Kitchen :: Raw Kale Salad with Orange & Jicama

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Whoa. When I posted my last entry*, I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. At the time, I felt it was right to share what I was feeling that day, in that moment. Later, I worried perhaps it was just too personal, too much. And maybe it was. But then hundreds of you visited my site and read my story. I opened my email and Facebook accounts over the following days to find numerous heartfelt, encouraging messages from caring readers, friends and family. Surprisingly, the messages revealed that a lot of you have, at one point or another, for a variety of reasons, experienced many of the same emotions I did when I wrote that post. So I want to thank you.

*The referenced post is currently unavailable. It will be back up shortly. Thanks for your patience!

Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to read my posts. Thank you for leaving me comments and sending me messages, on that day and every other day you do so. These may seem like little things, but they really mean so much to me. And especially on that day, you helped me feel that I was not alone. None of us are. I also realized something very important...

We are going to need a lot more chocolate. Just kidding! Or not.

So chocolate, yes. But first, you need this salad. This crunchy, smokey-sweet, delicious salad that I promise will make you feel energized and really, really good from the inside out. Who doesn't need that?

Raw Kale Salad with Orange & Jicama

The season's sweetest oranges give this raw, vegan salad a bright and sunny flavor, while the jicama and almonds provide a nice bite. I love this salad as a main dish for lunch, but it makes a wonderful side dish, as well.

Use organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

2 large navel oranges
1/2 cup raisins
1 bunch Lacinto/Dinosaur kale (7-8 stems)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons raw almonds*
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks

Make it:
1. Finely zest and juice one of the oranges (you should have about 1/2 cup of juice). Add the raisins to the juice and set aside to macerate. Reserve the zest.

2. Remove the stems from the kale; discard, or save for juicing like I do. Cut the leaves into julienne strips. In a large bowl, combine the kale with the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Massage the kale with your hands to soften it and break down the fibers, around 3 minutes.

3. In a blender or food processor, whiz 1/2 cup of the almonds to a fine grind. Roughly chop the remaining almonds.

4. To the kale mixture, add the orange zest, juice and raisins, all the almonds, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, black pepper, and jicama.  Gently toss to combine.

5. Use a knife to peel and either slice or section the remaining orange. Plate the salad and top with the orange pieces to serve.

*Ideally, the almonds should be soaked in filtered water for 4-8 hours or overnight, then drained and rinsed before using. This helps to remove the tanins and improves digestibility. However, I have also made this recipe with unsoaked, raw almonds. 

Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side. Best served immediately, or the same day it's made.