Kale – Not Just Frilly Salad Bar Fun

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I participate in a local Community Supported Agriculture group and pick up a share of fresh organic produce every other week. In case you haven’t heard of a CSA, let me briefly explain. When you join the group, you agree to pay for a box of locally sourced fruits and vegetables on a regular schedule. With the group buying power, they can negotiate a pretty good deal with the local farmers which is good for us but also for the farmers who can count on the guaranteed regular business.

I hemmed and hawwed on my decision and now that I’ve done it for a while, I can’t believe it took me so long to do it. I love the surprise with each pick up and get excited to try new things. I’d never had a persimmon, a sugar beet, collard greens, or kale before. Seriously. I’d seen that frilly stuff on salad bars as decoration but never thought people actually ate it. Kinda like the sprig of parsley decorating a plate. šŸ˜‰

I practically hit the floor when I got an email from them a few weeks ago about a special Thanksgiving Feast offer for our pre-holiday pickup. It was an add on box to our regular fruits and veggies. In the box was everything you needed for a complete, homemade Thanksgiving meal. Every.last.thing. Free range eggs, homemade cheddar, pork sausage, applewood smoked bacon, yeast, flour, cornmeal. I could go on and on. OHHHHHH! and cream. Real cream that is so thick you could almost butter your bread with it. Like straight from an organic cow.

So being the foodie that I am, you know how the story ended up. My fridge is crammed full of yummy goodness. I froze most of the cream and all of the cheese since The Kid can’t partake and I sure don’t need to gnaw and sip my way through the week. I also purchased dairy free versions to cook with for our holiday dinner. I’ve beenĀ putting a tablespoon of cream in my coffee each morning. Gawd, I could seriously just swig from the jug.

I made the cornbread on Sunday and it’s happily drying out now for stuffing. I also made my famous cranberries. Today I may try my hand at the non-dairy parkerhouse rolls. As usual, I’m playing around with the recipes a bit. I’m not sure I ever follow a recipe exactly anymore. I made a great salad that I’ve been eating for lunch this week. It’s tangy and spicy and tasted great. What I like best about it is that it doesn’t wilt quickly. I keep it in a big plastic container in the fridge with the dressing on top. When I’m ready for lunch, I just shake the container to mix it up and serve away.

Apple-Kale-SaladApple Kale Salad

  • 1 head fresh kale
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tear the kale and romaine into bite sized pieces and wash thoroughly. Give them a spin in a salad spinner or pat them dry. Slice the carrot into coins andĀ the red pepper into strips. Toss the veggies in a big bowl to mix. In a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, mix the cider, vinegar, oil and mustard. Pop the lid on and shake until blended. Salt and pepper the salad to taste and serve with the dressing.

I used about a tablespoon of dressing per 2 cup serving of salad which came to approximately 50 calories. Everyone is different so I would serve the dressing on the side and just let everyone pour their own amount over top. I have dressing leftover to use for another batch of salad.

Get creative with the salad to fit the occasion. Toss in dried cranberries, apple or pear slices, or maybe a handful of walnuts and bleu cheese crumbles. It couldn’t be much easier than that to throw together and is full of color and vitamins. I definitely recommend checking out a CSA if you have one operating near you.

Have you ever tried kale or did you think it was just for decoration? What are your favorite add in ingredients for a salad?

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