Colorful Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

I love eating beautiful, living foods. They make me feel beautiful. : )

I have slightly adapted this recipe from the one from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. I served this as an entrée and was plenty full after eating 1 portion.

If you aren’t used to eating kale raw or if the leaves seem a little too “al dente,” use clean hands to massage the dressing into the leaves. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then enjoy. It will help soften them up a bit.

Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:
6 cups kale, stems removed and shredded
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked from scratch)

Dressing ingredients:
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup white beans
2 tablespoons soy sauce
pinch or two of salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The best way to “shred” kale is to remove the stems and lay the leaves out, stacked on top of one another. Roll them all up together, like a fat burrito, and then slice thinly, sort of like a chiffonade cut.

Put all of your salad ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Add all of your dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and run on high until creamy. Stop and taste to see if you need to adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon juice.

Toss everything together in a large bowl (with your hands, if you want a “massaged” kale salad) and serve.

kale salad

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Ranch Salad with Red Potatoes and Smoky Chickpeas

While “window shopping” at a few stores this past weekend, I stumbled upon a copy of Isa Moskowitz’s new cookbook, Isa Does It. It just came out last October, but it was on clearance for $10 at the most unlikely place– T.J. Maxx, a clothing and home goods store. Isa has the best recipes and I believe I own every cookbook she’s ever written.

I’m usually not a huge salad person. I mean, salads are fine, but I’d rather have pasta or burgers or burritoes. This salad, however, from Isa’s new book, is something I’ll make again and again. You know those meals that are so good you make that sort of groaning, moaning sound as you breathe out? This is the only salad that has ever gotten that reaction out of me. Actually, it’s mostly the Avocado Ranch Dressing. Put it on everything. No. Really.

The fresh dill plays a huge roll in making this dressing so amazing. If you even try to use dried, in the (slightly altered) words of Jillian Michaels, I will come through your computer screen, break it, and beat your *** with it!

salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks and steamed for 10 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked from scratch)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup cucumber, sliced into thin half-moons
12 oz romaine lettuce
handful of arugula (optional – I used mixed greens)

While you steam the potatoes, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes, until they start to brown. Shake them around every now and then so they don’t stick. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and liquid smoke. Set aside.

Slice your veggies and prep the lettuce, then remove the potatoes from the steamer when they’re done and immediately run them under cold water in a strainer. Set aside.

Prepare the dressing by combining all of the following ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until creamy:

2 cloves garlic
1 ripe avocado
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Fill you bowls with the lettuce, chickpeas, cucumbers, and onions and toss with a some of the dressing. If you plan on eating the entire batch in one sitting, you can toss everything together in a huge bowl and let everyone serve themselves.

Now, pray that you weren’t a hog and have some dressing left over and spread that goodness on sandwiches, grilled veggies, potato salad, or whatever your heart desires!

Middle Eastern Salad

I love looking at beautiful food.  Bright colors and thoughtful plating are always appreciated.  I also enjoy making food with people I love, like my mother and sister.  My sister, who normally exists on things like chips, soda, pizza, and chicken nuggets, says that I can make anything healthy look good.  She’ll hesitate to try some of the stuff I make, but when she sees me eating, it makes her want to try it.

This past weekend we made a beautiful salad based on a recipe from an episode of The Barefoot Contessa.  If I had a garden, I would make this all the time.  Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, parsley, and mint.  Fresh-squeezed lemon juice brightens everything up and chickpeas add protein.  Next time I make this, I’ll probably add cooked bulgar as well, to bulk things up a bit.

When you chop the herbs and veggies, you can chop them as fine or as coarse as you want. I tend to leave the tomatoes and cucumbers a bit larger and chop the herbs more finely, but you don’t really want to mince them.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
10 green onions, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 European cucumber (the kind that come wrapped in plastic), chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/5 cups cooked from scratch)
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced

Put everything into a big bowl and toss together.  Serve with toasted pita points.  To make this into a more substantial meal, serve with homemade falafel!