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Esalen Kale Salad

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Esalen Kale Salad As promised on Facebook, here’s my absolute favorite recipe for kale, from one of my favorite spots in the world, Esalen in Big Sur. And, because it is summer, eating it raw is fine for all doshas, especially pitta! Kale is highly nutritious and really good for cleansing the digestive system. Really, I can’t get enough of this salad – enjoy 🙂

1/3 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce (I like tamari better)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup flax seed or extra virgin olive oil ( I use olive oil)
1/2 medium- sized red onion
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (you can cheat and get these already roasted, unsalted)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds (I didn’t have sesame seeds the other day, so just used more pumpkin seeds)
1 lb. fresh kale (or about 2 big bunches)
1/2 cup sunflower sprouts
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake or crimini mushrooms (optional – I typically don’t add these))

Combine the Bragg or soy sauce and lemon juice in a blender or whisk in a bowl. Slowly dribble in the oil as the blender turns or as you whisk vigorously. Slice the onion into thin half-moons and marinate in the dressing as you prepare the rest of the salad.

Toast the seeds in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until seeds are just golden and fragrant (cast iron skillet is the best). Toast each seed type separately as their size requires varying roasting times. Cool to room temperature.

De-stem the kale. Stack the kale leaves and slice or tear into 1/4 inch ribbons. This is the most important step so make sure that you take your time. The success of this recipe lies in cutting the kale into small ribbons and in completely massaging the kale with the dressing.

Toss the seeds, sprouts, and kale together in the marinated onions and as much dressing as necessary to lightly but completely dress the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands. Add the avocado and mushrooms if using and toss again with your hands.


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