Kale and almonds salad

A kale and almonds salad with added feta-cheese provides a full meal in itself; have a slice of artisan bread and butter on the side perhaps.

Choose your favourite nuts of course if available and another colour like bright red peppers or thinly-sliced radishes. Always personalise and modify recipes; make them your own. You too have a creative self so don't be bound by what "serious cooks" say you should do.

Kale and almonds salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of fresh, young kale-leaves.
  • A few leaves of another dark-green leafy vegetable like spinach.
  • 1/4 cup almonds with their skins, briefly blended.
  • 1/4 lemon including the pulp.
  • 2 finely-chopped shallots.
  • 1 clove of garlic.
  • 1/2 cup feta-cheese.
  • 1 TBSP of drained capers.
  • Olive-oil.
  • 1 TBSP mustard
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground sesame seeds.
  • 1 TBSP of natural honey if you can get it.
  • No salt but freshly-grated black pepper.

Go for it

  1. Blend roughly together the lemon, mustard and garlic. Add the shallots, honey and two tablespoons of olive oil; other favoured spices and the capers too.
  2. Heat 1 TBSP of olive-oil in a heavy pan and stir in the almonds, stirring, for a couple minutes until they start to darken and release their fragrance; don't let them burn.
  3. Chop the feta into small squares, and add to the lemon and shallot marinade.
  4. De-vein the young kale and spinach leaves, and slice them finely, tipping into a salad bowl.
  5. Pour the marinade and feta-cheese over the kale, and sprinkle the toasted almonds and ground sesame seeds over the dish. Grind more black pepper over the salad to taste.
  6. VoilĂ  and you are done.

Dark-green leafy vegetables

There is so much convincing research now confirming that granny was right; dark-green leafy vegetables absolutely must be eaten every day. Whether you enjoy them or not is by the way. Dickying them up as in this kale and almonds salad is one way to make them more palatable for those who are less inclined.

Firstly they provide the fibre our colons all desperately need to lubricate the great enemy; constipation, of course. It's the mother of all evils.

And then there are a myriad of vitally-important phytochemicals like lutein[3] and kaempherol[4]; the shallots add another called quercetin. These are the flavanoids that strongly shift the odds in your favour; we all want to live long in the land, free of pain and nasty tumours.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the two phytochemicals that protect your eyes from macular degeneration; they absorbe the high-frequency radiation that damages the rods and cones.

Add to that minerals and vitamins like folate and one begins to appreciate that your dark-green leafy vegetables are a powerhouse amongst those foods that promote our wellness and help prevent disease.

If and when you need a change, try this kale pesto.

Nuts and seeds

There is total agreement amongst nutritional scientists that freshly-cracked nuts and seeds should be daily on the plate. They provide the important fatty acids and vitamins that are so vital at every stage of life, but particularly for the elderly; functional foods that promote health and prevent disease.

They are also rich in the lignans that help prevent tumours of the prostate and breast.

The omega-3 fat called alpha linoleic acid is found in our nuts and seeds; it helps prevent anger in the muscles and joints, and the linings of our capillaries. Always the emphasis needs to be on prevention of aneurisms, not what to do after they have made their presence felt; often then it's too late.

We so often trot out that prevention is better than a cure, and then totally ignore it.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral absolutely required for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body; you simply cannot be healthy if you are deficient, as more than half of people on the modern "industrial diet" are. Nuts, seeds and your dark-green leafy vegetables are great sources.

Bread and butter

Artisan bread machine loaf.

Bread and butter is a staple of old, but the commercial loaf of today is not like that of yesteryear. Baking is almost exclusively done with highly-refined grains.

There is no easy solution. We have turned to baking our own artisan sourdough bread; it takes only five minutes each day but to get full value from whole grains one does have to have a mill[5].

Then you have both nutritionally and in flavour the best bread in the world for less than a dollar a loaf. The vitamin E alone makes it worthwhile. According to Dr Wilfred Shute, eminent cardiologist that is the active ingredient that prevents clots from forming in the blood stream. Prior to the refining of wheat heart disease was almost unknown[1].

There are many ways to enjoy kale[2]; it ranks up there with the most-important greens. We really do try to eat it every day, but it does need to be fresh. That means growing it yourself, and it is easy, or finding a farmers' market like Reko Hilton.

Lignans

Lignans are very important natural phytonutrients found mainly in whole grains and seeds. However both kale and almonds do have some; they have a structure similar to female human-oestrogen, competing at sites on the breast for absorption.

What are lignans is an important topic for all people determined not to succumb to malignant breast tumours and cardiovascular disease; the research is strong.

Kale and almonds salad

Kale and almonds salad combines two of our best magnesium-rich foods.

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