By Chef Sara
This Kale and Strawberry Salad is a delicious synergy of several different calcium and iron-containing foods. Kale, especially the darker and more tender lacinato variety, is rich in calcium, while sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds provide plant-based iron. By adding vitamin C-rich strawberries and a tasty citrus-mint dressing, the iron is more easily absorbed by our bodies–a win-win! The vinaigrette recipe will make more than you need for the salad, but it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Kale and Strawberry Salad
For the Citrus-Mint Vinaigrette
Juice of 1 naval orange, about ½ cup
Juice of 1 lime, about ¼ cup
1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Generous pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Greens and Toppings
2 bunches lacinato kale, washed and dried, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup raw or toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw or toasted pumpkin seeds
1 pint fresh, organic strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup, shallot, mint, salt, and pepper, in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing is emulsified. (As an alternative method, combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake well, until the dressing is emulsified.) Set aside until ready to use.
Place the sliced kale in a large bowl, and add ¼ cup of the vinaigrette. Using your hands, mix and massage the kale and dressing together until the kale deepens in color and softens. Taste the kale, and add up to ¼ cup of additional dressing if additional flavor is needed. Gently mix in the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and strawberries, and serve immediately.