Kale Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Currants & Pine Nuts

DSC_0385

I make a lot of dishes with kale (just look through my recipes archives!). It is an incredibly versatile vegetable that is packed with vitamins A, C, K, and calcium. Kale a popular staple at any farmer’s market and is also amazingly easy to grow your own.

Often people will shy away from using kale leaves in traditional salads because they can sometimes be a bit tough and/or bitter. However, marinating kale or massaging it with oil can help soften the leaves while adding flavour. If you don’t think you are quite yet ready to eat a kale salad, try using it in a salad mix with other leafy greens like Romaine lettuce.

This kale salad with shaved Parmesan, currants, and toasted pine nuts is fresh and zesty with just the right amount of sweetness. Feel free to experiment with this recipe using different types of fresh of dried fruit and nuts or seeds.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Kale Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Currants & Pine Nuts

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients:

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp liquid honey

4 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1 bunch Tuscan kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise

2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted (could use other nuts that you have on hand)

2 tbsp dried currants (or chopped raisins)

Parmesan cheese shavings

Directions:

  1. Whisk balsamic vinegar, honey, oil, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Add kale, currants, and pine nuts; toss to coat. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese shavings over salad and serve.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Recipe adapted from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kale-Salad-with-Pinenuts-Currants-and-Parmesan-351274

Advertisements

Kale, Artichoke and Tomato Salad

DSC_0394

This salad is light, fresh, and packed with nutrients. I made this kale, artichoke and tomato salad as a side, but you could easily add a protein source like chickpeas and turn it into a delicious meal. This recipe would also compliment a grain salad well.

If you purchase kale but find that it goes limp before you have a chance to use it, submerge it in water for about a day to rehydrate it. (Re-hydration time may vary)

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Kale, Artichoke and Tomato Salad

Makes 4 servings (as a side)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp black pepper

5 cups stemmed kale, thinly sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup artichoke hearts, thinly sliced

1/4 cup light feta cheese

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, and black pepper.
  2. In a large bowel combine kale, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese.
  3. Drizzle kale with dressing and toss to coat.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/mediterranean_kale_salad.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dinnerclub_26Jul2013

_______________________________________________________________________

Light Caesar Salad with Whole Wheat Croutons

DSC_0300

The traditional Caesar salad usually gets a thumbs down from a nutrition perspective. A 1 cup serving of an original recipe Caesar can provide around 180 calories with about 75% of these calories coming from fat (~ 15 grams of fat per 1 cup). If you think of the typical restaurant salad serving size, it’s easy to see how this dish might not be the best choice. Fortunately for fans of this salad there are ways to bump up the nutrient density of the dish, while reducing the calories.

The key to making a lighter Caesar salad is to maximize the fresh garlicky and lemon flavours while decreasing the total amount of fat. It also doesn’t hurt to swap out white bread croutons for whole wheat ones and to add extra nutrients in the form of more vegetables.

To make this salad I used 1 head of Romaine lettuce and added a cup of mixed chopped vegetables (broccoli, peppers, carrots). I then followed a very simple recipe to make my own whole wheat croutons using low sodium whole wheat bread (once you have had them fresh out of the oven you will never buy packaged croutons again). I then used a Caesar dressing recipe I found on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution website. The dressing was very flavourful, so make sure you add only as much as you need to just coat the lettuce.

* Interesting fact about the Caesar salad: It originated in Tijuana, Mexico, and it’s creation is mainly attributed to Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Light Caesar Salad with Whole Wheat Croutons

Serves 8-10 as a side.

Ingredients:

Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped

1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

* 1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped (if you are okay with a less traditional Caesar salad)

Croutons:

3 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried herbs, such as thyme, rosemary or oregano
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Dressing:

1/3 cup low fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of ½ lemon
1/8 tsp salt
Ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Salad

  1. Mix together lettuce, Parmesan cheese, chopped vegetables, and dressing. Top with croutons.

Croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix bread cubes, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl and then spread out in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake, tossing every few minutes, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes
  4. Allow to cool.

Dressing

  1. Whisk the yogurt, olive oil, grated Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and lemon juice, together in a serving bowl.
  2. Season with the salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/recipes/CAESAR_ON_THE_LIGHTER_SIDE

________________________________________________________________________________________