October 02, 2013

Celebrate National Kale Day with a Cajun Kale Salad

Happy National Kale Day to all of my fellow kale-obsessed vegans out there! I thought I'd drop in today to give you a recipe for this awesome kale salad I made last week. It is so quick to put together and only needs a few ingredients.

This beautiful cherry tomato medley was my inspiration for this recipe. The dark green kale made a nice complementary backdrop to the lively colors of the tomatoes, and I was able to squeeze a few more tomatoes into my diet before they disappeared for the season.


I added raw corn to this salad, too. Our CSA got a late crop of corn this year, so my fridge was overflowing with ears of corn just waiting to be used for something delicious. I just love raw corn. Many people are surprised to learn that you can eat it raw; they think that raw corn is really hard and needs to be cooked to make it edible. Not so! It is pleasantly crunchy and sweet in its raw form. The reason it is so sweet is that cooking converts the sugars in the corn to starch. Adding raw corn to your meals is a great way to add sweetness without adding sugar. If raw corn is not available to you, frozen corn (thawed) should work for this recipe. Just drain off any excess water before you add it to the salad.

As far as methods to cut the corn off the cob, there are a quite a few demos out there. It seems the popular method is to stand it upright in a bowl and shave it down with a sharp knife. I find this method to be unnecessarily messy. Even with a really big bowl, corn kernels fly every which way. I like to lay the cob down on the cutting board and run the knife down the sides, rotating as I continue to cut. It's so much less messy than the other way. Take a look:



Lacinato kale, also called tuscan kale or dinosaur (dino) kale, is a fairly delicate variety of this beloved green. I love to slice it in very thin ribbons to use as a salad base. It's so tender that I don't even massage it.  I do use some lime in this salad for flavor which will also help the leaves become even more tender over time if that's the texture you want, though I must admit that I ate this whole bowl right away. It was just too good!



Cajun Kale Salad
vegan, raw, gluten-free

1 bunch of lacinato kale
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 ears of corn, raw
1/3-1/2 avocado, depending on the size and/or your preference
juice of 2 limes
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning*

- Wash and dry kale thoroughly. remove the ribs and chop into thin ribbons. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the juice of one lime and toss to coat the kale leaves.
- Quarter cherry tomatoes and cut off corn kernels. Add both to the bowl.
- Squeeze the other lime and add in cajun seasoning.
- Toss for even distribution.
- Cut avocado and arrange on the top of the salad.
- Serve.

*If you don't have/can't find cajun seasoning, other seasoning mixes like chili powder would be great. I also went really light on the seasoning because I wanted to primarily taste the fresh vegetables. If you want more spice, start by adding another 1/4 tsp of seasoning to see if that helps.

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