Christmas Kale Salad



Christmas Kale Salad

The combination of the orange zest, juice, cinnamon, pecans, and dried cranberries makes this dish quite festive I think. My children eat this salad by the bowlful! They especially enjoy the toasted pecans and kale. If you have a citrus sensitivity then replace the fresh orange juice with organic apple cider and omit the orange zest. Be sure to find the freshest and tenderest kale possible. I like using green curly kale for salads, but other varieties work as well.

Salad:
1 large bunch green curly kale, chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries (fruit-juice sweetened)
1/2 cup pecans, roasted*

Dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon organic Dijon mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt

Place the kale into a large serving bowl. Add the onions and cranberries; set aside. To make the dressing, place all of the ingredients into a small jar, cover, and shake. Pour dressing over the salad and toss together. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving (this softens the kale and melds the flavors). Then add the roasted pecans and serve (if you add the pecans earlier they will soften and not have that delicate crunch).

*Note: To roast pecans, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans into a glass pie plate or other small baking dish. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn! Remove from oven and place onto a plate to cool before adding them to the salad.

Yield: about 6 servings

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