Kale Chip Salad with Spicy Strawberry Salsa and Avocado-Lime Crema
Sandy's Food For Thought
By Sandy McCall
Get ready to enjoy the crunch of the kale chips, layered with the pleasing sweetness of ripe strawberries (with a little added heat), topped with the creaminess of a delicious and healthy avocado crema.
I used lacinato kale for this recipe, but any kind of kale will work. You can also add grilled chicken, fish, or beef for more protein. Using very, very ripe strawberries will make the salsa sweet without added sweetener. And you can adjust the heat by using more or less jalapeño pepper. You can serve this kale chip salad as four or five individual salads or make it into one large salad.
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Spicy Strawberry Salsa
1/2 medium lime zest & juice
12 oz strawberries hulled and diced
1 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped*
4 scallions chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped, extra for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch fine Himalayan sea salt
Trim, hull, and dice the strawberries into small pieces. Place into a bowl. Add both the lime zest and lime juice to the bowl with strawberries. Trim the jalapeño pepper, remove the seeds and pith for less heat and mince into very small pieces. Leave some or all of the seeds if you desire more heat. Trim and chop the scallions and cilantro. Add everything to the strawberry and lime mixture. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Stir all of the ingredients. Although you can serve this strawberry salsa right away, it is best to refrigerate it for at least an hour so the flavors meld.
* Use a smaller one for less heat or leave some of the seeds in for more heat.
Avocado-Lime Non-Dairy Crema
1 ripe avocado peeled and seeded
Pinch fine sea salt Himalayan
1/3 cup coconut cream only from top of a can of good coconut milk
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp cilantro more for garnish
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed OPTIONAL
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced until thick enough for drizzle OPTIONAL
Blend everything except cilantro in a blender or food processor. Stir in minced cilantro. Remove from blender. Garnish with extra cilantro. If you refrigerate for use later, crema will thicken significantly. Optional: Reduce balsamic vinegar in a small skillet until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat for a minute or two. Drizzle on top of crema. Optional: crush a pinch of whole Sichuan peppercorns and sprinkle on top of crema.
Baked Kale Chips
8-10 Lacinato Kale leaves
1-2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
Pinch of Celtic or Cypress Salt to serve
Optional: add small pinches of ground Sichuan pepper to top of the crema and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully remove the spines from the kale leaves with a sharp knife. Chop into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the kale lightly with avocado oil or olive oil, and carefully coat each leaf with your fingers. Spread the kale pieces out on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Move kale around on the baking sheet after a few minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
For individual salads:
Divide strawberry salsa onto individual salad plates. Scatter kale chips around the edge of salsa. Add a large dollop of avocado-lime crema in the center of the salsa. Sprinkle with a small pinch of Celtic or Cypress salt on the kale chips. Serve immediately.
For one large salad:
Put avocado-lime crema in a small dish for serving and place it in the center of a large serving platter. Arrange strawberry salsa around the dish of crema. Add kale chips around the edge of the strawberry salsa. Add a pinch of Celtic or Cypress salt on top of the kale chips.