Kale and Pomegranate Salad with Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

I’m usually one of those people who struggles to actually like eating salad. Or maybe it’s not that I don’t like salad, it’s just that I would rather be eating something else. In order to overcome this slight issue, I am constantly looking for salads that are easy, but also different and exciting. This salad is the  perfect example.

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I love kale, but it can be a little hard to base a whole salad on it, because it’s kind of on the bitter side. This sweeter dressing, along with the added fruit, balance out the bitterness and it’s perfect. This salad would be amazing for a festive meal, but it’s also a good one if you just want to switch up your daily lunch routine. Also, the pecan parmesan is kind of brilliant if you’re vegan, but it’s a yummy, salty, extra even if you’re not.

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Kale and Pomegranate Salad with Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette 

Serves 4 to 6

Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook 

For the Pecan Parmesan:

1/2 cup Pecans, toasted

1 1/2 tsp Nutritional Yeast

2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

For the Dressing:

3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tbsp + 1 tsp Lemon Juice

2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce

1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger, peeled & minced

To Assemble:

1 bunch Kale, destemmed & leaves torn to bite size pieces

1 Apple, Cored & finely chopped

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 cup Pomegranate Arils (about 1/2 a pomegranate)

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine the toasted pecans, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt and work into a crumble. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl or dressing container, whisk (or shake the container) the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, olive oil, applesauce, and ginger until well combined.

4. Place the kale, chopped apples, dried cranberries, and pomegranate arils in a large salad bowl and top with dressing. Alternatively, you can portion out the ingredients to make smaller salads. Sprinkle pecan parmesan over salad before serving.

African Peanut Stew

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If you know me well, or if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that there are few things I love more than a good, hearty soup. Especially when it’s super easy to make, freezes well, is healthy, and has lovely, unique flavours. I actually have to force myself to make foods besides soup, because I remember that my freezer is still full from the last 3 times I made it. But seriously, hand me a big bowl of soup and a chunk of bread, and I’ll be the happiest person.

So it will come as no surprise that this peanut stew is one of the first things I chose to make from the OSG Cookbook. I’ve loved Angela’s blog for years now, and her cookbook does not disappoint. I might just have a few more things to share from it in the coming weeks…

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This delicious stew is insanely simple, doesn’t take forever to cook, and is so, so yummy. Perfect served with some thick, crusty bread on a cold winter day.

African Peanut Stew 

Serves 6 

Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook 

1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium Sweet Onion, diced

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 medium Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 (28 oz/793 g) can diced tomatoes, with their juices

Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter

4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth

1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder

1 (15 oz/425 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked Chickpeas

2 handfuls Baby Spinach or destemmed, torn Kale Leaves

Fresh Cilantro, for serving

Roasted Peanuts, for serving

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, sweet potato, and tomatoes with their juices. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring as needed. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and 1 cup of the broth until no clumps remain. Pour into the saucepan with the vegetables, along with the remaining 3 cups of broth, and the chill powder. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender.

3. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach/kale and cook until the greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with cilantro and roasted peanuts.

Una’s Kale Caesar Salad

If you live in Calgary, chances are you’ve been to Una. For those of you who don’t, its an amazing restaurant on a trendy street selling mostly thin-crust, California-style pizzas. It’s one of those places where you can’t make reservations, and if you’d like to get a table anywhere around dinner time between Wednesday and Saturday, you’re going to expect a wait. But the wait will be worth it. Because not only are their pizzas seriously to die for, but they’ve also got amazing appetizers/salads/everything else. In particular, they have managed to make a killer Kale Caesar Salad – something that is great in theory, but in my experience, is hard to do well.

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I picked up a cookbook from my favourite doughnut shop, Jelly Modern, a few months ago that features recipes from some of Calgary’s best restaurants – it’s called Calgary Cooks. In it, I found the recipe for Una’s Kale Caesar Salad. I made it. And it was actually just as good as it is in the restaurant. And it was really simple to make! The dressing is the star of the show here, but I think that the thinly sliced kale really helps, and I mean, the toppings certainly don’t hurt it. This is definitely going to be a recipe that I make fairly often.

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Una’s Kale Caesar Salad 

Adapted from: Calgary Cooks

Serves 4

Caesar Dressing

1 clove Garlic

4 Anchovy Fillets

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1. Throw garlic, anchovies, dijon mustard, and lemon juice and zest into a small food processor or blender, puree until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until mixture is smooth.

Kale Salad

2 tbsp Olive Oil, plus more, if needed

4 thin slices Prosciutto, julienned

1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Sea Salt & Black Pepper

2 bunches Kale, leaves only, julienned

1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated

2 soft boiled Eggs, peeled & halved

1. Line a plate with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add strips of prosciutto and pan-fry until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to towel-lined plate and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to low. Add panko crumbs to pan, adding a little more oil if required, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Scrape the panko into a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

3. Place kale in a large bowl, pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, either transfer the kale to smaller serving bowls, or if you would rather serve from a big bowl, leave it in there. Top kale with pecorino romano, toasted panko, and crispy prosciutto. Serve with the boiled eggs.

Kale, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Quiche

My dad was in town last week and I decided to bring over some supper to share with him. He is vegetarian, and I’d been meaning to make quiche for a while now. I started thinking about different vegetable combinations (the possibilities are pretty much endless!) and here is what I came up with.

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When I brought this over, my dad told me that quiche was “girl food,” but he quickly changed his mind after trying it, even calling my step mom to tell her what she was missing out on. What do you think? Is quiche “girl food”? I guess typically men tend to be more “meat & potatoes” types, so does that make “girl food” anything that varies from this? I’m a little curious now. Perceptions are a funny thing, friends.

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I really like the different textures that the squash and goat cheese bring to this, and the colours are very pretty as well. I love how easily quiche comes together, and even though this recipe has quite a few steps, especially if you make your own pie dough, it is insanely simple to make and doesn’t take too long.

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This is my favourite recipe for any quiche, and like I said before, there are SO MANY possibilities. I should make quiche more often.

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Kale, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Quiche:

Makes One Quiche 

Adapted from Oil and Blue 

1 Recipe for Pie Crust (or store-bought) *

1 Butternut Squash – peeled, seeded, quartered, and sliced cross-wise 1/4 inch thick

1 bunch Kale (I used Tuscan Kale), chopped

Olive Oil

1 small Yellow Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

5 Eggs

1/2 cup 2% Milk

1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

1/2 cup Cheddar or Swiss Cheese, grated

1/3 cup Goat Cheese, crumbled

1.  Preheat oven to 425. Place the squash slices in a bowl and toss with just enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt & pepper. Spread the slices on a baking sheet and roast until tender and beginning to brown—about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven heat to 375.

2. Meanwhile, steam the kale until tender (but not soggy).

3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is very tender and beginning to caramelize (10 or 15 minutes). Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the steamed kale and stir to combine. Set aside.

4. Whisk the eggs and milk in a small bowl and then add in red pepper flakes and salt & pepper, set aside.

5. To put together the quiche, scatter half of your cheddar or swiss over the bottom of your pie crust. Then, arrange as much butternut squash as you can fit in one layer. Spread the kale/onion mixture over this. Crumble to goat cheese over all. Then, pour the egg mixture over everything. Lastly, top with the remaining cheddar or swiss.

6. Bake in preheated oven (375) for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface is lightly golden and eggs are set. Slice and serve hot.

* I used this recipe for my pie crust, which I love. It gave me enough dough for at least 1 more pie crust, so I rolled it into a ball, wrapped it in saran wrap, and put it in the freezer to use on a rainy day (yay!) I did blind-bake the crust before putting together the quiche. See this link for instructions on that.

Crispy Kale Chips

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Remember that time when I wrote about Slow Roasted Tomatoes and I told you about how I ate them with Kale Chips but then I never posted my recipe? Well, hear ya go!

Kale is really popular right now, and for good reason. It is the best. It is very tasty, and very full of all kinds of nutrients. I eat kale in salads, stir fry, and smoothies. But my favourite way to eat kale is in the form of chips. I try to make them at least once a week.

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These guys really do satisfy any salt cravings that I have, and I could seriously eat an entire bunch of kale in one sitting in this form (in fact, I sometimes do…) They are cooked at a low temperature so the end product is very crispy. I like putting salt and a little cayenne pepper on mine, but you could totally season them with whatever you feel like. They are quite adaptable, I think. One thing to keep in mind is that they do not store very well. In my experience, they tend to get a little soggy after 1 or 2 days in a sealed bag. But that is okay because you will want to eat ’em all up right away!

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Crispy Kale Chips:

Makes one medium bowl

1 bunch Fresh Kale

1 – 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt, to taste

1-2 pinches Cayenne Pepper

1. Heat oven to 300. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Wash and dry kale. You want to make sure to dry it very well, otherwise the chips will not get crispy. Then, rip the kale into bite size pieces.

3. Put the kale into a bowl, and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Using your hands, try to cover all of the kale in olive oil. You want to use your fingers to make sure each leaf is coated. If 1 tbsp of oil does not seem to be enough, add in another.

4. Spread the kale onto the 2 baking sheets. Try not to have the leaves overlapping each other. Use as many pans as you need, based on the size of your bunch of kale. Sprinkle the kale with sea salt and a small amount of cayenne pepper.

5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the pan and flip each piece of kale. Place in back in the oven for another 4 – 7 minutes. You want to watch them pretty closely, because if the leaves start to brown they will be bitter. When they are crispy enough, remove from oven. Place chips in a bowl and serve.