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.

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Grilled Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate & Pomegranate Sandwich

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I really have to get my act together on Sundays. It is 4:30 pm where I am, and I am still in my pyjamas. I am the queen on lazy Sundays. Admittedly, this may have something to do with my Saturday night habits. I mean, a few friends of mine threw a Christmas Party last night, and I might have had a couple too many rum and egg nogs. ‘Tis the season, right?

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I woke up at a pretty reasonable time (as far as I’m concerned) and I made a yummy breakfast (more on that later), but since then I have been lounging in bed doing homework (kind of), watching netflix (mostly), and drinking tea (3 cups and counting). I am going to a play tonight with my little sister – I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters – so eventually I will need to get dressed, don’t worry.

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Another thing I have accomplished today is checking out food blogs. I stumbled upon this recipe. And then I made it immediately. Because, hello, did you read the title? Chocolate, almond butter, pomegranate. Sold. And you know what? It was 10x more amazing then I had made it up in my head to be. This could easily be for dessert, but I had it for lunch and have zero regrets. It is decadent, creamy, melty, and just a little bit salty. SO GOOD.

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Grilled Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate, & Pomegranate Sandwich

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Serves 1. 

2 slices Whole Grain Bread

1-2 tsp Butter

2 tbsp Roasted Almond Butter

2 squares Dark Chocolate (I used Lindt with Sea Salt)

2 tbsp Pomegranate Arils*

1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.

2. Butter one side of each slice of bread, and then spread almond butter (generously) over the other side.

3. Place one piece of bread, buttered side down, in the pan. Add the two squares of dark chocolate, then the pomegranate arils, and then the other slice of bread (buttered side up).

4. Gently flip after 2-3 minutes, when the bottom slice of bread is golden brown. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Slice in half and serve immediately.

* This is my preferred method for removing the arils from a pomegranate. So easy.

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