Lauren: Kale Salad


We’re back with week two of “Lauren’s Affair with Parmesan.”

Kale, Parmesan, lemon, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper. Bam. Kale salad. Read on for this awesome, easy recipe.

For week 9 of CWC we’re going a little wild. We’re theme-less. Or rather, the theme is similar to a choose-your-own-adventure book for us, it’s a freebie, a wildcard, it’s writer’s-choice. My choice? Kale.

Feeling my risk of developing diabetes increase by the day, I couldn’t be more excited about vegetables lately, deep green kale in particular.

Kale is SO AMAZING that given free rein, it was necessary to finally discuss the recipe I’ve been harassing Caro about since June.

As discussed in an earlier post, I lived in an extended-stay hotel over the summer. Ironically I’m sitting in a room of the very same hotel as I write this. Little did I know before my summer move-in that the place doesn’t supply its guest rooms with ovens. Cue a minor freak out.

I moved to St. Louis at summer’s start with an arsenal of recipes for proteins and salads (oh come on, and baked goods, I’m not that saintly), which could, in theory, be made quickly and easily for dinner and then taken to work the next day for lunch. The thing was, they were gathered with the kitchen of my apartment in mind which did have an oven. So after moving into the hotel I went on weekly recipe-finding missions to find things that could be made 1. without an oven, and 2. the night before and stay tasty until noon the next day.

Then up popped Marin Mamma’s recipe and the angels started singing.

This recipe solved all of my food-induced woes. Not only was it said to be incredibly easy, but it involved cheese (score!) AND was said to only get better with age. Plus it was packed with fiber and all the other goods present in dark leafy greens. I made the salad at least once a week and recommended it to my friend Matt, a fellow intern and foodie, who also enjoyed it.

I shake up the recipe a little bit from its original version. While I tried to remain loyal to the lacinato kale type (non-curly, each piece is just a single long flat leaf) which Marin Mamma suggests, every time I’ve purchased it, there have been bugs on the backs of the leaves, so, grossed out, I always return to curly kale and it’s equally good. In addition, I find 3 tablespoons of olive oil a little excessive. That’s like 300 calories and a boatload of fat (yes, yes, I know it’s the good kind but too much of a good thing is still bad) for a salad, and that’s before even counting the cheese. My fix is to add only 2 tablespoons of olive oil and just over 1 cup of cheese, or enough to pretty evenly cover the kale leaves. Make sure to massage the dressing concoction into the salad with your hands to ensure an even coating. With my adjustments, the lemon in the dressing makes much more of an impact, so add salt and add oil to taste if sour isn’t your thing. I also tend to add in around half a tablespoon of red pepper flakes because I like things spicy and regularly double the amount of minced garlic (to ward off vampires, duh) because I’m a garlic fiend.


Assuage your Halloween-induced guilt with kale in one of its best forms. If you have any other kale recipe suggestions I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Peace, love, and kale leaves.

Recipe here.

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