Remember when kale was all the rage a few years ago? It was the number one 'superfood' on everyone's radar. As annoying as that term is, it did bring kale front and centre and for that I am grateful. When I first tried a kale salad, I wasn't a huge fan because I simply wasn't making it correctly. Now that I have mastered the art of the kale salad, it is my all time favourite green in the winter to make a salad with. This kale tahini salad will completely blow you away with its taste and I can't wait for you to try it.
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Beets are another food that is often referred to as a 'superfood' and for good reason. It is packed with vitamins and is great at naturally detoxifying our bodies. They can be a pain in the butt to make though... only because they take so long and peeling them can become tedious. Personally, I don't find them too taxing to cook, as your oven does all the work. And after they have finished cooking, you can let them cool and then peel them.
After visiting a delicious middle eastern restaurant in Toronto, called Parallel Brothers and trying the Parallel Salad, I knew I had to make it at home. It had SO much flavour going on and it featured my fave green- kale. So I set out to re-create their salad and enjoy it at home for days and nights when I can't make it over to their restaurant.
In order to make this kale tahini salad really pop, you need to make the beet tahini dressing. The colour of the tahini dressing alone is enough to make you want to lick your plate clean, but the taste is also 100.
To start, you will want to roast the beets in the oven first. Once they are cooked, you can then peel them and get started on this dressing. I would suggest when you want to make this kale tahini salad, you first start by cooking the beets and making this dressing. Everything after is fairly straightforward. While you are cooking the beets, you could also cook the cubed sweet potato at the same time. Just set a timer to check on them as they will cook faster than the beets.
As for this kale tahini salad, because there is so much packed into it, this is definitely a meal all on its own. So don't forget to toss in those lentils as they add a nice vegetarian source of protein. For the lentils, I suggest using a more sturdy lentil variety, such as French lentils. This way they can hold their shape and they won't get mushy in the salad. Looking for more ways to enjoy lentils, check out my Instant Pot lentil and Sausage soup, or my farro risotto with lentils. If you want to use a different protein source, you could try chickpeas, roasted chicken, fish, or a poached egg on top (I'll add an egg to anything!).
To keep things dairy free, I used a cashew-based "goat cheese." The one that I used is from a company called VegNature and it is phenomenal. I think you could serve this cheese to anyone and they would enjoy it. I had been looking for a vegan cheese that would hold its shape and cut like a goat cheese, and this is it. If you can find this one or something similar, you can also keep it dairy free. Or if you are ok with dairy (I am!), go ahead and use goat cheese.
You may be wondering why I used two dressings for this kale tahini salad. The truth is, the tahini dressing is great, but I find that kale needs to be massaged with the dressing first. This helps to make it softer and is also why quite frankly, so many kale salad recipes aren't that great. Massaging the kale is key. So I used a simple lemon-honey vinaigrette to do that. If you want to use maple syrup instead of honey, you can do that as well. But make sure you really massage the kale so that it is soft and easier to eat and digest. The beet tahini dressing is more for flavour and so you are simply drizzling it on top of the salad once it is ready to be eaten.
Feel free to store the beet tahini dressing in the fridge for a few days and use it to brighten up any other dish. I think you could also use it as a dip or a spread if you use less water. Or use it as a base on your plate and then add any veggies on top (I think that would be so pretty!). This salad holds up really well in the fridge (perfect for meal prep), just store the beet tahini dressing separately.
I hope you love this kale tahini salad as much as I do. If you do make it, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram or leaving a comment/review below.
A healthy and delicious kale salad with lentils, sweet potato and a beet tahini dressing.
To drizzle the beet tahini dressing, I used a plastic bag to pipe it on nicely, you can do this or drizzle with a spoon.
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