This is a no-recipe recipe. But it's one of those rare green salads that is hearty and keeps exceptionally well in the fridge for a few days, making it perfect to add quick greenery at lunch, serve as a dinner side salad, or have as a snack. And yes, I really mean a snack! I know what you're thinking though. Salads aren't usually what come to mind when I reach for a snack either. But when this has been stashed in the fridge I've found myself grabbing it in the afternoons out of convenience and finding it really hits the spot. Between the sweet, creamy tahini dressing, mango, crunchy beets and pumpkin seeds, this salad has the power to satisfy sweet and crunchy cravings while providing an impressive boost of calcium, protein, blood-purifying chlorophyll, and fiber, to name just a few. That's a lot to ask of a little salad, but this one is up for it.
Strategy #1: Prepare 1 or 2 bulk meals
Strategy #2: Stock your fridge with ready-to-eat staple ingredients
Strategy #3: Make a special high-flavor condiment
This salad fulfills two of the three meal planning strategies I introduced last week to kick off the Lunch Power series. It's a bulk meal providing many options to fill out lunches and dinners. And the tahini dressing is a special high-flavor condiment that makes extra, giving you an instant flavor-packed dressing for almost anything needing a facelift throughout the week (grain salads, roasted/steamed veggies, fish, chicken, etc).
**Here is how I used the salad for several lunches last week:**
Layer leftover cooked black lentils, kale snacking salad, avocado, and a semi hard-boiled egg. Bring extra tahini dressing to dress at lunch. This took 5 minutes to assemble in a to-go container the morning of.
Kale Snacking Salad
Notes: I make this salad often and prefer using raw grated beets. However, I took pictures when I tried it with roasted beets and they work as well if that's all you have on hand. If kale is not available, a large head of steamed broccoli would be a good substitute.
- 3-4 large handfuls curly kale, stripped from tough stem
- 1/2 large mango, chopped
- 1 small uncooked beet, grated* (with skin on if organic - scrub skin well)
- 2 handfuls pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Tahini Dressing (recipe below)
- Tear kale into pieces and drop into a steamer set over simmering water*. Cover and cook for 1 minute, or until kale is tender and bright green. Remove with tongs and blot with a paper towel or clean dish towel to remove excess moisture. You may have to steam kale in batches, depending on the size of your steamer and pot.
- Add kale and remaining ingredients to a large deep mixing bowl. Pour over a little of the dressing and toss gently with tongs to combine. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
*To keep things clean and quick, grate beet using the grater attachment of a food processor.
*I use a simple steamer insert like this one.
Notes: This makes more than you'll need for the salad but I like adding extra dressing to the salad the next day or using it throughout the week in other vegetable, bean, and grain dishes. Tahini-based sauces can thicken quite a bit after sitting in the fridge. Thin out with water, as needed.
- 2 heaping Tbsp. tahini paste
- 4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
- Add everything to the tall measuring cup attachment of an immersion blender (a small food processor).
- Blend until emulsified and creamy. Taste and adjust for seasoning.