It is beginning to look a lot like spring, which is why I thought it was important to start eating more greens! I really wanted to make a hearty but light salad, so I decided to create this Zesty Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts. It is a perfect way to sneak extra greens in, with some added sweetness of apples and cranberries. The dressing is light, zesty and dosed with garlic, my favourite! I first invented this salad a month ago for a book club potluck. It was super easy to throw together and the crowd loved it. So much so, that they asked ‘when are you going to put it on the blog?!’. Point taken!
I don’t know about you but I love this time of year. It a time of complete awakening. I am going to comment on this a little later on the blog, but I also find it a time to put balance into action. Sometimes in the winter months, I find that I get caught up in doing lots of activities to fill my time. This winter alone, I worked three jobs and tried to keep up with my blog. I am a bridesmaid in two weddings and three of my friends just had babies, so I was also spending a lot of my time traveling to the mainland help plan and visit the little ones. Although my life is filled with amazing things, it was adding up fast.
I had this moment last week where I decided I needed to create more balance. So I took out a big calendar for the entire year and mapped things out. I used my action planner and colour coded all my vacations, times of the month where work would be especially busy, my goals, really everything. It felt so good to get everything down on paper. Secondly, I made sure I didn’t have more than one big thing going on at once (apart from things out of my control). That means I won’t plan a blog challenge during a wedding month, or take two courses at once. Balance!
The Zesty Kale Salad Recipe
This zesty kale salad also reminds me to stay balanced. One way I’ve really started to balance my life in the kitchen is by dedicating one weekend day to grocery shopping, washing and prepping produce and creating one or two fun recipes to eat during the week. I love the zesty kale salad because you can really throw whatever you have in with the kale. This recipe has cranberries, apples, carrot and avocado. I could also see it pairing really nicely with other nuts, pears, peppers or even legumes. Play around and let me know what you think!
One of the main kitchen methods that I use to prep my kale is massaging it. You might have seen ways to massage with dressing, but I like to massage it with just the smallest sprinkle of salt. Make sure your kale is washed and dried before starting. Then, chop it into bite size pieces and remove the stalks. Then using your hand muscles, go to town!
You can see that the kale will literally shrink over time. You can almost squeeze water out of it by the end. It is a great tip I learned from a chef here in Victoria: Cosmo Meens. He explains this as osmosis, the water is getting pulled out by the salt. Consequently, the kale is left soft, fluffy and totally edible. Not the tough fibrous texture you think it would be when it’s in it’s raw form!
Let me know what you think of the zesty kale salad recipe! I would be curious to see your variations on it!
- 1 medium bunch kale
- 1 cup (115 g) grated carrot
- 1 medium apple, diced (150 g)
- ½ cup walnuts, chipped (60 g)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries (35 g)
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or chopped fine
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
- Chop kale into bite size pieces with knife, discarding stalks
- Massage kale with a small sprinkle of salt, until it wilts to a ⅓ of the size
- Add chopped apple, grated carrots and dried cranberries to kale and mix well
- Prepare dressing by placing all ingredients in a small bowl and stirring well (for extra smooth, you can put in small food processor or blender)
- Pour half of the dressing on the salad and toss
- Serve with a quarter of an avocado, sliced, a sprinkle of walnuts on the top and extra dressing on the side (for those who like it more saucy!)
Cheers to staying balanced!