12.19.2011

Blog Poll Recipe: Massaged Kale Salad

Since being back in Spokane for Christmas, it has been so nice to relax and enjoy good healthy food with my parents.  Unfortunately, when I got into town on Saturday, I was having terrible stomach pains and felt nauseous all day.  I'm not sure if it was mild food poisoning from something I ate last week, due to the dark beer I had the night before, or a delayed nervous reaction from my last final exam on Friday, but I felt terrible.  So terrible that I wasn't able to make it to my friend April's annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party :(.  That night I was able to "get-down" some dinner that my mom made.  She showed me from the table (as I may have been sicker than I was and contagious) how to make her great bean burgers.  With a bit of guacamole on them, they were spectacular.  I was lucky I was a bit sick or I would have eaten the whole batch of bean burgers hehe!

The next day, Sunday, I felt much better; good enough to go to church.  This was nice to see all of the people I grew up in faith with that I haven't seen in a long while, and to be reminded that I have more than one family in Spokane that care dearly for me.  After church my parents and I went to Round Table Pizza... to have the salad bar of course!  The salad bar there wasn't anything too fancy, but we loaded up on greens and enjoyed what would have been a very expensive salad at another restaurant (without the hassle of telling the server to put the dressing on the side, and hold the meat, and hold the cheese, and hold the croutons, etc.).  Later that evening, my dad and I wanted to treat my mom to making dinner, so my dad got to work on Vegetable Shish-ka-bobs as I made a quick salad for dinner.  

This today's recipe will feature kale.  I got the idea for the salad from this book.  The idea for massaged kale is from this book and so is the idea of how to handle the cashews for the salad dressing.

Massaged Sweet Kale Salad
(sorry for the blurry picture)
Ingredients:
Salad:
1 bunch kale (leaves size of 2-3 fists)
1-2 t olive oil (or less)
1/3 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 c fresh blueberries

Dressing:
1/2 c cashews
3/4 c boiling water
1 c pineapple juice
2 T rice vinegar
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 T balsamic vinegar

Directions:  Boil water and pour into a small bowl with cashews, let sit for 15 minutes.  Strain cashews and add all dressing ingredients into a blender.  Blend the ingredients until smooth.  Refrigerate dressing until time to serve.  Cut the stems from the kale and rip into bite size pieces.  In a small bowl, place kale inside and spray with olive oil (if you have a Misto), or lightly coat your fingers in olive oil.  Then massage the oil into the kale leaves with your fingers, until all leaves have a nice light gloss to them.  Do not use more olive oil than needed, a little goes a long way!  Add the dried cranberries and blueberries to the salad.  When ready to serve, toss a small amount of the dressing to the salad and toss until all leaves are well covered.  Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the salad and serve. 

Amy's notes:  The dressing makes more than is needed for the salad as written, so feel free to double or triple the salad part of the recipe; the dressing will be able to easily stretch for that.  Also, the pineapple juice can be substituted for any other fresh juice you desire.  As I said, I sprayed olive oil with a Misto, which I find to be a great investment for anyone trying to eat healthy or eating a nutritarian diet.  It is sold for around $10, but I received it as a gift from my sister-in-law last Christmas.  It is a great way to use olive oil if it is a necessity, as it is in this recipe, while helping a small amount spread a bit further.

What is your best trick to keep added oil to a minimum in oil-heavy adapted recipes?

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