Kale, Broccoli and Cannellini Bean Salad

I took two of the foundation ingredients from my kale and broccoli ‘slaw and converted it into something quite different but still very tasty.

Unmixed and undressed. Showing all the yummy hemp, chia and sesame seeds

This recipe is part of my slow-carb experiment.  Mr Ferriss advises one to use a good dose of cinnamon on pretty much everything (see The 4 Hour Body), so I thought I’d try adding it to this salad.  This seems to work quite well, but I suspect that’s because I’m using (as he does recommend) real cinnamon, which has very little flavour.  When I first got it I thought I’d been ripped off, because it didn’t taste cinnamonny enough.  A little re-education later, and it turns out that what I always thought was cinnamon was in fact cassia – something that looks a lot like cinnamon, is more often than not sold as cinnamon, but isn’t cinnamon.  Anything with a really strong cinnamon flavour is almost certainly cassia not cinnamon.  The aim of adding cinnamon to this dish was not to make it taste like cinnamon, but to increase my intake of this spice (as it aids fat metabolism).

The cinnamon in the following recipe is therefore optional unless you have real ‘plain’ cinnamon.  Dominant cinnamon (i.e. cassia) probably wont work in this dish (would be great in the Black Beans + Tomato Salsa though).


  • bunch of kale or black cabbage/cavolo nero. Same family, look a bit different.  Taste similar enough.  Wash and thinly slice/shred the leaves.  Leave out the tough stalks near the base as they can be bitter.
  • large head of broccoli (or two small)
  • 1 tin of cannellini beans rinsed, drained (or 1 cup dried, thoroughly soaked + rinsed + cooked)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (proper, not cassia – don’t use if it’s the really cinnamonny tasting cinnamon)
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • optional: hemp seeds, sesame seeds (I used Seaweed Gomasio), chia seeds


Heat a large fry pan over low-medium heat and add the ghee.  Once melted, add the sliced kale and sprinkle on the cinnamon and a little ground salt.  Sautée until it’s looking a bit wilted but not soggy (about 5 mins) stirring constantly.  You want it to retain most of its texture – cooking it just makes it a little less chewy and coats it in the ghee and cinnamon nicely. 🙂 The less you cook kale, the more nutrients it retains.  You can certainly just serve this raw (as in the kale and broccoli slaw) just make sure it’s very finely sliced/diced or it can be a choking hazard.

Remove kale from heat and put in a large serving bowl. Add the cannellini beans, and sprinkle a little salt over them (I like salt, my preferred is pink salt flakes).

Chop the heads off the broccoli.  We’re at the end of the season in Melbourne so the stems are a bit tough and a tad bitter so I decided to just use the heads and basically shaved the tops off the broccoli.  Feel free to add the stems too if you want.  Add shavings to the salad bowl.

If using, sprinkle on as much or as little hemp, sesame and chia seeds as you like.  This is the first time I’ve tried hemp seeds and they have a really nice nutty flavour to them (a bit like macadamia I think).  The seeds add a little extra taste and texture but are also a great source of minerals and oils.  I used 1-2 tablespoon of each.

Drizzle with EVOO (as much as you like, I used about 3 tablespoons).  The ghee on the kale will help keep things fairly moist, this just adds some more good oils to the mix as well as imparting some additional flavour.

Mix it all up and serve as a side dish to Saudi Baharat BBQ chicken, or a nice bbq steak.

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