I crave this salad! The variations are limitless depending on what produce is seasonal and available. Today I had a small yellow summer squash, so I used it. Other times I might use cucumber, fresh peas (you could use frozen peas too - just rinse briefly under cold water to thaw), red pepper, tomatoes, fresh raw corn just off the cob. Here's how I made it today.
Summertime Kale Salad with Kelp Noodles
For the Kelp Noodles:
1 package Kelp Noodles
1 lime OR 1/2 lemon
To prepare Kelp Noodles: rinse according to package directions and drain in colander. The kelp noodles are long and kind of unruly to eat, so I use a clean pair of scissors (reserved for food use only) to cut them in to smaller, easy-to-manage pieces (2 inches or so). Place the cut kelp noodles in a medium bowl and squeeze lime or lemon juice over the noodles and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the Kale Salad.
For the Kale Salad:
2 bunches Lacinato kale (can use regular kale too)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (I love Braggs)
1/4 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1 avocado, peeled and chopped, discard seed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 green onion, sliced
1 yellow or green summer squash, chopped
Handful of Arugula (optional, but adds a nice peppery taste)
Sprinkling of Hemp Seeds (optional, but adds a nice nutritional boost)*
Rinse the kale and drain. Remove the tough stem. Stack several leaves at a time and slice into thin strips (1/4 inch strips). Place in a large bowl. Add the garlic and sea salt and massage/knead the kale for a minute or so. The leaves will turn a brighter shade of green and soften. Add the lemon juice, olive oil , and tamari and massage into the kale too. Add the chopped avocado and massage in also until some of the avocado is mashed into the kale, but little bits are still visible.
Stir in the onion and green onion and summer squash. At this point, you may also add what ever else you like in any amount you like. In previous salads, I have used combinations including a chopped cucumber, a cup of peas, 1 diced carrot, a cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half, fresh corn sliced off the cob, 6-8 romaine lettuce leaves sliced thin, etc. I find I don't have to adjust the amount of flavoring even with these additional ingredients - the lemon juice and olive oil seem adequate for me, but feel free to add more if you like.
Presentation: Place the kelp noodles on a plate. Top with kale salad. Garnish with arugula and hemp seeds.
Off topic... I remember as a kid trying to plant an avocado pit. Has anyone tried it? I remember using tooth picks and balancing it over a glass of water. We never succeeded in growing a plant, I suspect maybe because it wasn't organic?? Now that I use only organic ingredients, I may try it again! We'll see what happens - I'll report back someday :)
*Besides offering a subtle nutty flavor, hemp seeds offer some nice nutritional benefits. High in digestible protein and all nine essential amino acids, hemp seeds are also known to provide a good balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. I keep some in a glass jar in my freezer and sprinkle on my salads and soups.