vegan kale salad with citrus dressing

vegan kale salad with citrus dressing

vegan kale salad with citrus dressingSurprise, surprise, I’m posting another yet another kale salad recipe.  I now have 19 kale recipes on the blog with the addition of this salad. I think I may have a serious problem/addiction here, what do you think?  I mean here’s a girl who didn’t even know what kale was 4 years ago and now it’s become a total staple in my house. My weekly grocery list always consists of the staples such as eggs, milk, bread, lemons, kale, oh, and we can’t forget quinoa, because that’s become another addiction of mine, but not as bad, as I only have 6 quinoa recipes on the blog.

This salad recipe was passed onto me by my sweet girlfriend Amber.  She heard through the grapevine that I was a bit of a kale addict, so she wanted to introduce me to her personal favorite salad.  She came over for dinner one night, along with my friend Kimber, (who by the way made these amazing pomegrante cosmos) and made this salad up which I paired with my rosemary skillet chicken and rosemary and sea salt popovers.  It was such an amazing dinner, and we we’re all part of the clean plate club that night.  This is such a simple and fresh salad, and it’s so different from my other kale salads, as it doesn’t have any cheese in it.   We all know how much I love cheese, but I don’t miss it in this salad at all because the nuts, fennel and oranges really give this salad some flavor.  I would say that this salad falls under the “mommy” category though, as I made it up one night for my kids and they we’re not fans. They did appreciate the oranges in it though!  My kids tend to like kale salads that have cheese as a key ingredient, so I tend to make this one up just for me, as it’s a great salad to bring to work…. 

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kale salad with brussels sprouts and toasted almonds

kale salad with brussels sprouts and toasted almonds

kale salad with brussels sprouts and toasted almondsSo, yes, this is another kale salad recipe, (sorry for all of the kale recipes lately folks) but it has Brussels sprouts in it, so you’re getting 2 amazing veggies in one salad!  Bonus!  My foodie friend Carolyn passed this recipe onto me and told me I had to try it.  I totally trust Carolyn, and when she tells me that I need to try something, I do, no questions asked. I was nervous to have the kids try this because Eli despises Brussels sprouts, like totally gags on them.  So the first time I made this up, I didn’t tell him that there were Brussels sprouts in it (I know, I’m a mean and sneaky mama).  He ate the salad and really liked it. I then told him after he finished that he just ate some Brussels sprouts, and you know what, he said he liked them raw mixed in with the kale!  Sometimes you just have to be a bit sneaky moms!

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Marin mama’s favorite kale recipes

marin mama's favorite kale recipes

marin mama's favorite kale recipesIt’s the day after Halloween and I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for some healthier fare today.  When I need to detox from too many sweets, wine and pizza, I tend to gravitate towards something made with kale, whether it be a smoothie or salad.  So today I thought I would share with you my favorite kale recipes from the blog in-case you were looking to detox with some kale as well.

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pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnuts

pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnuts

pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnutsToday I’m giving you all a tasty, healthy, easy, family approved and under 30 minute weeknight pasta two ways (whew, that was a lot in one sentence).  I mean who doesn’t love that?  It’s actually the same recipe, but I’m using two different types of pastas as well as cheeses.  The family approved and kid friendly version uses regular spaghetti and grated parmesan.  The “mommy” and teenage (I say teenage because Zoe loves this version as well) version uses whole-wheat spaghetti and Pecorino Romano cheese.  Both ways are tasty, it’s just an individual preference.  I love both versions, but prefer the whole-wheat version because the pasta has a great nutty flavor and is a bit chewy, but chewy in a good way, and the Pecorino Romano cheese adds a bit of salty flavor to the whole-wheat pasta.

whole-wheat pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnuts… 

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kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and aged gouda

kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and aged gouda

kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and aged goudaSurprise, surprise, salad number two this week is a kale salad.  Did you really expect anything else?  I mean I already have 7 kale salad recipes on the blog, so why not add another one, right?  This salad is similar to my kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar.  I love the base of that salad, but wanted to make up a more kid friendly version, as my kids are not big fans of squash. They like butternut squash soup, and spaghetti squash tacos, but they don’t like cubed or sliced squash, they need it blended in something.  They’re huge fans of pears though, so I decided to add in some pears in place of the squash.  I also wanted to change up the cheese to addd some variety and I’ve heard that aged gouda pairs well with pears and apples, so I asked the cheese guy at my local market what gouda he recommended. He suggested that I use this Robusto Gouda from UnieKass. Ok, I totally loved this cheese and even found myself breaking off pieces of it to munch on while I grated the cheese.  Robusto Gouda is an aged gouda/parmesan hybrid that is creamy, nutty and sharp in flavor.  If you can’t find this particular cheese at your grocery store, then you can either ask the cheese guy at your store what type of cheese might be similar in taste in texture, or just pick up an aged gouda.  Oh, I also hear that this particular cheese pairs extremely well with beer. Hmmm….  I’m thinking this would be a great cheese to serve up with some cold beers for Sunday football.  Just saying…

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lacinato kale salad video tutorial

lacinato kale salad

lacinato kale salad (1 of 1)-2Yes, you read the title right, I’m posting my first attempt at an instructional cooking video. Woo hoo! I actually wouldn’t call it an official cooking video because I make a few mistakes in the video, and my head totally gets cut off in places, but as I said, it’s my first attempt, and making videos is not really my forte. I almost didn’t post the video because it’s not a perfect and I’m kind of embarrassed by the way I look and sound on camera. I mean come on, everyone hates seeing themselves on video, right?  You see yourself and think, wow, that’s really how I look to people, but then you realize that your friends and loved ones love you just the way you are, so it’s not so bad, right? There’s a point when you just have to get over yourself, put yourself out there and let it be, and that’s what I’m doing today.

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How to de-stem and thinly slice kale

DSC_0006 kale

DSC_0006 kaleOk, so I have a lot of kale salads on the blog, (9 if you’re counting) so I thought it might be nice to share a post on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale, instead of always linking you all to my lactinato kale salad recipe where you have to scroll down the post just to get the info.

I already did a post on how to keep kale and other greens fresh, and since then I have received a lot of positive comments from readers and friends saying that those simple tips have made their lives so much easier when it comes to preparing a salad at the end of the day. Kale is one of those lettuces that keeps well. If washed and stored properly, it will keep up to 2 weeks. Most kale salads last up to 3 days in the fridge. That means if you make a kale salad on Monday, you will have leftovers Tuesday and Wednesday.  I mean who doesn’t like a salad that you can make ahead or better yet have leftovers of?

A note about purchasing lacinato kale:  Don’t purchase lacinato kale that feels tough and paper-like.  It will not breakdown and thus will not absorb the dressing even when you massage it.  Kale is best when its soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.

Ok, here are the step-by-step photos for de-stemming and thinly slicing kale.

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kale and ricotta salata salad

kale and ricotta salata salad

kale and ricotta salata salad (1 of 1)Anyone who knows me knows that I love lacinato kale. I mean it just tastes so good, yes, you heard me right, it really tastes good. It’s not just me who feels that way, my kids prefer a kale salad over an arugula or spinach one any-day, and John, well he likes all types of salads, he’s not a picky guy. Kale is uber healthy, and if stored properly the leaves can last for about 2 weeks in the fridge. Kale is also a great make-ahead salad.  It’s one of those salads that you can make ahead, like the morning of an event, and have it taste great at dinner. Kale salads make great leftovers. I love that I can make up a salad on Monday and then eat leftovers on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it tastes great all three days. I will have to say that lacinato kale is the kale to try first if you are new to kale.  Lacinato kale really tastes more like a lettuce, especially when you massage the dressing into it.  Curly kale on the other hand, tastes bitter and can leave a chalky aftertaste in your mouth. I think most people who have tried kale have tried curly kale, and that’s why kale has gotten the bad reputation. Please, just try a salad with lacinato kale (sometimes called tuscan or dinosaur kale) and you might be converted.

Anyway, I’m always on the hunt for new kale recipes. I already have 5 kale salads that I love, and my top two salads are my lacinato kale salad and miso kale salad.  My lacinato salad has turned kale haters into kale lovers, so that is saying a lot. This ricotta salata salad may also be one that turns people around, not only because it tastes great, but it’s so easy to prepare, and much like my lacinato salad uses pantry ingredients. This is Eli’s favorite kale salad thus far. Many of you may not be too familiar with ricotta salata. Ricotta salata is an aged ricotta that has been pressed, so it looses moisture and becomes crumbly and easy to grate. It’s a fairly mild tasting cheese, (I think that’s why Eli loves it so much) but has an amazing salty flavor to it.  The other great thing about ricotta salata, is its price tag.  You can usually get a chunk of cheese for under $4.00. So, this is a great salad for those of you on a budget.  Don’t look for ricotta salata cheese near the traditional ricotta cheeses, (the ones in the plastic containers) this cheese will be located in the cheese section of your grocery store, where the fancier cheeses are.

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mashed potatoes with kale

mashed potatoes with kale

mashed potatoes with kaleI’m sorry that I’m not doing my regular weekly dinner menu post, but this considered a vacation week, so I’m kind of taking a vacation from cooking (until Thanksgiving that is). I’m also in the process of moving my site over to Wordpress, so I’m going to be busy working on getting that up and running with the help of my HTML goddess Wendy, thanks Wendy!  I can’t wait to move over, as I’m feeling limited on blogger and have finally decided that it’s time to make the move!  I promise to have my weekly dinner menu up and running next Sunday.

If you love kale and mashed potatoes, then you will love these.  Zoe and I were looking through Sprouted Kitchen’s new cookbook one afternoon where she saw the photo of these potatoes. She bookmarked the page, and told me that I had to make them.  I think her love of potatoes comes from John, as he loves any kind of potato dish. I honestly love what a foodie my daughter has become.  She would have never asked for potatoes with kale a year ago, (come to think of it, I don’t think I would have either) but our tastes change and grow, and now she and I both love kale.  

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kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar

kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar
kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddarOk, I must admit, I’m not a holiday recipe kind of food blogger. I don’t feature holiday recipes months before the holidays, unless it’s a recipe that can be used for any occasion, like this salad. I’m honestly not an expert when it comes to cooking turkey or stuffing. I make the same stuffing every year (sausage and chestnut stuffing) and John cooks the turkey, as cooking large birds sort of scare me. I also figure that most of you have family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed down through the generations. We actually have a family favorite cranberry sauce that John’s mom passed down to us, which John makes every year for Thanksgiving.  

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kid friendly caesar salad

photo[3]

Moms, do I have caesar salad recipe for you.  This is one of Eli’s favorite salads now and he literally requests it daily.  He eats a whole plate full, even when I sneak some lacinato kale in the salad.  I told him the other night as he scarfed down a plate full of salad that he just polished off about 1/4 a head of kale. His jaw just about slammed down on the table.  He said he didn’t even know there was kale in the salad, he thought the dark green leaves were darker romaine lettuce pieces. The dressing is what makes this a kid friendly salad (no anchovies or raw egg) or should I say adult friendly as well. You can make it more of an adult salad by adding some kale as well as multigrain croutons. To keep it truly kid friendly, I would just serve the dressing over some romaine leaves and make up some sourdough or french bread croutons.  BTW, I don’t always add croutons to the salad, so don’t feel the pressure.  We usually just have this salad as a side to our meal sans the croutons.  I just don’t always have time to whip up a batch of croutons during the week.

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how to keep kale and other greens fresh

fresh

Ok, I’ll be frank with you all, this isn’t the most exciting post I have ever put out there. As I was writing it, I kind of yawned a few times and thought to myself, am I really writing about how to keep lettuce and kale fresh, really?  I’m writing this post because I want you all to see how easy it is to whip up a nightly salad on the fly without having to buy the pre-washed bagged lettuce or kale.

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how to make a “mean green juice” without a juicer

mean green juice without a juicer

So, there’s this new juice bar that just opened in Corte Madera for all you locals called, Juice Alley.  It’s an amazing little juice bar that has tons of different organic juice concoctions, vegan snacks and bars. I’m so excited as I love green juices and I also love that it’s right next to my gym.  What a great and healthy treat to pick up after a hard workout, right?  So, I tried their kale and ginger juice.  Let me just tell you that it was amazing and the ginger just popped in my mouth. I knew I was going to have to figure out how to replicate it at home, as this daily juice thing was going to turn into a pricy habit.  I googled the ingredients, and of course, there were 100 different recipes.

So here I was looking to juice, but I didn’t own a juicer.  I didn’t let that stop me though, so again, I went on the Internet and googled, “how to juice without a juicer,” and I found exactly what I was looking for. OK, honestly, what did we do before the Internet?  I really can’t seem to recall how I found information.  Did I actually go to the library and look through encyclopedias for questions such as this?  I really don’t remember, and I feel like we were in the dark on a lot of things. I can only imagine what science is going to create next that will make the Internet seem obsolete like encyclopedias.

Getting back on topic here, basically if you have a blender, you can juice. Yes, you can, trust me. You don’t have to just drink smoothies or pulpy concoctions. You can drink a smooth and refreshing juice.  All you need is a blender and this handy little bag, called a jelly strainer bag.  You can find these at most kitchen or hardware stores that sell kitchen appliances.  I picked mine up at the local Ace Hardware in Larkspur, for those of you that are local.  They cost $ 4.99 for 2 bags.  BTW, don’t get the metal contraption that is sold with some of the bags, just buy the bags.

To clean the bags, just use some dish soap and rub the bag together till it’s clean and all the soap is off the bag. Then place the bag on top of a glass or something similar to air dry.  These bags should last quite a while.  I have used my 10x already and it still looks new.  
mean green juice without a juicer

how to make a “mean green juice” without a juicer:

recipe adapted from reboot your life
makes 22 ounces
printer friendly recipe

  • 6 to 8 kale leaves, washed and de-stemmed – I used 8 leaves and used lacinato/dinasour kale because it’s not as bitter tasting as curly kale, but you can use any kind of kale.
  • 2 green apples – cored and cut into chunks – There were not any organic granny smith apples, so I picked up some Mutsu apples, and they were perfect.
  • 3 – 4 stalks celery, cut into chunks – I used 3 stalks
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled –  I love ginger and think it adds a pop of flavor to the juice, so I put in quite a bit.  If you’re not a big fan of ginger, than start out with a smaller piece, say 1/2-inch to 1-inch piece.
  • 1/2 lemon – peeled, but you can leave on the white pith
  • 1 cucumber peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup filtered water

Below are the ingredients before they’re prepped.Here’s how the ingredients will look after they’re prepped.To peel ginger, just take a spoon and gently scrape off the skin from top to bottom.  The skin is thin, so minimal effort is required.Pour 1 cup of water into your blender.  Add in the chopped apple, chopped celery, chopped cucumber and peeled lemon, and blend away till liquified.  Add in the ginger and the de-stemmed kale leaves and puree till smooth.
Take your jelly bag and wrap it over a large measuring cup or bowl.

Pour your juice into the jelly bag.

Don’t worry if your bag slides off the bowl, you just want to make sure that your juice goes in the bag. You can aways hold it open with one hand while pouring with your other hand.Once all the juice is poured into the bag, remove the bag from the measuring cup or bowl and gently twist the top of the bag closed.  Slowly twist the bag so the juice escapes.  Keep twisting and squeezing the bag until all of the juice is released.

WARNING:  Ugly hand pictures below!Look at all that pulp that was left in the bag.  It’s a beautiful color, but not something I want to be drinking.  It actually looks like moss, doesn’t it.

My compost was very happy to receive all that pulp.
Pour the juice into a large glass, canning jar or Lifefactory bottle, and refrigerate it, as it will be a bit warm.  I was anxious to drink my juice, so I threw it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool.
Make sure you shake it (if you have a glass with a lid) or stir it before you drink it, as some of the juice will settle.
It helps to have a glass or bottle with a lid so you can shake your juice when it settles.
It’s recommended that you drink the juice the day you make it.  It really goes down easy and tastes great. It actually tastes sort of sweet and citrusy, at least to me.  What’s great about juicing is that you’re in control of the ingredients. You can add to or delete any of the ingredients you wish.  My friend Yvonne loves the taste of celery in her juice, so she adds more celery and less ginger, as she’s not a fan of ginger.
I do recommend you try it with the 2-inch piece of ginger sometime.  I’m not a huge fan of ginger, as it reminds me of my early pregnancy days, but that first juice from Juice Alley was packed with ginger and that flavor stuck with me.  The original “mean green juice” recipe called for a teaspoon of ginger, but when I tried the juice, it just didn’t have that “wow” factor I was looking for, so I added more ginger and I got the “wow” factor.
mean green juice without a juicer
Ok, I really want to know how many of you are actually going to buy the bags and make the juice?  I had lunch with my friend Andie yesterday and she asked what this new juicing contraption was that went with my vitamix.  I excitedly told her about the bags and she said, “Oh, I think I’ll just stick with my juices from the Bay Club and save myself the work.” I had to laugh at that statement because honestly, it’s what most people will do!  I love you Andie.
Do you like to juice?  If so, then you have to try my carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice.
carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice, no juicer required
Happy juicing everyone!

miso kale salad with miso roasted tofu

miso kale salad with miso roasted tofu (1 of 1)-2

miso kale salad with miso roasted tofu (1 of 1)-2I’m so excited because I have found another kale salad that I love just as much as my lacinato kale salad. Wendy, Debbie & Amanda, you have to try this. This is going to be another weekly go-to salad for me. I love this salad so much that I ate a whole head of kale on Friday as well as made a fresh batch up for dinner on Saturday, and had leftovers for lunch on Sunday. It was a kale filled weekend for me. This salad is great on its own, but top it off with the miso roasted tofu and you have yourself a substantial lunch or dinner. Did I mention that this salad is also kid and hubby approved?

This is also another great make ahead salad. I do prefer to eat it fresh or within the hour of tossing it up, but it tasted amazing as leftovers the next day and even holds out to day 3 (actually my hubby likes it better the next day, go figure). I re-heated the leftover tofu in a pre-heated 250 degree oven for just a bit, and then topped it on the leftover salad. You don’t even have to re-heat the tofu, I just did because I wanted to. It tastes great, all warm on the cool salad.

miso tofumiso roasted tofu:

Recipe from Eating Well, Fast & Flavorful Meatless Meals
makes 14 square cubes
printer friendly recipe

  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons, miso – see picture and note below
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Below is a picture of miso. You can find it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store usually by where the tofu is kept. Miso is a fermented soybean paste that adds flavor to dishes such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. It is high in protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s available in different colors, white, yellow, red & brown. If you want a milder flavor then go with yellow or white. If you want a stronger flavor then go with a red or brown miso. The lighter the color, the milder the flavor. I chose this yellow chickpea miso because I wanted a milder flavor and this version is soy-free.
DSC_0203Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or brush on some olive oil. Make sure that you coat it well, because if you don’t, then the tofu will stick to the baking sheet. I used my olive oil cooking spray.

Drain the tofu and wrap it in some paper towels and gently press out the excess moisture. Cut the block of tofu into square cubes like the picture below. I cut the block of tofu into 8 slices and then cut those in half to get these squares. It really doesn’t matter how you cut up your tofu, just make sure they are cut into even pieces.

cubed tofuCombine the 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons miso and the 2 cloves minced garlic in a large bowl, and use a spatula to mix it together. It will resemble a thick paste.

miso paste with lemon and garlic_Add the tofu squares to the mixture and gently toss to coat.  It may not look like there is enough mixture to cover all of the tofu, but there is.

Spread the marinated tofu in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

miso roasted tofuBake the tofu on the middle rack, turning one to two times during baking, until browned, about 18-20 minutes, or until the tofu is browned on all sides.

miso roasted tofuYou can really do so much with this tofu. You can throw it on any other salad of choice, eat it on its own or top it on your favorite pasta. The choices are unlimited.  We love it topped on some cold soba noodles with summer vegetables.

cold soba noodles with miso roasted tofu and summer vegetablesWe also love it in a vegetarian banh mi sandwich.

vegetarian banh mi sandwich with sriracha mayonnaise
Oh, I forgot to mention that Eli loved this tofu (not the salad, but we are working on that).  Zoe love’s both the tofu and salad.  She is really turning into my kale gal.
miso kale salad with miso roasted tofu

miso kale salad:

Recipe adapted from Eating Well, Fast & Flavorful Meatless Meals
Note: This is not a make ahead dressing, as it does not sit well on it’s own. I would make it up and then toss it with your kale. Once mixed with the kale, it sits well.
printer friendly recipe

  • 1 bunch (whole head) lacinato/dinosaur kale, curly kale or red kale, large stems removed, thinly sliced – to see a step-by-step demonstration on how to de-stem and slice kale – click here.
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons miso
  • 1 clove garlic, minced - I used 2 medium cloves and it tasted great
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, miso and garlic in a glass measuring cup or small bowl.
Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well. The dressing will be a bit thick and pasty.

miso dressingPut your sliced and de-stemmed kale into a salad bowl.

Pour in the dressing a bit at a time (see my note below) over the kale, and mix well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing.  I actually massaged my kale a bit so the kale really absorbed the dressing.  You don’t have to go crazy massaging this kale salad.  When I say, “massage” your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.  You will notice that the kale reduces in size quite a bit, and what seemed like a mess of kale is now 1/2 of what it was.
Note:  Add the dressing to taste.  Some heads of kale are smaller than others, so just use the amount of dressing for the amount of kale you have.  The first batch I made had less kale so I only used 3/4 the amount of dressing I made.  The second batch I used had a bit more kale, and I ended up using the whole amount of dressing.
Add the 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and toss to coat.
Top the salad with some roasted tofu, or not.  The kale salad is great on its own as well.
This salad is creamy and bowl licking good.  It’s the perfect meal for any vegetarian or non-vegetarian.  
Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Be sure to store the tofu and kale separately.
Got leftovers?  Just re-heat the tofu in a 250 degree oven until warmed. This salad tastes great day two and even day three.
You can also make a kale caesar salad wrap. Just top a whole-grain tortilla with the leftover kale salad, the warmed tofu and then smash an avocado on top and wrap it up. It’s just a fun and different way to enjoy this salad.
kale caesar salad wrap
Like kale salads?  Then you need to try my  lacinato kale salad.  This salad has turned kale haters into kale lovers.
lacinato kale salad video
kale and ricotta salata salad
kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar

vegan kale caesar salad with multi-grain croutons

vegan

Happy Memorial Day everyone, and Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, John!  The kids and I love that John’s birthday falls on a Holiday weekend because we always get to spend a full day celebrating with him.  Zoe and I made his favorite coconut cake (recipe soon) while he supplied the homemade coconut ice cream.  What a man!

So, I am celebrating this day by showcasing a vegan kale caesar salad!  Yaay!  I can’t get enough kale, and I am assuming most of you are the same way.  Kale is the “it” vegetable of 2012, (at least in my world).  This is not your typical caesar salad though because it’s egg and dairy free.  It’s definitely a healthier take on the traditional caesar salad.

I love having a big salad for lunch, so I am always on the search for new recipes, especially kale ones.  I also love croutons, and these croutons are the BEST!  They are chewy and crunchy at the same time. You all know that I love carbs and kale, so this was lunch was a winner in my book!  I found that this particular kale salad was best served fresh.  It was fine for leftovers, but I found that I needed to refresh it with some dressing as the kale really absorbed all the dressing overnight and became a bit dull in flavor.  I paired this salad for dinner with some of my sausage and arugula pizza , and it was the prefect compliment.

vegan kale caesar salad:

seves 4

Note: There will be extra dressing leftover as the dressing makes 1 cup.  You can reserve this for additional salads or cut the dressing recipe below in half.  I actually used the extra dressing to re-fresh the leftover salad.  

  • 1 head of curly kale
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours – see details below
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • juice from 2 lemons - I use my hand juicer so that I get all the juice from the lemons
  • 1 large pitted Medjool date
  • 2 large stalks celery, ends cut off
  • 2 – 3 large raw garlic cloves, peeled – I used 3 garlic cloves  
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water – I added another tablespoon after I blended the dressing.  Feel free to use more water if you want a thinner consistency
  • homemade croutons - see recipe below
Wash, de-stem & tear up the kale into bite size pieces and set it aside in a salad bowl.
Measure out the 3/4 cup cashews and rinse them in a colander.
Place them in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover them with fresh filtered water.
Cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel and let them soak for 2 hours.
Drain the cashews.
Add cashews to a food processor or high-powered blender (I used my vitamix).  Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, Medjool date, celery (I cut the celery into 3 large chunks to make pureeing it easier), garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and water and process/blend until smooth.
Note: This dressing will be thick, but when you mix it into the kale it has a nice consistency.  
Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing over the kale and mix well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing.  I actually massaged my kale a bit so the kale really absorbed the dressing.  You don’t have to go crazy massaging this kale salad.  When I say, “massage” your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.

The volume of the kale should reduce by about 1/3 and the kale will wilt and have a cooked texture.Feel free to add more dressing if desired after you massage it, as the kale will absorb it.

multi-grain croutons:

  • 2 thick slices of multi-grain or dark grain bread  – You can use any kind of bread here, but I loved the chewy texture of this multi grain bread. For those of you that are local, I got this bread was from the Whole Foods in San Rafael.  It’s from Della Fattoria and the name of the bread is Pane Integrale.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt - I usually just throw a pinch of salt in
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper – I actually don’t measure out my pepper.  I just twist the pepper grinder a few times.
I took my other crouton recipe, added 2 cloves of minced garlic to it and used this amazing whole-grain dark bread.  Needless to say, these croutons were AMAZING!
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Slice up 2 thick slices of bread.
Cut the slices into 1/2 inch cubes.
In a medium sized bowl add the olive oil, minced garlic, pepper and salt and mix them together. Throw in the croutons and toss to coat.
Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, making sure to flip the bread over once during baking so it browns on both sides. Bake until the croutons are browned and crisp.
Top the kale salad with the homemade croutons and serve.
This salad is a healthier take on the traditional caesar salad.  If you’re looking for another healthy caesar salad recipe that actually tastes more like a traditional caesar salad, then try my miso garlic roasted tofu salad.

wheat berries with charred onions and kale

wheat berries with charred onions and kale

wheat berries with charred onions and kaleAm I turning into a health nut or what?  I have eaten more kale in the past 6 months than I have in my whole lifetime, seriously. This blog is working wonders for my health and waistline (as well as my hubby’s).  It was actually John that picked out this recipe, can you believe it?  We received the recent issue of bon appetit on Friday.  John opened it up, pointed at two recipes, looked at me and said, “honey, we’re making this for dinner on Sunday.”  I  then took a look at the two recipes and happily agreed.  Did I mention that John is an amazing cook, even better than me?  I’m such a lucky girl.

Wheat berries?  You’re probably wondering what the heck they are.  Wheat berries are simply individual kernels of wheat.  They’re a true whole grain.  A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron.  Wheat berries have a chewy bite and a subtle nutty and earthy flavor.  You can find them in the natural foods section of your local grocery store. I found these at Whole Foods in the bulk bins.
DSC_0224-2

wheat berries with charred onions and kale: 
recipe from bon appetit
serves 6

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat berries 
  • 2 medium yellow onions – see instructions below
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - The recipe called for 8 tablespoons but we did not feel we needed all the oil, so we just added what we felt was necessary.
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 packed cups) – I used curly kale for this recipe
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine wheat berries, 1 onion half, 5 thyme sprigs, and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 2 inches.  
The below photo was taken before I put in the water, of course, but I thought it was pretty so I snapped up a picture.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium or medium low (our stove has an intense flame so we went to medium low) and simmer until wheat berries are just tender but still firm to the bite, about 35 minutes. 
Drain in a colander and discard the onion and thyme sprigs. Place wheat berries in a large bowl and let cool.  
Meanwhile, rinse, de-stem, dry and tear up your kale into 2-inch pieces; set aside.  
Cut remaining 3 onion halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are charred in spots, about 5 minutes. 
Transfer onions to the bowl with wheat berries
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to same skillet (we actually added about 1 teaspoon as there was oil leftover). Working in 3 batches, add kale and cook, tossing occasionally, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and adding oil as needed between batches, until charred in spots, about 1 minute per batch.  
This is another tasty and kid approved way to get your kale in.  My kids loved the kale sautéed this way as it reminded them of kale chips but without the crunch. 
Add the kale to the bowl.  Drizzle with the 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and any remaining oil left in the pan; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
We served this up as a side salad for dinner, but I would definitely eat a bowl of this for lunch without the steak!
 Here were my leftovers the next day.  I topped the salad with some leftover steak and the herb salsa.  I then microwaved it for about 1 minute. 
 It was a two-nighter meal and tasted just as good or even better the next night.

What have you made with kale lately?
Are you becoming kale obsessed like me?
Bon appétit

kale salad with tahini & lemon dressing

kaletahini

Last week was so much fun!  I received so many positive emails, phone calls & comments from friends and people in my local and not-so-local community regarding my article in the Marin IJ.  It was wonderful to interact with everyone and hear what their favorite recipes were and such.  What started out as a mere hobby for me is really turning into so much more.  This blog is opening so many unique doors and introducing me to so many wonderful people.  So for those of you come by each week to check out my blog, thank you!  You are all inspiring me to keep this blog going and to keep trying new recipes! 


So, since I’m known as the kale obsessed Marin Mama, I thought I would share with you another, yes another, kale salad recipe.  This kale salad actually incorporates some other vegetables, so it’s more of a chopped crunchy kale salad.  You’re not just getting the benefits of kale here, you’re getting tons of other nutrients from all the other veggies along with the hemp seeds and walnuts.  This is a nutritional power packed salad.  Move over mixed greens, there’s a new lettuce in town and it’s called kale! 


Note:  You can add more or less of the ingredients below or add anything additional that you like to this salad to make it your own.  Salads are really great that way.


kale salad with tahini & lemon dressing:

recipe from Oh She Glows
serves 4 (or 2 in my case)
  • 1 bunch/head of kale - I used lactinato, but use whatever variety you want
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped or grated
  • 1/2 english cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 avocado – I always chop up the avocado right before serving so it stays fresh
  • 1/4 cup chopped grape or heirlom tomatoes
  • handful of chopped walnuts or any nut of your choice 
  • optional – handful of hemp seed - I liked this addition to the salad, but John was not a fan
Below are the ingredients you will need for the actual salad (oops, I forgot the to add the tomatoes here).   I did not waste any veggies here. The kids ate the rest of the red pepper, cucumber and avocado.  I even sliced up some cucumber for our water.
Your most likely asking the question, what exactly is hemp seed?  Below is a photo of the hemp seed I purchased.  You can find hemp seed at most grocery stores.  Hemp seeds are a great source of protein and omegas and they add a nice nutty flavor to the salad.
First things first, wash and chop up the veggies (I actually save the avocado and slice it just before serving the salad) and throw them into a mixing or salad bowl.  Wash, de-stem and slice up the kale (if you want to know how to de-stem and slice kale click here for a tutorial).  
Reserve the hemp seed and walnuts for sprinkling on top at the end.

Tahini Lemon Dressing:

recipe from Oh She Glows
makes under 1 cup of dressing

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons or 3-4 small lemons)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast – see comment below
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons water


You can pick up nutritional yeast in the bulk section of most grocery stores (Wendy & Amanda, you can borrow some of mine to try as well as the hemp seeds).  I know Bob’s Red Mill makes one that is carried locally at Trader Joes, Albertsons, Mollie Stones, Good Earth  & Whole foods.  Nutritional yeast has a pleasant nutty-cheesy flavor and is packed with protein and B vitamins.  It comes in flakes or powder form.  I actually use it quite often to top my popcorn.  Hey, it is nutritional so why not add it where you can.

This is an easy dressing to make, just throw all the above ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
Add the dressing to the salad and mix and massage the kale until thoroughly combined.  
Note:  I did not add the whole batch of dressing; I just poured in a bit and then mixed it around and added more to taste, as I don’t like tons of dressing on my salad.
Store any of the leftover dressing in sealed jar and use it to top whatever else you want.
Place the salad in the fridge to ‘marinate’ for 10-15 minutes or longer.  I actually made this salad in the day and served it up for dinner (for John and I of course, as my kids would not like this).  If you are going to keep in the fridge for more than an hour then put it into a sealed container.This the perfect salad to have on a warm spring night.  Pair it up with some nann bread or top it with some grilled chicken and you have yourself a delicious dinner.
Have you noticed my new recipe link at the top?  Check it out!  I have all my recipes categorized (kale even has its own category).  Can you believe that I have posted 93 recipes thus far, I can’t?  I am sure you will find some new favorites to add to your recipe box.

lacinato kale salad

lacinato kale salad

lacinato kale saladI know this photo is not quote on quote “food porn” quality or pinterest worthy, but I guarantee it’s tastebud worthy.  It’s so tastebud worthy that I was literally licking the bowl after this salad.  I never thought I would be licking the bowl of a kale salad, but I was licking this one, seriously!  Who am I these days?  When did I start getting excited over kale of all things?  You won’t even realize that you’re eating kale as the garlic and lemon take away the bitterness of the kale.  You might surprise yourself and find that you just ate a whole head or two of kale with this salad.  I have friends who have tried this salad and gone from kale haters to kale lovers.  Seriously, it’s that good!

The Marin IJ recently interviewed me and the first question that the interviewer asked me was, “what’s your obsession with kale?”  I laughed because I honestly didn’t think I was obsessed with kale.  I mean I have a few kale recipes posted, but nothing to over the top.  Do six recipes equate a kale obsession?  Maybe they do, but I don’t care.  I would rather be obsessed with kale than obsessed with chocolate, (well, I am a bit obsessed with that as well, but that’s another post).

lacinato kale saladSo, I did the phone interview the other day, and today the photographer is coming over to take the pictures for the paper. He is going to photograph me while I make this salad and my sausage skillet pizza (see photo below). I’m a bit nervous about being photographed cooking as I am not a pretty gal when I am cooking. I get all flustered and crazy messy as I am constantly using my apron and clothes as a towel. This time I have to look pretty and relaxed while cooking. I’m not sure I can pull that off.

DSC_0005-4So let’s get back to this salad.  I made this for lunch on Monday because I had too much birthday cake over the weekend as we celebrated Zoe turning 12.  I wanted to do a mini Monday cleanse, so I made this salad for lunch and then paired it with some of my cauliflower soup for dinner.  I couldn’t have been happier and my body was thanking me for this mini cleanse.

lacinato kale saladThis salad pairs with just about anything because the dressing is so simple. It’s also a great make-ahead salad.  I often make it in the morning and then have some for lunch or dinner that night and the gobble the rest up the next day.  It’s the perfect bring to work salad because it gets better as it sits.  Do you hear this Yvonne?  Here’s a salad you can bring to work!   

Lacinato kale salad:

Recipe adapted from Dr. Weil
Serves 4
  • 1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced 
  • juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) - use a hand juicer to get the most juice from your lemon .  If your lemon seems extremely juicy, then I would just add 3 tablespoons of juice.  I’ve noticed that in the winter my lemons have been extra juicy and the dressing can be a bit tart with too much lemon.
  • 3  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced –  I always use 3 large cloves
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste 
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese – you can use more or less here or omit it all together, it’s up to you.  I just throw in a handful and call it a day!

A note about purchasing lacinato kale:  Don’t purchase lacinato kale that feels tough and paper-like.  It will not breakdown and thus will not absorb the dressing even when you massage it.  Kale is best when its soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.
Ok, I thought I would treat you all to some step-by-step photos for de-stemming kale as well as cutting it into thin strips.  Thank you to Cathie for photographing me.
Grab a stalk of freshly washed and dried kale, holding it by the stem with one hand while placing the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves.  Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off.
 See how easily the leaf pulls away from the stem?
Here is how to cut your kale into thin strips.  You can also use this technique for any sort of lettuce and herbs.  Take the kale leaves and lay them on top of one another and then roll them up tightly.  If you’re using curly kale, it’s easier to just tear it apart into small pieces after you de-stem it, as it’s a bit unruly to roll up and cut into thin slices.  
 Take your knife and slice the kale into thin strips until you get to the end.
Aren’t the kale slices so pretty?
Throw your kale slices into a large bowl.
This recipe calls for the juice of one lemon.  Now, if I was to hand squeeze the juice out of a lemon, I would not get ton’s of juice, but when I use my hand juicer below, I get an ample amount of juice. I would highly recommend picking one of these up hand juicers.  You can literally find them anywhere from your local kitchen supple store to your grocery store.
DSC_0968Now lets move onto the dressing.

Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following:

  • juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic - I always use 3 cloves
  • pinch of  fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch (or more to taste) of red pepper flakes

Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.

DSC_0050Pour the dressing over the kale and make sure to massage it well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing.  When I say, “massage” your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.

After your kale is well tossed, add the 2/3 cups of  parmesan cheese and toss again.

Let the kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour.  This salad can be made hours ahead of time or even the day before.I think my body and taste buds are both thanking me today, as this salad is uber healthy and uber delish! This is such a simple salad but sometimes it’s the simplest things that turn out the best.
If you’re a fan of kale or just want to try more recipes that include kale, then check out my other kale salad recipes.  I also have a post on how to make a mean green” juice without a juicer.  Here’s a post I wrote on how to keep kale and other greens fresh. Check them out!
lacinato kale salad

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 4

lacinato kale salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced - To see step-by-step instructions on how to de-stem and thinly sliced kale click here.
  • juice of 1 lemon (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced - I always use 3 large cloves
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese - you can use more or less here or omit it all together, it's up to you. I just throw in a handful and call it a day

Instructions

A note about purchasing lacinato kale: Don't purchase lacinato kale that feels tough and paper-like. It will not breakdown and thus will not absorb the dressing even when you massage it. Kale is best when it’s soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.

Wash, de-stem and thinly slice your kale. To see step-by-step instructions on how to de-stem and thinly sliced kale click here.

Throw your kale slices into a large bowl.

Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following: juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, pinch of fine sea salt, pinch of freshly ground black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes.

Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.

Pour the dressing over the kale and make sure to massage it well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing. When I say, "massage" your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.

After your kale is massaged, add the 2/3 cups of parmesan cheese and toss again.

Let the kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour. This salad can be made hours ahead of time or even the day before.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2012/03/lacinato-kale-salad/
Here’s my video tutorial on how to make this salad.  It’s really helpful as it shows you how to de-stem, wash, massage and thinly slice kale.

kale & pineapple smoothie:

kalepineapple
Happy Birthday Zoe! 

My daughter Zoe turns 12 today!  I honestly can’t believe how fast the years have gone by.  It seems like only yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital, and now she is 12!   Goodness gracious!  For those of you with little ones, hold on to them as they will be middle schoolers before you know it.  As much as I miss those toddler years, I am so loving the tween years.  I love being able to watch “real” TV with Zoe as opposed to kid shows or cartoons. We especially love watching Doctor Who & Sherlock together.   We share the love of reading and read the same science fiction and fantasy books.  Zoe is even beginning to take an interest in fashion, which I love, because I can always use a shopping buddy. Yes, she is growing at leaps and bounds, but she is still and always will be my little girl.

Another awesome thing is that Zoe is a fan of this smoothie.  She is actually starting to like the taste of kale, which is a huge plus in my book because as you all know, I am a huge fan of kale. We are still working on Eli, but I believe he will be there soon enough.

I created this smoothie by accident last week as I was out of mango (which is what I usually throw in with my kale).  I had a few bags of frozen pineapple in the freezer so I threw it in with some kale leaves, coconut water and a banana. I really loved the simplicity of this smoothie (4 ingredients plus some flax seed) and how the pineapple took away the bitter flavor of the kale.  Kale smoothies are a great mid-morning snack or lunch compliment.  It’s a great and tasty way to get some additional fruits and veggies in your diet, plus you get the added nutritional boost of flax seed.  

Kale & pineapple smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 3-4 leaves lacinato kale – stems removed 
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh pineapple - if using fresh pineapple then you will need to add some ice – You could also do 1/2 cup pineapple and 1/2 cup mango
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed
Now how easy was that to create? 
Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!
Zoe, our journey together is only beginning!  
I am so proud and blessed to be your mother.
I am loving the person you are becoming and you continue to amaze me each and every day with all that you do.  
You are truly one of the kindest souls I know. 
You have such love and compassion for family, friends and all creatures great and small.
You care so much for others and always try and put their feelings first.  
You are making the world a better place by the light you shine and radiate.
Your joy and zest for life is intoxicating.
I love you more than words can express!  
You rock! 
 
If you’re a fan of “green” smoothies, check out my other green smoothies.

kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing

kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing

kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressingOne 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

kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing:

Serves 4-6

  • 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.  

ingredients for kale, apple and cranberry salad 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.

toasting almondsZest 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.

Measure out your 1.5 ounces of tofu. I would highly recommend getting one of these portion scales or a scale in general.  I use this all the time when a recipes calls for ounces or grams.  If you don’t have this tool, then 1.5 ounces is roughly about 1/4 cup.
 Put your lemon juice, zest, olive oil, maple syrup and tofu in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.  
blending the tofu, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil
Put your sliced kale into a bowl. 
kale before it's massaged
Pour in 1/2 of the dressing. This next step is a bit strange but very necessary.  Massage the dressing into the kale. Yes, you heard me right, “massage” the dressing into the kale.  You literally want to massage the kale with 2 hands making sure to squeeze the kale as you go along, do this step for about 1-2 minutes.  The volume of the kale should reduce by about 1/3 and the kale will wilt and have a cooked texture.  Keep adding the dressing to taste as you massage it.  
See how much the kale reduced down after it was massaged?
Taste the salad and if you want to add more dressing, then add a bit more.  This part is to taste.  The dressing makes enough for a double batch of this salad, so if you have extra dressing, then you can store it in a sealed container for up to a week.  Just make sure to stir or shake it before you use it next.
massaged kale
Add in your cranberries and let the salad sit for at least an hour to soften.  This salad can be made hours ahead of time (even in the morning).  The longer the kale sits, the softer the kale will become.  Note: If you are going to let this sit for more than an hour, then you will want to put it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.  
When you are ready to serve your salad mix in your toasted nuts and diced apple.
kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing
This salad is filled with raw green goodness and packed with flavor.  I hope this becomes a popular go-to salad in your house and turns those kale haters into kale lovers.

Do you like Kale?  
What is your favorite Kale recipe?

Kale, Pear & Orange Smoothie

DSC_0239

OK, I admit I have been OD’ing it on the spinach lately as I have been having my  kale and spinach smoothie  pretty much every day!  Its hard because its just sooo good, easy to make and transport, and I love the fact that I am getting a boatload of veggies in one serving.  I am not a “sit down” lunch person, so having a lunch that is transportable is key!!  I have heard that having to much spinach is not a “good thing” as it has tons of iron.  With that being said,  I have been researching and trying some other green smoothie recipes that have just kale in it.  

Kale, Pear & Orange Smoothie:

  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 orange or tangerine, peeled
  • 1/2 Bartlett pear or any pear in season
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 2 to 3 kale leaves, preferably lacinato as it’s less bitter tasting
  • 1/2 cup water or coconut water
  • ice cubes to taste
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons flax seed
Just throw the above ingredients into a high powered blender and blend away!
Bottoms up!!

Kale & Spinach Smoothie!

kale and spinach smoothie
kale and spinach smoothie For those of you that want an on-the-go vitamin packed smoothie, here’s my favorite.  It’s my go-to smoothie, and I always feel great after drinking this because I know that I got 2 cups of spinach and 3 kale leaves in one drink.  It’s nice to be able to drink your veggies once in a while, especially when life is busy and you don’t have time to cook them up in the kitchen. Green smoothies are great to have as a mid-morning or post workout snack, on-the-go lunch or breakfast.  I usually need a bit more than a smoothie for lunch, so I usually pair it with a slice of toast topped with almond butter.
DSC_0005

Kale & Spinach Smoothie:

  • 3/4 cup cold filtered water or coconut water
  • 1 cup organic grapes
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh pineapple - if you’re using fresh, then you will want to add some ice cubes till you get to the desired consistency
  • 2 cups of spinach – I really pack it in, so its 2 full cups
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2-3 leaves dinosaur or lacinato kale – rinsed and de-stemed.  Here’s a post on how to de-stem kale.
  • OPTIONAL – 2 tablespoons of flaxseed – it’s optional, but why not add more nutrients to your smoothie!

Here’s the BEST blender in the world, Vitamix!  This seriously has been one of my favorite kitchen investments!  It is pricey, around $500, but you can mix anything in it from smoothies to soups.  I’m totally getting my money’s worth as I am making a smoothie every day for myself and most days for my hubby and kiddos!  The below picture is what the smoothie looks like before its blended.

DSC_0008Blend away and you get this.

DSC_0009It makes about 18 ounces so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you want less. I usually take it on- the-go in my Lifefactory bottle. If your smoothie is too thick, then just add a bit more water to thin it up a bit.

DSC_0022Who knew that drinking your veggies could look and taste so GOOD!

Don’t have kale in the house?  Then make this spinach smoothie. It’s just as good and is one of my kid’s favorite smoothies.

kidssmoothie