Warm summer days with plenty of sunshine means tables laden with produce every Saturday at the farmer’s markets. Which, naturally, means that I am enticed into buying beautiful vegetables that I don’t necessarily always cook with, or know how to get creative with.
Wandering through the colourful stalls last weekend I picked up a thick curly bunch of kale.
Oh kale, purveyor of so much healthy goodness. Held up and praised for its anti-cancer potential, high levels of calcium, flavonoids, fibre, and vitamins C, D, and K – and most importantly for me: high levels of iron.
A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide the daily requirement for iron, but if you have funky blood like I do, which doesn’t absorb iron really well, you need to pay special attention to getting as much iron in your diet as possible.
Iron from vegetable sources (called non-haem iron) is helped in its absorption by pairing it with a source of Vitamin C – the technical term is ‘increasing bioavailabilty’. Fancy nutrition stuff, huh.
So, I may know about kale’s deep green secrets, but when it comes to inspiration for getting it from my fridge to my belly I need to consult one of my favourite bloggers.
Today’s salad was inspired by Tracy from Shutterbean. Tracy lives in San Francisco (my favourite place in the world), takes awesome photos, makes my favourite listen-to-while-running podcast (with her cool best friend), and conjures up amazing food for her family. I have been inspired by (in no particular order) Tracy’s baked donuts, her Instagram feed, and her tasty salads.
Tracy knows how to wrangle kale from pretty flower looking stalks into delicious, moreish recipes. So when I was looking for some Lunchbox Love this week, I was inspired by Tracey’s Broccoli Kale Slaw, which become the Thoroughly Nourished Life Blueberry, Chickpea, and Kale Salad.
Blueberry Chickpea Kale Salad (gluten free, vegetarian)
Serves 4 and keeps quite well for 3 days in the refrigerator. I made this at the beginning of the week and had a delicious, healthy packed lunch all week long. You will need a very large bowl for mixing this salad. This salad can be made vegan too. Just leave out honey, or replace with maple syrup or agave nectar. If you can’t find dried blueberries, you can use dried cranberries instead. I found my blueberries at a health food store.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and Pepper
- 250 gram bag rainbow salad (also called ‘beetroot slaw’)
- 4 cups finely chopped kale
- 2 spring onion stalks, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 x 400 gram tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Empty rainbow salad into your very large mixing bowl. Add finely chopped kale, spring onions, blueberries, and sunflower seeds.
- Add well rinsed chickpeas and using salad servers (or freshly washed hands) toss salad to disperse all ingredients.
- In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and pepper.
- Add dressing to bowl and toss very well so that everything is coated in dressing.
- Serve, or divide between airtight containers and store in refrigerator for up to three days.
See – healthy lunches can be quick and easy! Come and be part of my cool lunch crowd, won’t you?