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Kale Salad Cinnamon Poached Chicken with Pomegranate & Sweet Carrot

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I’m very serious about kale salads. 

I like to make this salad and eat it for several days because, unlike other salad greens, dressed kale really holds up. Only the avocado and nuts need be added fresh.

Nutrition-wise, ubiquitous kale is hard to beat: dark, green, open leaves teaming with phytonutrients and vitamins to give us that energising nutrient kick we all crave. Raw kale can be trickier to digest. By marinating it, we not only render it less challenging for the system, but we also make it more nutritionally available.

The chicken here is optional (I like to give you options).  I use this technique to prepare a batch of cold chicken at the beginning of the week for lunches. Cinnamon is currently my favourite antioxidant hero spice (don’t tell fresh ginger).Chicken will last 3-4 days, covered, in the fridge.

 

Ultimate Kale Salad

Gluten-free

Serves: 4-6 

 

200g organic kale  (treat yourself)

1 tbsp tahini

1tbsp boiling water

zest and juice of 1 lemon

sea salt

1.25L of vegetable/ chicken stock or bouillon

½ tsp cinnamon or a stick

2 good-quality chicken breasts, skin off

1 medium sweet potato

A large handful of whole hazelnuts

1 cup of cooked quinoa (or leftover wild rice/pearl barley)

1 avocado

1 pomegranate, seeded or 150g of fresh pomegranate seeds

zest and juice of 1 orange

splash of olive oil, to serve

 

Start with the kale.

Mix 1tbsp of tahini and with 1tbsp boiling water in a jar, add the zest and the juice of the lemon, as well as some sea salt. Don’t skimp on the lemon zest here, it really makes it. Shake to combine until smooth. Mixture should be pourable. Add a splash more water or olive oil if you need to.

Remove the kale leaves from their woody stalks. Chop roughly.  Place in a sealable container or bowl with the tahini lemon marinade and combine - get friendly with your salad, use your hands.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

 

Juicy anti-inflammatory lunchbox chicken. * optional

 Add 1.25L of quality vegetable or chicken stock to a smallish saucepan with a tight fitting lid, along with ½ tsp powdered cinnamon or a cinnamon stick (smashed garlic or dried herbs are a great addition here too.) Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a very low heat, like, a 1/10, and immediately add the 2 chicken breasts. Cover with a lid and leave for 10 minutes. The great thing I find about this technique is that you can test the chicken. Take it out and slice it in half. If it ain’t ready, just pop it back in for 1-2 more minutes. No more chicken neurosis.

 

Don’t drain the poaching liquid, you’re gonna need it. Remove cooked breasts and slice thinly, acrossways before refrigerating in a sealed container.

 

Sweet nuthin’.

Peel and cube your sweet potato. If you’ve made the cinnamon poached chicken above, simply pop the sweet potato into this liquid. If not, bring 1.25L vegetable stock to the boil with cinnamon before adding your sweet potato. Cook on moderate heat until just tender (about 9-10 minutes.) Drain.

Keep the sweet potato cooking water for a warming drink or to cook grains in.

 

Nuts.

At 160C fan, toast your hazelnuts on a baking tray. This should take about 9 minutes. I always err on the lower temperature side when roasting nuts. I find that I lose less to the God of Charcoal that way.

 

Remove. Cool. Chop Roughly.

 

The last bit.

 Slice your avocado into small pieces and gently combine with the kale.

Add cooked quinoa, poached chicken (if using), and cooled sweet potato. Zest your orange and add to the salad before cutting the fruit in half and squeezing its juice into the salad. Toss lightly. You can also add a slug of olive oil if you want a more moist salad.

To serve, add your pomegranate seeds and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.

 

Big love,

 

Josie x

 

Food photography by Jonathan Short  instagram: @jonathan_short

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 2.

Gluten-free,  Refined sugar-free

Ingredients.

1 ripe banana
2 local or organic eggs, separated into yolks and whites
2 tbsp buckwheat or brown rice flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp baking powder
Handful of blueberries
Zest of 1/2 an unwaxed organic lemon (try not to skip, really makes this recipe)

Teeny pinch of good-quality salt (natural sweetness enhancer)

 

Make.

In a mixing bowl, mash up your peeled banana with a fork or potato masher. Combine the banana mush with everything but your egg whites.

Give yourself a moderate upper arm workout by whisking these to a medium peak before folding into the mix. If you're in a morning rush, don't worry, you can just combine the whole egg, lightly beaten, but I find it this technique makes them lighter and never stodgy (see also, corn fritters).

*A note on sweetness. We all have different sweet barometers. If yours is a little higher than mine, or your banana isn't super-ripe, you can add a a spoon or two of your favourite natural sweetener to the mix.

 

Cook.

Fry these in table-spooned  batches on a moderate heat (a high heat can burn the natural sugars of the banana) using a paper-towel dabbed with coconut oil or butter to wipe the pan clean between pancakes. 

 

Serve.

Stacked with fresh blueberries, coyo or yoghurt, sliced bananas, maple syrup or honey and lemon zest/ wedges.

I don't reckon you'll regret making these. Let me know how it you get on in the comments below.

 

'Til next time.. let's keep putting love into food.
 
Josie x
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