What to CookSalad

Spicy Peanut Kale Salad

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Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.

Today: When in doubt, you can always count on kale salad.

Vegan Curry on Food52

I’m fond of declaring that there is no such thing as too much kale salad. Yes, it’s all over restaurant menus, Instagram, food blogs, and Facebook. Yes, massaging kale has made the transition from “exotic approach to handling green leafy vegetables” to “how I begin lunch.” But that doesn’t make kale salad any less indispensable. Case in point: Last week, I was home with an almost-empty fridge and no clue what to make for myself midday. 

More: Get creative with your lunch -- here's how to make any kale salad, without a recipe.

The two vegetables I always have around are kale and sweet potatoes (the former because I can’t live without it, the latter because they’re hearty and they keep well). I decided to go with the flow and use up some of my excess peanut butter (another household staple) by whisking it together with tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Boom: spicy peanut sauce.

I massaged that into my kale, topped it all with a roasted sweet potato, and gave it a sprinkle of peanuts from my cupboard. Fast, easy, flavorful, and absolute proof that kale salad saves the day. 

Photo by Gena Hamshaw

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Tags: Vegetable, Lunch, Back to School, Weeknight Cooking, Quick and Easy, Vegan, Not Sad Desk Lunch