My absolutely favorite kale salad

I was initially going to title this post "The Best Kale Salad Ever", except it may not be the best. It is quick, easy and tasty, so it is my favorite. I kind of sort of follow recipes. I often swap things or substitute things depending on food restrictions and what is in my kitchen. So, if you don't have something, then feel free to substitute it. The one thing you probably shouldn't swap is the kale. 

I have been trying to eat healthy, which means eating a lot of vegetables. I'll talk a bit more about my current food plan in a later post, but I'm supposed to eat nine cups of vegetables a day. That's a lot of vegetables! Sometimes I need something that I can make quickly, which is why I eat this salad. I usually pair it with some soup. Or a piece of avocado toast.

2 cups of kale
1 Tablespoon crushed or chopped pecans (or any other nut)
1 Tablespoon dried fruit 

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon miel de cacao
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
dash of salt and pepper 

This is my recipe for a single serving size because I live alone! Starting with the kale please make sure you have cut the leafy green off of the stem. Even if you buy the bag of pre-cut from Trader Joes (no judgement here!) make sure you pick through and chop off the larger stem pieces. It makes a difference.  Make sure your kale is clean and chopped or torn into mouth sized bites. Next put your kale in the bowl and drizzle some olive oil over it. Now get in there with your hands and massage that kale. Yup. It will go from hard and bright green to soft and a deeper green. Do that for a minute or so. Don't skip that step! Next chop up some nuts for your salad. I prefer pecans but any nut will do. Then chop up some dried fruit. I usually put in a couple of dried apricots, but whatever you have on hand will work.

The dressing is simple, yet complex because of the ingredients. I bought some miel de cacao when I was in Ecuador. It's kind of like a mix of a molasses and balsamic reduction as far as taste. If you don't feel like hunting down some miel de cacao then I would recommend pomegranate molasses (I first had this on a salad when I lived in Iraq), which you can find at a middle eastern food market. You can also find it on amazon, but I would highly recommend finding a middle eastern market and exploring it. If you have neither of these things, then add a dash of honey. If you do use honey I'd suggest only putting in a little bit for sweetness. The miel de cacao and pomegranate molasses are only semi-sweet. They have a little bit of bitterness that balance out the sweet.   Mix together oil, whatever you have on hand if you don't feel like hunting down weird ingredients, balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. When I read salad dressing recipes I used to always skip the salt and pepper, but don't do that. It helps bring out the flavors in the dressing. If you want to make a larger batch of dressing the ratio would be 2:1:1. Two parts oil, one part miel de cacao and one part balsamic.

Now eat!

I mentioned avocado toast and yes, I eat trendy toast. If I'm not already eating a salad, I'll drizzle some truffle oil on arugula and add that to my avocado toast. Mmmmm.

What are your favorite vegi packed recipes?


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