Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vegans, Pack Your Lunches! Kale Salad with Lentils

Packed lunch

First, allow me to make two confessions.

1. I have been really stupid when it comes to packing lunches lately. I usually take leftovers, but for some reason we haven't had a lot of those lately. I know I could easily throw together a salad to take, but I actually am not a big fan of traditional salads. So I've been spending too much money buying mediocre lunches while at work. Even though the cafe in my office makes a reasonable veggie quinoa (!) I still don't want to spend $5 a day on something I could bring from home.

2. I have, in the past, been skeptical about kale salad. Like, really? Could it possibly become soft enough to eat raw? Am I think kind of girl who wants to walk around eating raw kale and insisting to everyone who looks at her sideways that it really is delicious I swear!

kale salad

Who knew it would take the siren song of a really lovely bunch of black kale to set in motion to the solution to both these issues? I was tempted by the kale at a local health food store on Sunday, but had no particular plans for it. I figured I'd give a marinated kale salad a try, seeing as it would partially solve my nothing-for-lunch problem. Kale doesn't get soggy like lettuce does when it sits in dressing, so I was pretty sure a kale salad would be a great thing to keep in the fridge for a few days while I took smaller portions to work. I added lentils to give it some protein and voila! A kale salad I actually like. And a lunch brought from home. Score.

kale salad

Kale Salad With Lentils

1 cup brown lentils
3 cups water or soup stock
1 medium bunch of black kale, destemmed and chopped into strips
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp agave nectar*
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, heat water or soup stock until boiling then add lentils.

Cook until lentils are tender, drain, and then set them aside to cool.

Mix kale and carrots in a large bowl.

Combine lemon juice, agave, and soy sauce. Whisk in olive oil.

Pour dressing over kale and carrots then toss to coat.

Let sit in the refridgerator for at least two hours.

Remove salad from refridgerator, mix in lentils and sesame seeds and then season with salt and pepper.

Makes enough for three or four days of lunch portions. If you're serving it with dinner, it would easily feed four people as a side dish.

*The first day I ate the salad (after two hours of marinating) I thought I would halve the amount of agave the next time I made it because I found it too sweet. However, the next day I ate the salad again and it tasted lovely, not too sweet at all. So you can experiement with this for yourself!

Some Notes:


-I saw one of the best concerts of my life on Friday night. Elvis Costello (and his modest three piece band) played outdoors at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. On Friday evening it thunderstormed and the Man of Science wondered if I would choose to go in the rain or not. Oh, yes. I would choose to go in a monsoon if it meant finally getting to see Elvis Costello. So, half an hour before show time, off I went in my awesome rubber boots and raincoat. Excellently, it stopped raining when I was walking over to the park and stayed clear and rain-less all the way through the show. Which was marvelous, by the way. He played a great mix of old and new music, most of which was the punk-rocky stuff that I love him for. There was much jumping up and down and dancing. One of the better musical experiences of my life.

-This Saturday is the Man of Science's birthday. He's requested a homemade tapas dinner with key lime pie for dessert. So that's what I'll be (happily) doing this Saturday. Bring on the artichokes and mushrooms and graham cracker crust!

-If you like cooking shows, maybe you'd like to watch Masterchef Australia. Yeah, for real. It is one zillion times better than Masterchef USA. And it's on every night. That's a whole lot of food-related TV. I watch it on line, and usually enjoy an episode after dinner and maybe another episode if I'm cleaning the kitchen. Highly recommended.



Caitlin said...

ahh..i love seeing recipes for kale salads. they are all so magical. this one looks delicious ;) i'll definitely have to make it soon.

saveyrgeneration said...

this looks so tasty, simple, and economical! making it!

janet @ the taste space said...

Yes, kale salads are GREAT for leftover potential and I LOVE how you made this more substantial by adding in lentils. Great idea! :)

Blake said...

Please let us know how the key lime pie turns out. I've been trying to veganize my family recipe for ages but it never turns out right.

Monique said...

This is a non-food question. I was watching Masterchef in Australia and have not been able to see it while in Canada and do miss it Where online do you watch it

VeganLisa said...

I'm already a huge advocate of packing kale salads for lunch. I think the fact that it gets better as it marinates makes it an ideal make-ahead solution. I really love your idea to throw lentils into the mix.

T said...

Ah, I miss kale. The closest thing we have here is savoy cabbage. This does look awesome though.

And how lucky are you to see Elvis Costello in person!!!

ciaochow said...

Made this salad last night. It was so simple and delicious and I was surprised by how much it made considering it was only one bunch of kale.

Instead of carrots I used zucchini from the garden and halved the agave. Yum yum. Thanks!

ciaochow said...

I LOVE this salad! Made it again tonight and we (2 of us) ate the whole thing! Paired it up with some spicy BBQ tempeh and it was a perfect meal.