Best Ever Kale Salad

"In 1929, researchers from John Hopkins University fed rabbits a diet of cabbage and the rabbits developed goiters (enlarged thyroid glands). Consequently, for decades many people with thyroid problems have been incorrectly advised to avoid cruciferous vegetables because of their goitrogen content. (Goitrogens are substances that can disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering woth iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and are present in drugs, chemicals and food.) Cruciferous vegetables have been erroneously blamed for causing low iodine levels.

Fast forward through eighty more years of thyroid research, and we can confirm that goiters are definately not caused by eating (cruciferous vegetables). So please don't keep cruciferous vegetables off your plate! Goiters, and in some cases thyroid cancer, are caused by autoimmune thyrid disease Hashimoto's thryroiditis and from goitrogenic xenobiotics (any foreign substances or exogenous chemicals which the body does not recognize such as drugs, pollutants, as well as some food additives and cosmetics)."  -- The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, Dr. Nasha Winters

Raw cruciferous vegetables can be hard to digest - that’s why this recipe calls for lightly steaming the leaves before letting them sit in the dressing for a few hours before serving.

This salad is really an entire meal in one. The method is long, and there are several components, but the end result is well worth it. You can easily substitute any protein you wish with this one.

The first time I made it, someone exclaimed, “Wow! This is the best kale salad, ever!” Hence, the name.

Dressing Ingredients:

Zest of 2 oranges

1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey

1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp dried savoury

Method: 

In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, maple syrup or honey and dijon mustard. Add orange juice and vinegar. Whisk to combine well. Gradually drizzle olive oil into dressing, whisking constantly so it will emulsify. Whisk in salt and savoury. Set aside while preparing the salad.

Salad Ingredients:

1 pound fingerling/baby potatoes - washed and scrubbed (but unpeeled) and cut into quarters

2 Tbsp melted ghee

2 1/2 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt, divided

4 boneless/skinless pastured chicken breasts 

1 bunch curly kale, washed 

1 bunch dinosaur kale, washed

1/2 small head red/purple cabbage, thinly sliced

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

2 red peppers, cored and thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

4 navel oranges, peeled and cut into segments

In Advance, Prepare Potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Brush half of the melted ghee unto the parchment. Lay out the potatoes evenly on pan and brush each potato with some of the remaining melted ghee. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Roast potatoes in hot oven until golden brown - about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set into fridge to cool completely.

Prepare Chicken: Using approximately 2 tsp of the sea salt and the 4 tsp of savoury, season both sides of each piece of the chicken. Grill on grill pan, roast on parchment lined sheet pan or slice and sauté in a fry pan over medium heat until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Slice the meat if you grilled or roasted the pieces whole.

Kale Prep: Remove spines from each leaf of kale.  Discard the spines (or feed them to your dog!) and cut the leaves into thin slices.

Fill a large bowl with very cold water and add a dozen ice cubes. Set a large colander into the prepared ice bath.

Set a steaming basket into a large saucepan with 1” water or add 1/4” water to bottom of a large skillet. Bring water to a simmer. Add the sliced kale leaves to the steaming basket or skillet. Cover and steam just until kale leaves turn a glossy, bright green - 3-5 minutes.

Immediately remove from heat and place into the colander in the ice bath for 1 minute. (This immediately stops all cooking and preserves the bright fresh greens of the kale.) Remove colander with kale from ice water bath and set aside to let drain completely.  

Toss the steamed kale, cabbage and onions all together with the dressing in a large bowl. Cover and let sit 2-3 hours before serving.

Salad Assembly: To the marinated kale mixture, add the roasted potatoes, sliced peppers and chopped parsley.

Mix all together to coat well with dressing.

Top with oranges and chicken.

-makes 8 servings