Kale, kale, kale, everywhere the is kale. It is the superfood par excellence. But taste wise? Not the best most of the times. But, since it is coming into season, it is grown locally and super healthy we need to find a way to make it tasty. And there is one – this salad will forever change your opinion about kale. Give it a shot and you’ll be surprised
Let’s have a little chat about kale.
Kale is a green, a cabbage to be exact, which comes with green or purple leaves that look a bit like super curly hair and have a rather stiff consistency. About 2 years ago, I believe, it has entered the health food industry and nowadays it is impossible to think it away. To be fair, there is good reason for kale to be cheered. It is incredibly high in Vitamin K and C but also other vitamins, has a decent amount of fibre, is low in calories, and contains 9 minerals! So it really is a nutrition bomb.
So it basically became super popular in the US, where you can find it pretty much anywhere nowadays. It is funny, because I have tried it in the US and loved it. Then I went back to Austria, tried it and omg, it was disgusting at first. Why? First of all, the way I prepared it – not good, and secondly, because Kale in Europe just somehow is different from the one in the US. I think it has a more bitter flavour, is harsher to chew, it has larger leaves and just doesn’t taste as good in its raw state.
So I experimented with it until I finally found ways I liked it. And really, there are ways it tastes delicious. You just have to know how to prepare it the right way. But please, DO NOT eat it RAW (at least not the one from Austria). Mainly because of two reasons: the eating experience: it tastes disgusting, it is difficult to chew, you kind of have the feeling that it is like paper in your mouth. Not good. And secondly, because raw kale is really difficult to digest and it is very very likely to bloat you. So the after feeling won’t be amazing either. It is best to just quickly steam it or boil it before enjoying!
Enough heard of kale – what is special about this dish?
Besides the fact that kale tastes good in here, this is an awesome fall salad. The flavours combined just give a great fall feeling. You have got a maple-mustard dressing, which is super delicious and easy to make, fresh apples (pure fall vibes), and warm caramelised figs (the best thing about this salad!). Last, but not least, some fluffy quinoa to also fill you up!
Is this dish healthy?
It really is. You have got the super nutritious kale, the quinoa for carbohydrates, fibre and protein (& deliciousness of course!), figs for more vitamins, and the dressing with some healthy fats and sweetness. Not only delicious but also super healthy!
Difficult to make?
Not really. It all is super simple except for the figs, they are a little more challenging, but nothing impossible. So, it is quite easy. And quick, so it is great for lunches and quick weeknight dinners.
Meal-prep & family friendly?
You can definitely meal prep this salad, by packing the dressing extra. Just be aware that the figs won’t be as „freshly caramelised“ and warm anymore. But they’ll still be good!
In terms of family friendly, I also think so. It’s really delicious and very versatile, so you can add some extras on top like chicken, tofu, cottage cheese or whatever you like!
I hope that you enjoy this recipe and fall gets a little healthier (& tastier of course!) with it!
Kale & Quinoa salad with caramel figs & maple-dijon dressing
A kale salad that tastes. Good tasting kale tossed in the best maple dijon dressing along with from fresh apple, quinoa and caramelized figs. Fall perfection!
What you will need
- 80 g Quinoa
- 5 large handful kale about 1 bunch
- 3-4 figs
- 1 green apple
- 1 tbsp oil or vegan butter
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonaise
- 4 tbsp plant based yoghurt
- 2 tsp fig preserves (fig jam)
Add the Quinoa with some salt to a pot along with twice the amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let simmer until all water is absorbed, abou 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to minimum, cover witha lid and let steam for about 3-4 minutes until fluffy.
In the meantime bring a pot with water to a boil and steam or boil the kale for about 4-5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Then roughly chop it up into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl.
Thinly slice or chop up the Apple and add it to the kale with the quinoa. Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or food processor until creamy and toss the salad in it!
Slice the figs into about 0,5cm thick slices (you can eat the peel of figs if you have washed them!). In a pan melt the vegan butter or heat up the oil. Add the sugar evenly to the pan. Place the fig slices on top of the sugar and let caramelize for about 3-4 minutes on medium high heat.
Divide the salad onto bowls nd top with the figs. Serve and enjoy!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière
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