • When baked, kale takes on a consistency similar to that of a potato chip. The chips can be seasoned with salt, pepper or other spices.
  • Massaging oil into kale is a great way to tenderize the leaves.

When purchasing kale, you should look for:

  • firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems.
  • the leaves should look fresh, be unwilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes.
  • look for bunches with smaller sized leaves, as they will be more tender and have a milder flavor than bunches with larger leaves.

To store kale:

  • place kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible.
  • store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days.
  • the longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes.
  • do not wash kale before storing, exposure to water encourages spoilage.
  • Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being frozen. (You may wipe leaves with dry paper towel prior to freezing, but do not wash!)

Preparation:

Thoroughly rinse kale leaves under cold running water and pat dry.

Uses:

  • Baked into chips
  • As a pesto
  • Baked in a quiche
  • As a salad
  • Steamed or sauteed
  • Juiced
  • …and I am sure there are many more!

Health Benefits:

  • Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium.
  • It is low in calories, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat.
  • Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical which has been described as having potent anti-cancer properties.
  • Boiling kale decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not appear to result in significant loss.
  • Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. {Steaming significantly increases these bile acid binding properties.}

Below is a recipe for Mandarin Orange and Kale Salad from the President’s Choice® website. President’s Choice® has numerous easy, nutritious and exciting mealtime options in store, as well as a number of online recipes, suggestions and tips.

Mandarin Orange & Kale Salad

(Image attribution: pc.ca and has been used with permission}


4.7 from 6 reviews
Mandarin Orange and Kale Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Splendido Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 PC Easy to Peel Mandarin Oranges
  • 1 PC Organics Gala Apple (skin on), cut in julienne strips
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Splendido Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Splendido White Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) sliced blanched almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Discard tough stems of kale. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in large bowl. Drizzle 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil over top; using hands, massage oil into kale for 1 minute. Sprinkle pinch of salt over top; massage and squeeze for 1 to 2 minutes or until kale is slightly softened.
  2. Peel mandarin oranges and pull off excess stringy white bits; segment. Add orange segments, apple, celery and red onion to kale. In small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Transfer to serving platter. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  3. Makes 8 servings
  4. Per serving: 130 calories, fat 9 g (1.1 g of which is saturated), sodium 100 mg, carbohydrate 11 g, fibre 2 g, protein 2 g
  5. Source: pc.ca

This recipe is from the President’s Choice website and has been reprinted with permission.

Are you familiar with kale?

What are your favourite recipes using kale?

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Some of the information contained in this post was obtained from EatLocalGrown and TheWorldsHealthiestFoods.

Comments

  1. In the spring I tried my hand at kale soup and it’s so darn good that Russell requests it frequently and I cooked it throughout the summer despite the hot weather. I tried making my own kale chips and they were tasty, but I oversalted them and didn’t cook them quite enough. But we both crave kale soup. I substitute turkey chorizo (milder than chourico) and it’s deeeeeeelicious!

  2. I have never heard of Kale before, this is very new to me. That salad looks great so that would be my first choice in trying Kale. Thanks for sharing this post!

  3. I like Kale so am always glad to find a recipe for it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’ve never tried kale but this looks pretty good, actually. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I pinned this earlier. I’ve never had kale but this looks delicious.

  6. I just had Kale for the first time yesterday and it was delicious!

  7. Kale really is a beautiful plant! AND so good for you :)

  8. I am still trying to convince my family to eat asparagus, think I will hold off on kale.

  9. Great sounding salad. I love how kale looks growing.

  10. We always put lots of kale in our lasagna and meat sauce. It’s a great way to sneak it in.

  11. I might be able to sneak some kale into the kids if they will eat this salad. The mandarins should increase the chances of that. Thanks, added to our meal plan.

  12. Thanks for recipe, I do like kale and I know it has great health benefits, but I can’t always think of how to use it. I will definitely try the salad :)

  13. Oh we have found the yummiest bagged salad product at Costco that has Kale in it and we all love it madly!! We could eat a bit too much of this actually. Kale is a big hit here. I will try your salad sometime. I don’t like mandarins in my salad but I know my kids will love them in it.

  14. being Portuguese I have had Caldoverde my whole life (green soup) made using kale its super good. we grow it every year (so much we freeze more that half the crop) my mother and wife love to put it into all kinds of soups and dishes I never had it just in a salad tho sounds good.

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