- 4- 5 cups of kale, massaged with 1 T of flax oil, 1 T of lemon juice and 1/4 t of salt
- 1 cup of green beans, steamed
- approx. 10 cooked chestnuts
- 1 large maple sausage, cooked and sliced
- dried persimmon, 2 T chopped
- 1 T pumpkin seeds
Start with your chestnuts. They are one of winter’s great gifts. Sweet and chewy, they aren’t high in fats like most nuts, and provide you with energy-bearing complex carbohydrates. They are also the only nuts that contain vitamin C (40mg per 100g). To cook them, just follow these instructions. Roasting gives them a great flavour, but I find boiling makes them a lot easier to peel.
The chestnuts will take the longest (about 20 mins) . While they’re cooking, cook the sausage and steam the green beans. (A little secret is to pan fry the beans instead, using leftover grease from your sausage. Yes, it makes the salad higher in fat, but the extra flavour is well worth it).
Next, de-stem and shred your kale (by hand or with a knife – either works). Massage in the flax oil, lemon juice and salt until the kale is wilted. Please don’t leave out the oil! The healthy fats in flax oil will help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A & K) in the green beans. When your chestnuts are peeled, beans are steamed and sausage is cooked, toss these with the kale, dried persimmon and the pumpkin seeds. The beans, chestnuts and sausage will warm your kale, making this salad ideal for cold winter evenings. Thanks to the flax and sausage, this salad needs no extra dressing.
*A note on the persimmon: Dried persimmon can be hard to find unless you live in a city with a large health food store. You can make your own by slicing fresh persimmons and ‘drying’ them using a 200F oven. This can take some time though (up to 6 hours), and unless you’re used to dehydrating food, you might not find it worth the effort. Dried apples are also really good in this salad. Conversely, you could use fresh persimmon, which I’m sure would be excellent as well.
For vegans and vegetarians: try baking smoked tofu in maple syrup to to get that salty-sweet taste of the sausage.