A hearty kale, cabbage, and carrot salad topped optionally with chicken and mixed with an almond butter and ginger sauce.
There are times even in the middle of winter when I’m craving a salad. And this salad fits the bill even in the midst of the coldest months, which here in Minnesota, are pretty darn cold. Thanks to the kale and cabbage, this salad feels and tastes substantial. The substantial texture of the vegetables is mirrored in the hearty almond butter dressing.
I really love this salad for a hearty lunch or for dinner. It can be made with or without chicken and loaded up or down with a lot of “extras” like pumpkin seeds, hemp, sprouts, etc. … I suddenly feel like I’m describing a clothing garment that can be dressed up or down. Let’s redirect to the recipe shall we?
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Whenever possible, if I use a vinegar in a recipe, I use apple cider vinegar for its health benefits. When choosing a product, you want raw and organic.
- Chicken – Most chickens that are raised here are fed vegetarian (a.k.a. corn) feed. To avoid eating genetically modified corn, choose organic chicken if at all possible.
- Kale – Consuming raw kale (and raw cruciferous vegetables in general) has recently been receiving negative press due to its presence of goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the functioning of our thyroids. They are neutralized during the cooking process. I turned to Sarah at the Paleo Mom blog to take a broader look at the subject and you can read an excerpt from her book about this subject here. To sum up Sarah’s conclusion, there isn’t enough science behind proving that consuming raw cruciferous vegetables can do much harm to the thyroid. Furthermore, the benefits of this group of vegetables makes them imperative to keep in our diets even in the raw form. However, when you read through the comments of folks responding to her blog post, many saw personal improvements to their thyroid condition when removing raw cruciferous vegetables from their diet. This further confirms what I whole heartily believe when it comes to food and your health – you have to be the expert on your body and what works for you. Science and research can start us down a particular path of healing, but we always need to be checking-in with our bodies to make sure we’re eating the way that works for us as an individual. We are all made with different genes and are dealing with different environmental triggers. One size definitely doesn’t fit all. Personally, I eat a good variety of raw and cooked vegetables. I generally lean toward cooking cruciferous vegetables, but sometimes, I just want an awesome raw kale salad.
Kale and Cabbage Salad with Almond Butter Dressing
- 3-4 cups shredded chicken roughly 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts
- 1/2 small watermelon radish shredded (optional)
- 3 cups mixture of green and red cabbage shredded
- 3 cups red russian or green curly kale, shredded
- 3 medium carrots peeled and shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 3 green onions finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- generous pinch or two of sea salt or pink himalayan salt
- optional toppings: hemp seeds pumpkin seeds, broccoli sprouts
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos can substitute tamari or soy sauce if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated or minced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or pink himalayan salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- juice of 1 lime about 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons of water to thin out
If not working with pre-cooked chicken, poach the raw chicken breasts by placing them in a skillet with enough water to submerge the lower halves of each breast.
Bring the water to a boil, then cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Lightly simmer until the chicken breasts are just cooked through, about 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the breast.
Remove breasts from saucepan and allow them to cool before using two forks to shred them (one fork to hold, one fork to shred).
Place cabbage, kale, carrot, and green onions in a large bowl and mix. Toss salad with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt.
To make dressing, place remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to thin it out a little.
Toss shredded chicken and radishes (if using) with the dressing. (If not using chicken, toss salad with dressing, being careful not to add too much.)
Serve salad with chicken placed on top of the greens.
Wonderful toppings/garnishes include: pumpkin, hemp, or sunflower seeds or sprouts.