Kale, Strawberry & Coconut Salad

ALERT! It’s strawberry season in San Diego. YES!!  Let the binging begin! What’s on my mind? Strawberry lemonade. Vegan Strawberry Shortcake. Strawberry Zucchini Noodles with  Cashew Cream. Strawberry Guacamole Toast. Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream. Strawberries with Coconut Whipped Cream. Strawberry Chia Seed Jam … someone please stop me. I can talk STRAWBERRY all day long. 

It’s also tulip season in San Diego. Check out this beautiful picture from the Carlsbad Flower Fields, just a few minutes from my work.

Nothing says SPRING like tulips and strawberries. Don’t you think?

Today I am sharing one of my favorite Spring dishes, a colorful Kale, Strawberry & Coconut Salad. 

Gigantic Strawberry – it’s the size of my palm

How to make scrumptious kale salads

Recently, a friend of mine confessed that she didn’t like KALE. She knew that this could “jeopardize” our relationship so she started slowly “I am not a BIG fan of the texture…[insert cough]…i’s a little bitter and chewy”. Seriously? Do we know each other? Is that even possible? Can we till be friends after this? If you know me well, you know I am a self-proclaimed kale-lover ( hence my website’s name, sunshine and KALE). I even eat kale for dessert!  Check out this Chocolate Kale Chip Recipe by Jason Wrobel. It’s truly a treat!

If  you are reading this and you have a love-hate relationship with kale, let me help you. Here are few tips to prepare the PERFECT kale salad:

First, kale has to be de-stemmed and the leaves have to chopped finely (if using the Dino variety) or tear apart (if using curl kale). You can add the stems to your smoothies. They contain added minerals and chlorophyll but they have a really bitter taste. 

Second, you need to massage the kale leaves – WITH YOUR HANDS – break them down, add a little bit of salt and lemon. I know it sounds counterintuitive but the salt will neutralize the bitterness while the lemon will tenderize the leaves and add flavor. 

Third, I suggest you experiment with different types of kale. For salads, I personally prefer Lacinato / Dinosaur Kale over Curly Kale.  Lacinato is darker in color, stronger in flavor but softer in texture. Curly Kale is lighter, milder but sturdier.

Follow these three easy steps and I can guarantee that you will become a kale convert. Do you want to take it up a noch? Try the following recipe. It has strawberries, almonds and coconut.   Long Live The Kale and S-T-R-A-W-B-E-R-R-I-E-S!! 

 

Kale, Strawberry and Coconut Salad
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For the dressing
  1. 3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  3. 1 Tablespoon coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  4. 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup ( or alternative sweetener)
  5. Salt and black pepper to taste
For the salad
  1. 2 large bunches Lacinato kale, de-stemmed and finely shredded
  2. 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  3. 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  4. 1/2 cup organic slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl and pour half of the dressing over.
  3. Massage the kale for 2-3 minute, until the leaves soften.
  4. Add strawberries, almonds, coconut and the remaining dressing.
  5. Toss to combine. Add more sweetener if needed.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/

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