My Favorite Kale Salad

new kale saladLet me tell you, nothing quite awakens your health and consciousness like going through a year of Lyme disease treatment. At least, that’s what it did to me. I could now scoff at what I once considered (and what many would still consider) a “healthy” breakfast of soy yogurt and granola. These days, going two days without a green smoothie for breakfast (a lapse I endured while traveling over the weekend) is a long time for me. And a dinner without kale salad to start is almost unheard of.

I won’t rehash the details of my last post (nearly a year ago!), which went into the health issues I’d been having leading up to my Lyme diagnosis. Nor will I go into quite as much detail about how my treatment has been since. But suffice it to say that a year-long course of antibiotics and Malaria fighting drugs for Lyme’s common co-infections can wreak havoc on one’s system — while¬†also proving essential in the overall treatment of the disease.

As a result of this, I have taken a profound interest in how food can play a key role in healing and health. After all, at the time I was diagnosed, I strongly attributed my already gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free diet to my relatively high level of functioning given the number of tick-borne infections I had been carrying for several years. If these changes could have had an effect on my immunity, as my doctor also surmised, wouldn’t additional dietary changes prove even more beneficial?

In the last year, I’ve shifted a lot of my diet toward a cleaner way of eating. I have always considered my diet to be on the healthy end of the spectrum, but my research suggested that there was much more room for improvement. While I am not one to ever be extreme — I still enjoy gluten-free pasta, organic tofu and tortilla chips and salsa — I have moved away from processed foods significantly and begun adding more raw, green meals into my diet than ever before. I studied the principles of Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Solution and adopted many into my own practices. I now eat raw fermented sauerkraut with many meals and kale salad before nearly every dinner, as I alluded to before. I also make it a practice to drink a detoxing green smoothie similar to this one almost every morning, sometimes adding lemon juice, parsley or romaine or substituting pears or strawberries.

While there is probably no way of measuring the exact impact my diet has had during the last year of treatment, I do know that what I eat makes a difference in how I feel overall. There is also a lot of research indicating that anti-inflammatory foods and detoxing is very important in overall healing, and I have made sure to incorporate these types of foods into my daily intake. Of course, I do have to supplement more than the average person, vegan or otherwise. Lyme tends to deplete vital nutrients and minerals, so even with a balanced and healthy vegan diet, I do supplement with high doses of magnesium, B12 and folate daily, among other vitamins and medications in my regimen (including lots of chlorella and lemon juice for detox).

Now that kale salad has become a staple of my diet, I certainly have discovered a few favorites, and this is on the top of that list. I rarely make this recipe the same way twice. In fact, the first time I actually measured any ingredients was when I was making the version for this post. I encourage you to play around with amounts and different ingredients, and to come up with your own favorite version of this salad.

Raw Kale Salad:

Yield: 2-4 servings

Note: this salad can keep in the refrigerator for about a day. It is best served fresh, but kale is quite sturdy and will stand up to dressing and refrigeration, even if the texture of the salad may change somewhat as it sits.

1 bunch lacinato or curly kale, thick stems removed and torn into small pieces

1/8 teaspoon sea salt (1 small pinch)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 head raddichio, shredded (or 1/2 cup of shredded red cabbage)

1 scallion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon raw cider vinegar (or other raw vinegar of choice)

3 tablespoons raw sauerkraut juice*

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

dash of cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

Directions:

1. Make sure kale pieces are washed/rinsed and fairly dry. Add to salad bowl. Add sea salt and olive oil and massage well. I like to rub handfuls of kale between both palms to really break it down and soften it.

2. Once kale has been massaged, add raddichio and scallions. Add lemon juice, vinegar and sauerkraut juice and toss. Add nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper and toss until kale is well-coated. You may wish to add additional lemon juice/vinegar/sauerkraut juice/nutritional yeast or even salt to taste depending on saltiness of your sauerkraut. Once seasoning is adjusted, serve.

*This is my secret ingredient for this salad. It makes the flavors pop. You can buy raw sauerkraut usually in the refrigerated section of your health food store and in some supermarkets. I like to use a local brand from Michigan, but Bubbies raw sauerkraut is a good choice as well.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better. (I’d started to wonder if you’d given up on blogging.)

    I have a friend that started eating sauerkraut for its medicinal qualities. I’m definitely going to try this recipe out, and I’d love to hear of other recipes that include sauerkraut!

  2. Beth says

    Hi Mary — I thought about giving up, then just decided not to hold myself to any sort of strict blogging standards. I tend to be a person to overextend myself (aren’t we all, though?) and this past year has certainly changed that to some extent. But, I missed it. So it’s good to be back : ) Hmmm, other recipes with raw sauerkraut, eh? I have to say, I have become fond of putting it in hummus wraps, or as part of a dinner with steamed veggies, brown rice and a dollop of ‘kraut. The local place I buy mine from also sells a raw fermented kimchi, which I love to mix into quinoa stir-fry (usually quinoa, lots of veggies, ginger, sometimes organic tofu and tamari sauce). Of course, I add the kimchi when serving so I don’t cook out the raw enzymes. That’s probably my favorite way to eat it outside of this salad, so I may just have to add a formal recipe to this blog one of these days.

  3. Beth says

    Thanks, Shirley! Always wonderful to hear from you. Treatment did take a lot out of me, and I decided I needed to cut a few things out of my life while I was healing. I am not quite 100%, but definitely a whole lot better than I have felt in a long time. In the meantime, my heart has never strayed too far from my “baby” (this blog!) and the supportive blogging community filled with amazing people like you! It’s definitely nice to slowly get back into the swing of things.

  4. Lydia Huston says

    Beth, I am so glad you’re back. I, too, read the Beauty Detox Solution and have changed my lifestyle accordingly. Now, I drink Glowing Green Smoothies daily and have increased my raw food intake considerably. I think that I total cure is on the way for you.

  5. Beth says

    Hi Lydia — do you make changes to the GGS? I have made it as written in the book and then started experimenting with different things. I find I rarely make the exact “GGS” twice. My favorite additions are pineapple and sometimes mango. I don’t follow all the principles in her book, but like you, it totally changed my eating habits for the better. I really believe that supporting digestive health (especially after taking antibiotics for a year!) and detoxing is really important. I hope you’re right about the total cure! : )

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