{surprisingly} delicious kale and brussels sprouts salad

it’s been a big challenge to incorporate the now famous “super” green aka KALE into our diet. i’ve made the chips (not as easy as they make it sound-they burn  so easily), used it in stews and soups (not a bad option), and (rather reluctantly) in my smoothies. after watching the inspiring and miraculous story of Dr. Terry Wahls {who used diet to cure her MS-check it out: video} my husband asked if we could have some kale (surprise) for dinner! being quite the dutiful wife (haha), i had to come up with a tasty recipe using raw kale. in doing the research, i came across several cooked recipes using kale with brussels sprouts.  i  decided to combine the two greens in a raw salad by shredding (or thinly slicing) them as finely as possible-which is the only hard thing about this recipe, by the way. the resulting {seriously delicious and addictive} salad has become  such a hit with family and friends that i’m beginning to feel it in my right hand (mandolin is recommended for the brussels sprouts)! i now only offer to share the recipe, which follows…

ingredients for about 4 servings:

  • 1 large bunch (about 12-14 stalks) organic lacinato kale, deveined-cut as thinly (shredded) as possible
  • 12-14 brussels sprouts-cut in half, and thinly sliced (easiest using a mandolin) 
  • chopped walnuts (1/4 cup or so)
  • good quality parmesan cheese (shaved regiano is best) to taste (or substitute with a ripe chopped avocado-or add both)
Shallot vinaigrette: 
  • 1/4 of a shallot very finely minced 
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste 
  • juice of 1/2-1 lemon, freshly squeezed 
  • 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
whisk together until thickened, pour dressing over salad & mix about 10-15 minutes before serving.
 
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spicy kale & lentil salad

the first thought that came to my mind when i woke up yesterday was that we hadn’t had a any kale in a (long) time. for a while there we’d been eating kale (ever since i’d discovered all the nutritional benefits) in every possible way imaginable-and then somehow i stopped buying it without really noticing, and come to think of it, no one was exactly complaining! even though my kale & brussels sprouts salad is always a big hit with the family, it was time to come up with a new kale {salad} recipe- one that included some protein- i know how well kale works with lentils and other grains from cooking (and eating) my vegetarian lentil soup {joan’s soup}, so i decided to cook some black (beluga) lentils and start building the salad from there. the resulting dish was so delicious it will be a new staple at our house (until we forget to  eat our kale again)!

ingredients for 4-6 servings:
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, deveined if necessary, thinly shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, minced (very finely cubed)
  • 1 cup small black lentils, cooked in lightly salted water until tender
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small onion, finely , minced
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (spicy)
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a lime, juiced (1-2 tsp juice)
  • lettuce cups (organic butter lettuce, separated)

1. heat 1 tbs olive oil in a skillet, add garlic, bell pepper, and onion with a touch of sea salt, and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes on high.

2. add cumin and cayenne pepper, stir fry for another minute or two, then add the thinly sliced kale and stir fry quickly just until the kale wilts (1-2 minutes), remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

3. in a bowl, combine the kale mixture with the (room temperature) cooked lentils, adjust the sea salt, add 1 tbs olive oil and 1-2 tsp lime juice. combine well, and allow the salad to sit for about 10 minutes prior to serving either in lettuce cups or by itself.

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kale salad with roasted beets & tomatoes, crispy garbanzo beans, and creamy avocado-coconut-dill dressing

spring is my favorite time to visit the farmers market-some of the best local produce is in season, and it’s almost hard to decide what to buy. yesterday i picked up the most amazing tender organic kale, purple beans, beets, and sweet organic berries my daughter exclaimed were the best she’d ever had! a few days back i’d had a lovely kale salad with roasted tomatoes and creamy dressing (made with sour cream and parmesan cheese) in a sample size at a fundraising event-i wanted more!  i had to to make the salad-my own way. although it was delicious, i decided to add roasted beets and green beans, and make a “lighter” non dairy dressing with the ripe avocado and fresh dill i had available- so i pulled out the blender, and in went the following ingredients (scroll down):

  • avocado-coconut-dill dressing:
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small lemon (freshly squeezed juice)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • small sliver of shallot (optional, but good)
  • a few (4-5) sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup good quality coconut milk
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for spicy)
  • blend it all together

for the salad:

  • 1 small bunch tender young organic kale (you could substitute bib or romaine lettuce-maybe baby spinach or rocket)
  • 1 cup tender green beans (quickly boiled/steamed for a minute or 2)
  • 2 organic roma tomatoes
  • 2-3 small fresh organic beets
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (cumin) roasted garbanzo beans-*see recipe below
  • 1-2 tsps ground cumin

1. before you put the salad together you will need to roast the tomatoes, beets, and garbanzo beans in the oven. here is the recipe for the *cumin roasted garbanzo beans.

2. slice the roma tomatoes and  beets in about 1/2 inch slices, lay them on a sheet pan, sprinkle with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, a touch of cumin, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until they look like this:
3. use fresh “baby” kale, or choose the smaller more tender kale leaves, and devein (remove the hard veiny parts) if necessary. toss the kale and green beans (my purple beans became green as soon as they  felt the heat) with the dressing, then top with roasted vegetables and garbanzo beans. drizzle with a little more dressing. 
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