Dinosaur Kale Salad

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Finally – a post about kale. I am admittedly late to the game as the kale explosion has been going on for a few years and this leafy green is everywhere! A few things I have learned about kale recently through much research and experimentation:

*There are three common types of kale : curly (most common), red leaf, and dinosaur (aka lacinato/Tuscan) kale. They can be used interchangeably but in general red leaf is best for chips and dinosaur is best for raw salads (and converting so-called kale haters).

*Massage your dressing in and let the salad sit a few hours (or 24!) in the fridge to soften and flavour everything.

* Kale stays fresh SO much longer than lettuce ! Mine keeps for several weeks in the fridge (just in a bag or de- stemmed, torn, washed, dried and in a salad spinner or jar in the fridge). If you find your whole bunch has wilted, cut 1/2″ off the bottoms and place in a glass on cold water on the counter for a few hours – it will crisp right up! Once it is yellowing at the edges it is time to be sacrificed to the compost gods.

*Green smoothies aren’t worth it. We should only be having raw kale a few times a week to avoid thyroid issues (read more about why here). I would much rather enjoy a few kale salads each week than drink something concocted to mask the texture and flavour of my beloved green.

This salad started off with the common lemon-garlic-oil blend seem all over the blogosphere but has a bit of a twist (basil and tomatoes). Think of deconstructed caesar salad meets bruschetta. The gentle textured dinosaur kale and unique blend of flavours and will win over those previously claiming to “hate kale”.

This recipe is about a balance of flavours. Most of the lemon-garlic-oil kale salads I found looked like garlic salads to me – start off with just half or a whole clove – you can always add more.

Adapted significantly from Marin Mamma Cooks

Bruschetta Dinosaur Kale Salad or Kale Haters Salad

1 bunch of dinosaur kale , destemmed and cut in a chiffonade

1 pinch of salt

1/2-1 clove of garlic

Juice of 1 lemon or 3 tablespoons

3 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon of sugar

Fresh cracked black pepper

Two small handfuls of fresh Parmesan

5-10 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon of fresh chives, minced

5 basil leaves, cut in chiffinade

Small handful of sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or butters breadcrumbs (opt.)

Mince the garlic then add salt and smash into paste with knife or pestle.

Put garlic and salt in jar and add lemon juice, oil, chives, and sugar and shake well

Massage into kale (rub into leaves with your hands until wilted)

Sprinkle pepper and one handful of cheese on salad and toss

Sprinkle the rest of cheese on top of salad and arrange tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with basil and refrigerate 1-24 hours or more before serving. If you are adding nuts or buttered breadcrumbs, add these just before serving.

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Sunshine Salad

Also called ambrosia salad. I recommend you get the “gold” premium sour cream if your grocer carries it. Reminds me of thanksgiving, Christmas, and all other occasions on which deserts can be found posing as side dishes.

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1 can of name brand pineapple tidbits, drained

1/2 bag multi coloured mini marshmallows

1 can of mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut

1 cup of sour cream

 

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate a minimum 4 hours. Great for several days when stored with a tight seal.

Potato Salad for Potato Salad Haters

If you have potato salad haters in your midst, this recipe will convert them. It is very unlike the sometimes too creamy and slimy traditional counterpart.  Also it needs no time to cool in the fridge and is best served warm immediately after assembling. Also great the next day out of the fridge as well, however. I used to hate mayonnaise before I tried this recipe. An odd, simple combination of ingredients but very good, I promise!

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6-8 small or medium potatoes or 4 large ones

6 pieces of bacon, cooked crisp and in bite size pieces

2-3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup of mayo (not miracle whip)

1 teaspoon of paprika

3 tablespoons of grape seed oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425f.

Wash and peel potatoes ( no need if they are new potatoes) and chop into 1″ pieces. Line into one layer on a parchment or tinfoil lined baking sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper (liberal), and paprika.

Bake potatoes until crispy, or about 20-30 minutes, flipping once half way through.

Toss potatoes with cooked, drained bacon pieces, onions, mayo and salt and pepper and serve warm.