Let's Kale the Whole Thing Off

It’s never too late to learn new things about those you love. A recent misplaced bunch of spinach I’d bought resulted in a kale substitution in a favorite recipe, with no ill effects. This is a bigger deal than you might imagine, since spinach is so mild in flavor and kale so assertive. That got me wanting to try a new kale salad, to see if my family would also eat it, when it wasn’t slathered in a heavy peanut dressing. Short answer: they would.

Beet, Kale and Pine-Nut Salad

Beet, Kale and Pine-Nut Salad

I’m going to have to remember this salad for the holidays because it’s so beautiful, and I imagine using two colors of beets would only improve matters. I started with this recipe and made some modifications based on what I actually had on hand.

Roasted Beet, Kale and Pine-Nut Salad

1-2 medium beets, roasted, peeled, and sliced in eighths (you can also do them in the crock-pot)

1 big bunch of kale, de-stemmed and cut in ribbons (“chiffonaded”)

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 - 1/2 c dried cranberries (I bet pomegranate seeds would also work)

1/4 - 1/2 c pine nuts, toasted


1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp citrus juice (I used cara cara orange because I didn’t have a lime)

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper

You can mix up the dressing and toss it with the salad ingredients (minus the pine nuts) up to an hour earlier, and that helps soften the kale. Then toss the pine nuts on and you’re good to go!

This recipe would almost qualify for my sister’s Forks over Knives diet month, except for the olive oil. She did say Forks over Knives likes to substitute tahini for olive oil, and you could probably get away with that here, except it might not be as pretty. Oh, and they also prefer maple syrup to honey because it doesn’t involve animals. That is, bees. I guess bees have to be called “animals” because they’re certainly not plants or rocks.

Speaking of classifications, if you wondered, as I did, “Is kale better for you than spinach?” I found this handy graphic from Prevention, although the commentary skews retirement-age…


Basically, you can’t go wrong with leafy green vegetables, so expand your range and try kale again on your family!