With its prohibition of citrus and strict limits on vinegar and oil, the low-acid diet does not make it easy to eat salad. Most of the salads I make use quinoa as a base instead of lettuce. To dress a green salad lightly and still enjoy it, you need to add something that keeps the palate interested.
Two textures made this salad a success: kale chips and ginger. The baked kale adds a salty, bitter crunch, while the grated ginger makes the dressing both thick and spicy. If you don’t feel like making kale chips, I suggest using toasted almonds as an alternative (but less interesting) crunchy topper.
Kale chips are easy to make. This was my first time trying it because in the past I’ve been too lazy to go through the effort of drying the kale. These leaves weren’t totally dry, so some of the chips stayed green instead of turning brown. I was happy to discover that the green chips were just as crunchy as the browned ones.
- 4 to 5 cups packed kale leaves
- olive oil spray
- sea salt
- 2 cups baby spinach/arugula mix
- 1/2 cup chopped snow peas or snap peas
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- handful of cilantro leaves
- 1/2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (gluten-free if desired)
- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- pinch of onion powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the kale from the stems and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry well in a salad spinner. Then dry the leaves completely on a towel.
- Arrange the kale in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets, and coat with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and cook for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven when some of the pieces are very brown, even if some of the other pieces are still green.
- While the kale is baking, add greens, peas, pepper, and cilantro to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, honey, ginger, and onion powder. Stir well.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to coat. Arrange the salad on a large plate.
- When the kale chips are done, sprinkle a few on top of the salad and serve.
- Store extra kale chips at room temperature.