Friday, January 20, 2012

recipe: kale salad with citrus vinaigrette...

Happy Friday my sweet friends! Are you ready for the weekend? I'm kind of excited right now- we might get some rain today...mmMMmm rain. Although I love a sun-shiny day as much as the next person, I also love those stormy cold, grey rain days. Which is what I think we might have today. *fingers crossed*

That being said, let's give it up for kale!!! ....What? No? You don't like kale?

Hmm...let's see if I can change that.

When I first was introduced to kale...I was a wee Christina, going out to dinner with my family. I remember my first encounter clearly- there it was...sitting under a little white cup of ketchup on my plate of chicken strips. When I asked what on earth it was, I was told it was "a garnish". Ahh super-duper-high-on-the-powerfood-spectrum...are used and mostly familiarized as a garnish.

Fast forward to about a year ago. I was hanging out at a potluck lunch (or was it dinner?...who cares...a potluck something) when one friend brought a big bowl of "garnish" salad. I couldn't believe my eyes. Sure, I've read all about how good for you kale is...and I'm trying to get myself to eat more and more of these "good for you" things...Sure I've bought it a few times from my local health food store (organically grown of course). I've used it in soups and stir-frys. I've even tossed it in olive oil and baked it into chips in my attempt to get myself to eat more of the healthy green non-garnish veggie (oh if you haven't done that, PLEASE DO- it's amazing).

But when I saw it...being served once more in it's raw, very garnish-like state...I was so obsessively intrigued that I ran over to the bowl and scooped a serving for myself to try.

...You know what? It was DELICIOUS. Absolutely amazingly yummy. And so my new love for kale began.

So it only makes sense that I offer a salad recipe for you all to try at home. I was so inspired by this friend's salad that I couldn't wait to get home and make my own version for the hubbie and I to eat regularly. It's funny, this once scary and totally unappealing looking vegetable is now, believe it or not, one of my favorites.  To be even more honest- all the cooking I was doing to it all this time- doesn't compare to how yummy it is in it's raw form, in this salad.

Kale is high in vitamins K, A, and C and also packs a bit of fiber in it's leaves as well. So essentially, what's not to like?

Oh, you don't think you like the way it tastes? You don't think you'll like the texture? Challenge accepted.

Now go to your market and pick up a bunch of organic kale...there's a few different types out there. Let's give this a try.

Kale Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Serves 2 as a dinner course, or 4 as a lunch or salad course

For the citrus vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh organic orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup or honey
  • 2 ounces good extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Combine the juices, mustard, and agave (or honey) in a bowl.

2. Whisking continuously, slowly add the olive oil until amount has been incorporated and you've reached an emulsion (everything is 100% combined).

3. Add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch organic kale, washed well, dried and removed from stems
  • 2 organic oranges, supremed (shown in picture below)
  • 1/4 cup freshly toasted sliced organic almonds

1. After your kale has been washed vigorously, dried, and de-stemmed, tear into a bowl (or place on a cutting board and chop) into bite sized pieces.

2. Next, supreme your oranges:
-Take one orange at a time.
-Cut the bottom and top off of orange, exposing the flesh. 
-Next following the shape of the orange, cut from top-down, removing all peel and white pith.
-Holding the naked orange in your hand, carefully cut each segment out, by inserting knife into orange between the membrane (white line) on each side of segment.
-Squeeze remaining orange after all segments have been discarded so you can use that juice! 
-Carefully add segments into kale salad.

3. Now, add your freshly toasted (and cooled) sliced organic almonds.

4. Lastly, drizzle some of the vinaigrette over your salad. You will not use all of the dressing. Go ahead and add remaining dressing to an air-tight container and save in fridge for your next salad! Will keep in fridge for up to one week! Shake before using again :)

5. Toss gently, plate, and enjoy!

I kid not, I made this for my hubbie one night for dinner...and only this salad. We were both full! So, needless to say- it'll leave you happily (and healthily) full! Of course, with a non-salad-plate-sized portion!

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