Brain Healthy Tuscan Kale Salad
As one of the most nutritionally dense foods, kale is incredibly healthy for your brain and body. This leafy green is high in iron, which helps transport necessary oxygen to the brain. Kale is rich in vitamin K, and loaded with the antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids. These flavanoid sand carotenoids help protect the brain, promoting memory, learning, and other cognitive functions. Kale is also an excellent anti-inflammatory food, rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation in the brain. High in fiber and sulfur, this superfood helps keep you full longer, and detoxify your body.
I’ve never particularly thought kale tasted very good. It’s bitter, and not something I would eat for pleasure. However, while at a birthday party this weekend, someone had brought this Tuscan Kale Salad. I tried it, and was shocked to find that it was to die for! I could not pass up the offer to share it with all of you. Give the recipe a try, and let me know if you found this brain healthy meal as delicious as I did!
- 4-6 cups kale loosely packed, sliced leaves of Italian black (Lacinato, "dinosaur," cavolo nero) midribs removed
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic mashed
- 2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese (Rosselino variety if you can find it) or other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts try almonds
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste
- Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
- Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
- Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
- Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add crushed nuts, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.