It was in the back seat of the car while we were driving.
My kids got into a big argument, which wasn’t the crazy part.
The crazy part was the subject of the argument.
I nearly had to pull over to verify that I was hearing correctly.
They were bickering…
over kale salad.
Not as in, “I’m not going to eat that!” sort of arguing.
No, as in “Hey, you ate all the kale salad….there’s hardly any left for me” type of arguing.
The sort of fighting usually reserved for chocolate cake or cotton candy.
It was a salad we picked up for lunch on our way home from a weekend away. It’s sold at New Leaf, a market in Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles down the coast.
I wanted to work out the magic behind the recipe. Argument-inducing kale bears imitating. So I gathered the ingredients listed on the label and did my best to knock off the salad.
The core essentials are lemon juice and something called Bragg Liquid Aminos. If you’re unfamiliar with Bragg, it’s unfermented soy, similar in flavor to soy sauce, sold in health food stores and organic markets. The salty, lemony combination effectively tenderizes the kale and tames the texture.
Beyond that, the salad features sliced red onion along with roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The grated carrots were my own addition, giving the greens extra color and crunch. Buying pre-chopped, bagged kale takes nearly all of the work out of this recipe, which is best made a day ahead.
I served it for dinner one night this past week. The kids were all over it. Six cups of kale were gone in one sitting.
If it turns out your children don’t like this salad, I’m guessing you will, and since it keeps for several days in the fridge, you’ll be good for greens for the better part of the week.
Just don’t serve it in the car.
Who eats kale salad in the car anyway?
(for the record, my kids never bicker or snack in the car.)
A Kale Salad Kids Love
The kale in this salad makes it a nutrient powerhouse, rich in calcium, vitamin C, potassium, and folate, among others. If you don’t have Bragg Liquid Aminos, use soy sauce instead, only cut back slightly on the amount, taste, then add more as needed.
• 6 cups roughly chopped kale (tough stems removed)
• 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 coarsely grated carrots
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil or extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (salted or unsalted)
• 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (salted or unsalted)
Put the kale, onion, carrots, Bragg Liquid Aminos, lemon juice, sesame oil, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds into a big bowl. Use a pair of tongs to turn the greens over in the bowl, mashing and stirring the kale for a good minute so that it thoroughly marinates with the other ingredients. No need to be gentle.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
Will keep for several days.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Adapted from New Leaf Market’s Coastal Kale Salad