Friday, February 25, 2011

Vegan tuscan kale salad

I love True Food Kitchen. I have been making this recipe for about a year now, ever since True Food Kitchen posted it on their web site. Their food is healthy, well-balanced and tasty, with many vegan and vegetarian options. I had never eaten kale before having this salad. When I was in high school, I used to work at a retirement home that used kale as decoration for the salad bar. The kale should have been IN the salad bar!!!
This salad is great on its own, but can also be served as a side salad with lunch or dinner. If I ever start having friends over for vegan dinner parties (which I want to start doing!), I would make them this salad as a starter. It's one of those salads that makes people really like kale!

Vegan version of True Food Kitchen's Tuscan Kale Salad

Food as Medicine
Kale is among the most nutrient-dense commonly eaten vegetables. One cup provides 1,327 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, 192 percent of DV for vitamin A, and 88 percent for vitamin C.

4-6 cups kale, loosely packed, sliced leaves of Italian black- midribs removed and chopped into strips or bite-size pieces (any store-bought kale will work)
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed
salt & pepper, to taste
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
2/3 cup mozzarella Diaya cheese
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread (or store-bought panko bread crumbs)
  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
  2. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
  3. Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
  4. Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.
 Chopped kale
 Finished kale salad
 Ready to serve

 Want to know more about True Food Kitchen? Here is info from Dr. Weil's website:

Concept: All True Food Kitchen locations feature dishes that closely adhere to the principles of Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory diet. They are intended to be a new kind of restaurant: one in which delicious flavors, healthy nutrients, environmental awareness and an inviting atmosphere come together to create an unforgettable dining experience.
Dishes are influenced by Mediterranean, Asian and Californian cuisine, and include soups, appetizers, salads, pasta, rice and noodle dishes, wood grilled dishes, sandwiches and burgers, brick oven pizzas and desserts.
Sample dishes: Wild Smoked Salmon with Shaved Radishes; Lemon Cream & Wasabi Peas; Sashimi Tuna Salad with Avocado, Cucumber, Tomato, Edamame & Ginger; Curry Chicken with Rice Noodles; Tuscan Kale Salad; Cauliflower & Cashews; Herbed Hummus; Green Tea Soba Noodles with Peas; Bok Choy & Lemongrass; Fresh Tomato Pizza with Pasilla Chile & Manchego; Grilled Wild Ahi Sliders with Wasabi, Radishes and Cucumber on Pumpernickel; and Natural Half Chicken with Farro, Walnuts, Dried Fig, Brussels Sprouts & Squash.

Each location features catering, take out, breakfast, a selection of coffee drinks, natural juice blends, hot and cold tea, sparkling wine cocktails, organic and low-calorie beer and sake. All wines are selected based on wineries' commitment to organic, biodynamic and/or sustainable farming practices.
Engrained in True Food Kitchen's ethos is a commitment to a conscious, community-based dining experience - a commitment that ensures that, no matter how many locations are established, True Food will never become what one thinks of as a "chain."

Food sources:
  • All True Food Kitchen locations use local, organic sources whenever possible. For example, the Phoenix location receives most of its produce from McClendon Farms, a 25-acre, USDA-certified organic produce farm in Peoria, Arizona.
  • All locations also use the organic extra virgin olive oil and tomatoes that Dr. Weil worked to develop with Lucini Italia, which he considers the finest quality in the world.
Green features: The restaurants are decidedly "green" with environmentally friendly accoutrement including:
  • High efficiency kitchen equipment
  • Low voltage LED lighting
  • Waterless urinals (saving 40,000 gallons/year)
  • Ultra low water faucets
  • Low VOC paint
  • White oak butcher block tables and counter tops
  • Reclaimed wood floors
  • Recycled quarry tiles
  • Natura water purification unit. (True Food Kitchen creates both still and carbonated bottled water in-house. Bottles are cleaned, sterilized and reused, eliminating plastic bottle waste).
True Food Kitchen locations:
  • Phoenix, Ariz. (opened Oct. 2008)
    Biltmore Fashion Park
    2502 E Camelback Rd.
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
  • Newport Beach, Calif. (opened Aug. 2010)
    Fashion Island
    451 Newport Center Dr.
    Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • Scottsdale, Ariz. (opened Nov. 2010)
    Scottsdale Quarter
    15191 N Scottsdale Rd.
    Scottsdale, AZ 85254
  • Santa Monica, Calif. (scheduled opening Apr. 2011)


  1. Hello! Was admiring (your?) lovely kitchen on the home page header and wondering if you can advise brand/type/stone of the counter tops? Thank you!

  2. P.S. Here is another Kale Salad worth trying...I had a sample at local health food store and it is great - don't know who to credit it to but hope you like it if you have a chance to try it.

    Kale-Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

    2-4 cups mixed kale (purple and green curly kale is good) chopped small
    1 chopped avocado
    1 chopped tomato
    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    1/4 toasted pine nuts
    1/2 cup Miso dressing

    Miso dressing

    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup water (original recipe is for 1/2 cup oil, no water)
    juice of 1/2 lemon (or more)
    1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    2 TBSP mellow white miso
    1 TBSP grated ginger root
    1 TBSP grated turmeric root
    2 cloves garlic
    salt and pepper

    I blended the dressing but if you feel like grating and chopping and crushing you can do that too. :)

    Mix together and leave in fridge for 20+ minutes before eating

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