Kale and Bean Salad

Kale has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods. This fiber rich super food is great for your digestion and will help to lower your cholesterol. Kale is known to lower the risk for five major cancers and the leafy green helps the human body detoxify. In addition, the flavonoids in kale are terrific anti-inflammatories.

Garbanzo beans are also known for their fiber content and cholesterol lowering properties, and a recent study showed that people who ate garbanzos regularly ate less overall. The red kidney beans in the salad help increase your energy level, are a great source of protein and help stabilize and lower your blood sugar.

The biggest issue with kale is that many people find it to be rather bitter and have an unpleasant taste. This combination of flavors from the different types of beans, the olive oil and the lemon in this delicious and extremely easy and healthy kale and bean salad solves that problem quite nicely. Believe me, you will love the taste of this salad and come back for seconds!

Serving size: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1/3 bunch raw fresh kale
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (virgin olive oil is best)
  • juice of one lemon (fresh if possible)
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Step 1: Wash kale and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Step 2: Cut out the stems of the kale and discard them.

Step 3: Chop the kale into bite size pieces.

Step 4 : Empty cans of garbanzo and red kidney beans into a colander and rinse them thoroughly.

Step 5: Mince the two cloves of garlic into small, fine pieces. ( If you don’t have fresh, you can substitute 2 to 3 tablespoons of jarred minced garlic)

Step 6: Combine all ingredients into salad bowl and toss gently.

Step 7:  Add the 1/3 cup of olive oil. Kale is a dry green. If the 1/3 cup isn’t enough oil you can add a pinch more, up to a 1/4 cup and toss gently.

Step 8: Add your lemon juice. Again, if the kale is still tastes somewhat bitter, you can add a pinch more lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste and toss once more.

Step 9: Chill the salad for 45 minutes then share with family or friends and enjoy this easy to prepare and super healthy side dish.

Alternatives:

  • Add another type of bean, perhaps navy, fava or pinto to enhance the flavor and increase the fiber and protein of the salad.
  • Add a cup of cooked brown rice to add a nice texture and the extra health benefits the brown rice will bring
  • Add some browned ground turkey and turn this side dish into a heart healthy, protein rich main course your whole family will love!
  • Feel free to experiment and try some other vegetables like thinly sliced carrots or red peppers. Maybe even try a handful of sliced almonds for a little healthy crunch!