For a hearty lunch, you can’t go wrong by opting for a delicious kale salad. Kale pairs perfectly well with a fresh home-made creamy tahini dressing. Add some chunks of avocado to give it more smoothness and toasted walnuts with maple syrup to give the salad the extra crunch and dimension. Throw in some figs for some added fibre.
Of all the healthy greens, kale ranks no.1. Super high in nutrients and super low in calories, kale is among the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It helps combat inflammation and contains vitamin K, which can help prevent against cancer.
Tahini is mineral rich containing zinc, iron, selenium and copper and also provides omega-3 fatty acids, a source of healthy fat.
Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre. Figs are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K that contribute to health and wellness.
Walnuts not only taste great but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids.
This shredded kale salad with tahini dressing is also gluten-free, vegan and paleo and can easily be made protein-rich with the addition of fish, meat, tempeh or beans (but I personally like it without the meat)
INGREDIENTS (serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side):
For the tahini dressing:
- 1/3 cup tahini paste (see below for recipe)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon of miso paste
- salt to taste
For the salad:
- half a pound of kale
- half a large avocado
- 2 fresh figs
- handful of walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of honey/maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
To make tahini:
1) Toast sesame seeds in frying pan until they turn lightly golden in color. (NB: this is optional but toasting the seeds will give it a nuttier flavour). Transfer seeds to a plate / roasting pan and let it cool completely.
2) Grind in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process for 2-3 minutes until sesame seeds form a crumbly paste. Next, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (NB: any neutral oil will do, including grapeseed or sesame oil). Process for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture forms a thick and fairly smooth paste. For a thinner consistency, add more oil. Add salt to taste and process until combined.
4) Transfer the tahini to an airtight jar (I love the mini Weck ones). It will keep in the fridge for a month or longer (sadly, mine was demolished within two days). If the mixture separates, stir the tahini to redistribute the oil.
To make the kale salad with the tahini dressing:
1) Wash kale leaves and remove stems. Cut into strips (width according to your liking).
2) Slice figs and slice avocado.
3) Toast the walnuts. Turn fry pan on medium heat, pan fry walnuts until they turn light golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and add some honey (or maple syrup), cinnamon, and cumin. Toss until combined.
4) Make tahini dressing. Add 1/3 cup tahini with 1/3 cup of water until desired consistency obtained. Add the dollop of white miso paste (optional) and shake vigorously until combined.
5) Mix walnuts, avocado, figs and kale salad together. Dress with the tahini miso dressing.