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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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

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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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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