Kale? In my kids’ lunch? Sure! When you give it a good massage with dressing it becomes tender and much less bitter tasting. It also won’t go soggy like more tender greens, so it can be prepared a few days in advance. The trio of apple, sweet potato, and dried cherries adds just the right amount of sweetness along with some more nutritional firepower.
Fast and furious
A shredding blade of a food processor can make quick work of the raw sweet potato.
1 cup (250 mL) black (beluga) lentils
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1 lb (450 g) sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1 large or 2 small bunches curly leaf kale
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cherries
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) raw almonds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon zest
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper
Place lentils in medium saucepan along with 4 cups (1 L) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potato and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from pan and let cool.
Tear kale leaves into approximately 2 in (5 cm) pieces; place in large bowl.
For dressing, place oil, almonds, maple syrup, cider vinegar, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, mustard, salt, and pepper in blender container and blend until just slightly chunky. Pour dressing over kale. With clean hands, massage kale firmly for 3 minutes, or until tender and reduced in volume.
Add lentils, sweet potato, red bell pepper, apple, and dried cherries to bowl with kale and toss to combine.