Healthy Eating: Kale salad is spring on a plate

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Welcome spring with this tasty, nutritious treat.

I know spring has surely arrived when Country Farms on Highway 99 in Edmonds has opened! It may not feel like it’s time to get planting right now, but I am putting in my first batch of peas and lettuce this weekend in my garden. I may even be behind, as many friend have had their seeds in the ground for a few weeks already. My planting bed has been too wet to even consider turning over the soil. But I just can’t wait any longer.

I’ve been purchasing asparagus for weeks, which to me is another sign of spring. I am also still harvesting kale from my garden. The leaves are new and tender. You can now purchase baby kale easily in almost any grocery store or big box store. So in the spirit of new beginnings, here is a tasty and nutritious salad for your table. As always feel free to experiment with toppings and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Kale has become the new “it” ingredient, but many folks find it bitter. Choosing baby kale may give you a fresh take on this healthy ingredient.

Spring Kale Salad

Baby kale (about four cups)
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or cherries or blueberries)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)
Soft goat cheese broken into small pieces
1 lemon

Dressing:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil of your choice (olive, avocado, grapeseed)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Squeeze the juice from the lemon. Remove the seeds. Massage the kale with lemon juice to break down the fibers and make it tender. (Note: If you have regular kale this method will work. Just make sure to strip the kale from the stems first and break into bite size pieces.)

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette dressing or use a blender to combine them.

Toss the greens, radishes and dried fruit with the dressing. Garnish with hemp seeds and goat cheese as you plate.

Spring on a plate.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at jaideborah@yahoo.com.

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