2/26/2013

Sesame Orange Kale Salad




A couple of weeks ago, Bret and I were stumped for dinner plans.  A couple of times recently we have found ourselves wandering around HEB looking for the evening's dinner and not really sure where to go. This happens when we don't want to fall back on a greasy appetizer (which happens often enough already), pizza, or HEB sushi (because we just had it the night before).

That one time we happened upon the pre-packaged deli area.  There were a variety of veggie and noodle or potato salads that looked intriguing.  One stood out to us though;  the Central Market (HEB) Kale Cranberry Pepita Salad.


Kale is scary.  It is.  It's bright green (in color and flavor), is kind of tough, and has a big thick stem on each leaf.  Over the past year, I have introduced it to my life in the form of green smoothies occasionally because it is a super super food, but have not ventured much past the blended version.  A number of healthy living blogs have touted good salad recipes, but I guess I needed someone else to prepare it for me before setting out a my own.

On top of the new-ness of kale, in general, I am not a big salad person.  Once and a while I get on kicks of it, and I will usually eat one that is set in front of me, but we just do not eat them at home very often.  Well, let's just say that this salad may have changed things a bit.  I attempted my own version of with excellent success, and here is my version of the Cat HEB Kale Salad.

 

Sesame Orange Kale Salad





Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • 1/3 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cherries (Craisins would work well here too)
  • Sesame Orange Dressing
    • 3 Tbsp Rice or Rice Wine Vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp Oil (Canola or Olive)
    • 1 Tbsp Crystallized Ginger Diced
    • 1 Tbsp Orange Juice Concentrate
    • 1 - 2 Tbsp Shallots Diced
    • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
    • Salt, Pepper and Sweetener of Choice to taste. 


Instructions:
  • Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and let sit while the remaining components are prepped.
  • Begin toasting your slivered almonds in a saute pan on medium.  Keep an eye on them and toss occasionally until most are starting to brown, abut 8 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.  
  • While the almonds are toasting, rinse the kale and partly de-stem and chop the leaves into thin strips.  
  • In a large mixing bowl, massage dressing into chopped kale for about 3-5 minutes.  This will allow the dressing to thoroughly coat and soften the kale a bit.
  • Mix toasted almond slivers, dried cherries and pepitas into dressed kale.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.  


Notes:

Kale can be very chewy, so keep the pieces thin to keep your jaw happy!


Whole Leaf:  This is what you start with.

De-stemmed.  Be sure to keep the small leaves that you rip off from the bottom.

A little stem near the top (like this) won't hurt you.  Keep it in!

Same leaf from above, chopped and ready for dressing.


My first attempt at the dressing did not have any extra sweetener and it was good, but not as sweet as the HEB version.  It would be very simple to add a teaspoon of sugar, a few packets of Splenda or a squirt of honey or maple syrup to bring up the sweetness.


Crystallized ginger and shallots for some flavor.

Kale creepin' on the dressing.  It must know how yummy it is all together.


This salad tastes just as fresh the next day, so feel free to make it early for a fast dinner or dish to pass.


Toastin'
 
To get the idea of how much tasty extras are involved. 
The nuts, seeds and berries really make this dish complete.
  
Not for cats though.  Sorry Pumpkin!



What's your favorite salad topper? 

5 comments:

  1. I am going to try that! We also had kale this week. I made a butternut kale lasagne. It was actually in this art months Cooking Light issue (I also subscribe)! It was really good and healthier than a previous version I had made that had a much more fatty sauce. The one change I would make, however, is to par-boil the noodles ahead of time. The recipe had you layer the noodles raw and ours didn't cook as much as they should have. Otherwise, we both thought is was great!

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    1. I saw that recipe! Good to know about the noodles too. Might need to try it.

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  2. Mmmm.. looks so delicious and nutritious. I need more awesome kale recipes in my life. Thank you! =)

    -- Christine @ xtinedanielle.wordpress.com

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  3. jeannette kite8/26/14, 12:21 PM

    I made the salad last night for dinner...it is so delicious and very crisp when I had it again today for lunch! I think this may be one of the best salads I've ever made:)

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    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks! This is still one of our favorites too, and I make it at least once a month. Glad you liked it :)

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