One of my Christmas gifts from John was a vegan cooking class at Cavallo Point in Sausalito. At first I was like, “Honey, a vegan cooking class?” I mean I’m no vegan nor plan on being one anytime soon, but I was intrigued as I wanted to learn more about vegan cooking. The instructor, Miyoko Schinner, is an amazingly vibrant woman. She only cooks with whole and local ingredients (no processed ingredients here). She has such great energy and enthusiasm for what she does, that she got the whole class excited to cook vegan. Check out her website and videos and you will see what I mean.
One of the recipes that we whipped up was this kale salad. I knew from the start that I would like it, as I love kale in smoothies and sautéed in dishes, but I had never tried a raw kale salad before. Let me tell you that I’m converted, and raw kale salads are the way to go! They taste like a normal salad, but they’re better, and so easy to make.
This was by far my favorite recipe of the evening. The kale absorbed all the flavors of the lemon dressing and it was sweet but not too sweet. I literally could have eaten a huge plate full. I had the kids try this the other night and they ate a few bites and liked it. John loved it and has been requesting it for dinner ever since. If you’re scared of kale or don’t think kale salad is your thing, please just give this a try. It’s the perfect introduction to kale salads, as the dressing and the massaging of the kale breaks down the bitter taste. This is a great salad to take to a potluck as it can be made and assembled that morning or hours before an event.
kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing:
- 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed, and thinly sliced – I used a mixture of lacinato kale and curly kale - Click here to see step-by-step instructions on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 apple sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1.5 juicy lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup maple syrup, agave or honey – You can use any one of these. I used maple syrup
- 1.5 ounces extra firm tofu – approximately 1/4 cup
Below are the ingredients you will need for the dressing.
First toast up the sliced almonds. To toast them, just put some sliced raw almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat, and swirl them around in the pan for a few minutes until they become golden brown in color. Reserve them to the side.
Zest and squeeze up your lemons. Wash, de-stem and thinly slice your kale. If you’re not sure how to de-stem and slice kale then you can check out my post on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale, or you can watch the beginning part of my lacinato kale salad video for instructions as well. This video has really helped my readers easily understand how to de-stem kale quickly over the sink.