Kale and Sardine Salad

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There’s nothing like a fully stocked fridge.  Sure, trying to maneuver anything in or out of it feels a little bit like a game of Jenga, but it’s totally worth the endless combination of mealtime options.


Then there are other times, when you open your fridge and feel like a contestant on Chopped.  A challenge.  What possible edible concoction can you make out of those last lonely ingredients?  Those are some of my favorite types of challenges.


There’s not much I dislike more than to see healthy ingredients slowly wither away before I pay them any attention.  So when I saw that my kale was looking a little bit less than perky, I knew it was time it made its way out of the fridge before it was too late.  Luckily, slightly wilted kale is perfect for massaging back to life with a little bit of salt and love.  And those massaged greens are perfect in this kale and sardine salad.


When you’re trying to make a last minute, save-the-fridge meal, it’s always nice to have a few pantry staples on hand.  One thing you will always find tucked away in my cupboard is a can of wild caught sardines.

If you’re wrinkling your nose right now, stop it.

I didn’t know that I liked sardines until I had them fresh in Greece.  You will find them everywhere, and they are so amazingly delicious.  Salty, flavored with the sea, fried up in a little olive oil and served with a squeeze of lemon juice.  So simple. So perfect.

Sardeles also happen to be incredibly nutritious– and cheap.  They are one of the most concentrated sources of Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, ya know? like the stuff in those pricey pills).  They are also full of calcium, vitamin D and B-12.  A conveniently stored source of protein, I always keep some on hand to add to salads or with mustard and lemon for a quick snack.  Make sure you look for sardines that are packed in olive oil, and are sustainably harvested. These are my favorite.

Honestly though, don’t knock ’em until you try ’em.



Kale and Sardine Salad
Serves 2
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For the salad
  1. 1/2 bunch kale  (about 3 cups)
  2. 2 small cucumber, or 1 medium
  3. 1/4 cup sauerkraut, or pickled cabbage
  4. 1/4 cup peas
  5. 2 tbs sunflower seeds
  6. green onion
  7. 1/4 cup olives
  8. 1 can sardines
For the dressing
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 2 tsp mustard
  3. 1 tbs parmesean
  4. juice of one lemon
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 4 tbs olive oil
  7. dried parsley
  8. crushed red pepper
  9. black pepper
  1. Crush garlic and add to a small bowl with remaining dressing ingredients.  Whisk well with fork to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.  Remember that you always want your dressing to be slightly more salty and acidic than you think, as it will be spread out over the salad.  Set dressing aside.
  2. Remove stalks from kale and discard.  Tear leaves into small pieces and add to a medium bowl.  Sprinkle kale with a tiny amount of salt, and massage leaves  with your hands until they are tender.
  3. Slice cucumbers and green onion and add to the bowl along with sauerkraut, peas, and olives.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Divide between two plates and add 1/2 can of sardines to each plate.  Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
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Savor the simple things in life.

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