Try something new this Memorial Day weekend — add some kale into your greens.  Kale is actually a member of the cabbage family.  Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients.  One cup of kale provide 180% of the daily requirement of vitamin A, 200% vitamin C, and an amazing 1,020% vitamin K.  For the freshest kale, look for deeply colored, firm leaves.  Smaller leaves will be milder in flavor and more tender.  Leaves will vary in color from dark green to purple to deep red in color.  Store your kale in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed plastic bag (unwashed) for up to 5 days.

“Memorial Day Quinoa Salad” on page 43 of Pam Powell’s Salad Days. Photo by Paul Markert.

When you purchase your “greens”, it’s a good idea to buy organic.  Kale ranks #12,  Lettuce ranks #11, and Spinach ranks #5 on the list of produce with the highest pesticide loads according to the Environmental Working Group, www.foodnews.org.  For further research, you can also go to www.whatsonmyfood.com.

Buying organic or growing your own lettuce are good options to keep your salad healthy for you and the for the environment.  Lettuce is easily grown in a shallow container such as a window box.  Many varieties can even grow indoors throughout the year.  Plant seeds every 6-8 weeks to provide a steady supply of the freshest and most local greens around.  For further tips, check out http://www.gardenguides.com or http://www.organicgardening.com.

If you have a copy of Pam Powell’s recipe book, Salad Days, check out the “Memorial Day Quinoa Salad” on page 43 (see photo).  This recipe takes advantage of kale as well as having a protein kick with the quinoa.

Mix some of your kale into this Patriotic Picnic Salad that features Salad Girl Organic Blueberry Basil Dressing.

Enjoy your Salad Girl Organic Dressings responsibly, and have a great Memorial Day weekend !
Recipe by Pam Powell
Article by Sarah Baron Sullivan