Three years into food blogging, and it’s not hard to imagine I like to eat good, home-cooked meals. As much time as I put into making dinners that pack disease-fighting vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fats, I’m not the best at preparing enough food for lunch leftovers. When Cameron and I pull together a weekly grocery list, we get so excited about what tasty dinners we’ll prepare that we usually forget lunch until five minutes before we’re heading out the door for work.
To combat that frantic search for healthful, easy-to-transport mid-day meals, I’m making a more concerted effort to seek out balanced one-bowl meals that will prevent me from slumping into an after-lunch coma at the desk. Below you’ll find just such a recipe and as well as another endorsement to pick up a copy of Super Natural Every Day. The cookbook creator, Ms. Swanson, even dedicates a chapter to lunch recipes. Exactly what a dinner-biased person like myself needs.
Today’s Kale Coconut Salad emphasizes Asian flavor and combines ingredients like cooked whole-grain spelt, toasted large-flake coconut, and soy sauce to surprisingly delicious effect. High in protein and fiber, spelt is a grain I rarely eat except as an ingredient in bread, but its chewy texture satisfies any primordial urge I have for meat.
If you want to add an additional protein to this salad, fry up chunks of extra-firm tofu, and gently toss with the other ingredients before packing up a bowl for lunch.
Kale Coconut Salad
(adapted from a Super Natural Every Day recipe)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 TBS shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce (gluten-free if you use wheat-free soy sauce.)
- 3 1/2 lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, ribs removed
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
- 2 cups cooked farro or other whole grain (I used spelt.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with two racks in the top third of the oven. (I used one large cookie sheet.)
2. In a small bowl, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and shoyu. Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive oil mixture.
3. Spread the kale evenly across two baking sheets (or one if you’re like me and only have one baking rack in the oven). Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way. For those using two baking sheets, if the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to the lower rack.
4. Remove from the oven, and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl. Taste. If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, add some, and toss. Place the farro (or spelt) on a serving platter, and top with the tossed kale. Serve warm.