Kale, Hearty Green Superfood! Recipe: Torn Kale and Jammin’ Vinaigrette

Torn Kale, Diced Pears, Cranberries and Slivered Almonds with Jammin’ Vinaigrette

Kale has a lively pungent flavor, somewhat like a cross between cabbage and spinach with delicious, peppery notes. This leafy green powerhouse delivers more nutritional value for fewer calories than just about any other food.

One of the best sources of vitamins A, C and K, kale is a very good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Just one cup of cooked kale contains more then 1000 percent of the daily value of vitamin K and more than 150 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Most people are not aware of Vitamin K. Long known for its critical role in blood clotting, vitamin K is also important for forming and maintaining strong bones. 1.  Kale also contains the health-promoting phytonutrients, zeaxanthin and lutein, which promote eye health. 2.

A great addition to soup or a sauté, kale can be braised, baked or marinated and is a great foundation for salads.  The leaves are torn from the ribs, which are discarded. Kale is super fibrous and different from lettuce or spinach in that it will soften a bit when left to marinate in the dressing for 10 minutes or so.

So much more than the endlessly hip kale salads popping up everywhere, Torn Kale Salad and Jammin’ Rice Vinaigrette is a delightful dish that balances the deep, earthy flavor of torn kale with the fruitiness of fresh ripe pears and sweet dried cranberries with slivered almonds adding a tasty crunch.

The dressing is a luscious blend of strawberry jam, fresh lemon juice and equal parts extra virgin olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar. In this quick and easy recipe Marukan Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar adds crucial sweet, salty and tangy elements to a dish that is sure to become a favorite.

Torn Kale and Jammin’ Vinaigrette (VIDEO)
Six Servings

For the dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Marukan Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup strawberry jam
Juice of one lemon

Place oil, vinegar, jam and lemon juice in a small blender and process until smooth.

For the salad:
large bunch curly kale, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
2 ripe but firm Bartlett pears, diced
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C toasted slivered almonds

Place the kale in a large bowl. Add the pears, cranberries and almonds. Toss with about a third of the dressing and set aside for ten minutes. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Nutrition Analysis Serving: 1 1/2 cups salad*
Calories 259, Protein 7g, Carbohydrate 59g, Fiber 13g, Fat 7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 422mg, Sodium 2mg.

Nutrition Analysis Serving: 1/3 cup Vinaigrette
Calories 221, Protein 0g, Carbohydrate 14g, Fiber 0g, Fat 19g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 1mg, Sodium 396mg.

*nutrition analyses are calculated on weight, the actual volume is generally higher. In the case of leafy greens, such as light and fluffy kale, would almost double in volume.

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV. Her latest book is The Skinny on Soy.  Follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter

1. Feskanich, Diane, Weber, Peter, Willett, Walter C, Rockett, Helaine, Booth, Sarah L, Colditz, Graham A. Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study Am J Clin Nutr 1999 69: 74-79

2. Krinsky NI, Landrum JT, Bone RA. Biologic mechanisms of the protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye. Annu Rev Nutr. 2003;23:171-201. Annu Rev Nutr. 2003;23:171-201.