Kaleslaw – crispy, crunchy, creamy, tangy and chewy

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Kaleslaw has been my go-to salad all winter. Thanks to affordable, mixed bags of already shredded kale, cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts, I can make this salad in less than 10 minutes and it will last for several days in the fridge. It also travels well in packed lunches.

For a burst of bright colour and extra nutrients and flavour, I sometimes peel and shred in a raw beet too.

Ingredients

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For the salad

4 cups of shredded mixed kales, cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts

1 granny smith apple cored and diced, but not peeled

1 rib of celery sliced

¼ cup raisins (optional)

¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 raw beet, peeled and shredded (optional)

For the dressing

1/3 to ½ cup vegan mayonnaise

¼ cup plain vegan yogurt

The juice of ½ lemon

1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp salt

1 tsp Dijon mustard

A few grinds of pepper

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Adding a shredded beet gives the kaleslaw extra crunch and nutrients and a gorgeous colour.

Directions

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add the salad ingredients and toss to combine. This salad is even better if left to sit for an hour or more to let the flavours combine.

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Buffalo “wing” salad

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Buffalo wings are one of those things that people go gaga over. I don’t think folks are actually that excited about the sad, bony, cartilaginous bits of chicken death, but rather they love the hot and spicy wing coating and the creamy and crunchy blend of dip with celery and carrot sticks.

I’ve recreated all the goodness of Buffalo wings with hot sauce, ranch dressing, celery and carrots and added fibre, minerals, micronutrients and a big old dose of compassion. Try this!

Ingredients

For the salad

5 -6 cups of kale washed and torn into bite-sized pieces (that’s one big bunch of kale)

2-3 carrots sliced into coins

2-3 ribs of celery sliced

 

For the buffalo chickpeas

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (that’s one 15 oz can), rinsed and dried

½ cup Frank’s hot sauce

1 Tbsp neutral tasting oil (I use peanut oil since it can take high heat)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

 

For the ranch dressing

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 Tbsp plant milk

2 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill*

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley*

Optional garnish – slices of avocado

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Directions

Turn the oven on to 400F. Mix the hot sauce, garlic powder, oil and salt in a bowl and toss the chickpeas in the dressing until they are coated. Turn them out onto a cookie sheet. Do NOT pour any remaining dressing that’s in the bowl onto the chickpeas, but just set it aside.

Bake the chickpeas for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, give them a stir, pour the remaining hot sauce dressing on them and then return them to the oven for another 40 minutes.

When they are done, just let the chickpeas cool on the cookie sheet.

You can make the roasted chickpeas ahead of time and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days.

While the chickpeas are baking, mix the kale, carrots and celery in a large salad bowl. Add the roasted chickpeas.

In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Taste. Swoon. Add all or some of the dressing to the salad (depending on how creamy you want it). Toss everything together and serve up your Buffalo wing salad. Enjoy!

*Here’s how I always have “fresh” herbs on hand. Store your fresh, clean herbs by the bunch in the freezer in freezer bags. Whenever you want fresh herbs for soups, sauces, stews, dips or dressings, just take some from your frozen supply. You won’t even need to chop – just crumble the frozen herbs. Frozen herbs do not work well as garnishes.

 

Avocado pasta – creamy, garlicky, lemony and delicious

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This pasta surprised me with its simplicity and deliciousness. It’s easy to make, no fail and will be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Make this. That’s all I can say. Just make this.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 avocado

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup

1 cup of fresh kale or spinach leaves

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios (optional)

10 ounces of uncooked pasta – any shape or kind

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Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a food processor and whiz until you have a creamy sauce. You might need to add up to 2 tablespoons water to get a creamy consistency. The more you whiz the sauce, the smoother it will be. Spinach also makes a smoother sauce than kale.

Place the hot, cooked pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sauce over it. Toss to blend and serve. This recipe makes 2-3 servings.

If you have leftovers, this dish is great at room temperature as a cold pasta salad.

 

The reincarnation of the Waldorf Salad

WaldorfSalads

When a good Waldorf Salad dies, it comes back in its next life as this salad. Gone are the eggy mayonnaise and whipping cream. Instead you get all the Waldorf deliciousness and crunch with a halo of compassionate goodness.

Ingredients

½ bunch of kale (about 4 cups) cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces. If you don’t like or have kale, raw spinach is an excellent replacement.

1 red apple cored and diced. A red delicious apple is ideal.

1 cup of grape halves

1 stalk of celery diced

Sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)

Dressing

¼ cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayo-style dressing

¼ cup unsweetened, plain vegan yogurt (Yoso is my chosen brand)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Pinch of salt

Few grinds of pepper

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

Place the kale, apple, celery and grapes in a salad bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or mug and pour over the salad. Toss to combine and serve. Garnish with sunflower seeds or walnuts, if you like. Enjoy!

Seize her salad….and eat it yourself

SeizeHerSalad

If you like creamy, garlicky Caesar salad dressing, pay attention.

This recipe comes from Esther’s Kitchen Esther being the wonder pig. My embellishments are the kale, chickpea croutons and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Get out your blender and let’s get started.

Ingredients

One head romaine lettuce – washed and torn into bite sized pieces

TIP – check prices. It’s December in Canada and a big head of local, organic kale costs less than the imported romaine so this salad is got the nutrition boost of kale. Mmm.

½ cup water

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)

1 tsp miso

2-3 cloves garlic

1 medjool date, stone removed

Salt and pepper to taste. I used about ¼ teaspoon each.

Directions

Put everything but your salad greens into the blender and blend until creamy. You will have a thick dressing, but it should not be a paste. If it is, add a bit more water and keep blending.

Put your greens in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and toss well. I added roasted chickpeas (see recipe below) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Roasted chickpeas

½ cup cooked chickpeas patted dry

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp each of black pepper, smoky paprika, garlic powder

Toss all the ingredients together in a cup or small bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool before eating. When they are done the chickpeas will be almost melt-in-your-mouth crunchy; they won’t have any chewiness/moisture to them. If they don’t have that texture, roast the chickpeas for another 5-10 minutes.

Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa pilaf

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I love this dish. It’s simultaneously elegant enough for company dinners but comforting and easy. Funny thing, I’m not a huge fan of squash, but by this time of the year, I’m craving it. There must be something in it that does a body good.

This makes 4 servings (1/2 squash per person).

Ingredients

2 acorn squash

1 cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup chopped pecans

½ cup chopped dried apricots

½ cup chestnuts (already cooked and peeled) – optional

1 cup kale washed and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 onion – diced

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp coconut oil

A pinch of chili seeds

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 – 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Set the oven to 350. Wash the acorn squash and cut in half around the equator (i.e. not lengthwise). Scoop out the seeds and place the squash cut side up on a cookie sheet. You may want to cut off a bit of the bottom of each squash half so they sit upright. Drizzle each half with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes. When they’re done, the squash will be soft when pierced with a fork.

Rinse the quinoa and put it in a pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce to a simmer and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. If you want to be super fancy, you could boil the quinoa in vegetable broth or half broth and half water.

When the quinoa is cooked and still hot, place in a large bowl with the kale, chestnuts (if using) and apricots. The hot quinoa is enough to “cook” the kale.

In a medium-sized, non-stick skillet sauté the onion in the remaining olive oil and the coconut oil, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chopped pecans, the chili seeds, nutmeg, mustard and maple syrup. Stir together and heat through and then add to the bowl with the quinoa and fruit and kale. Stir together.

Spoon ¼ of the quinoa into each of the squash halves and enjoy!!

If you want to make something much simpler and more casserole-like, cube the cooked squash and toss it with the quinoa mix.

TIP: This dish is also excellent with dried cherries and walnuts instead of apricots and pecans. Replace the nutmeg, mustard and chili seeds with ¼ tsp cumin and 1 tsp dried crumbled sage. Omit the maple syrup.

 

Linguini with spicy peanut sauce, kale and tempeh

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If you had told me even a year ago that I’d eat kale and tempeh and like it, I would have laughed at you. But this saucy number changed everything.

The original recipe is from The Thug Kitchen. This is my lazy-ass thug version.

I timed myself today making this dish: it took just 23 minutes from the moment I stepped in the kitchen to the time I sat down with a big bowl of tempting, spicy noodles!

Noodles with peanut sauce, kale and tempeh

10 oz linguine (or other pasta)

8 oz tempeh

1 bunch kale (about 6-8 cups once you’ve torn and washed it)

For the sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter (NOT the stuff with extra chemicals and sugar – just peanuts peanut butter)

1/3 cup vegetable broth

2 tsp chili paste (I used sambal oelek)

2 tsp chili powder

1 green onion sliced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tsp grated ginger (or if you’re feeling super lazy, use ½ tsp ground ginger)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 ½ Tbsp dark sesame oil

Juice of ½ lime

1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

Cook the linguini according to package instructions. Use a big pot because you’ll be adding the kale and tempeh.

Wash and tear the kale into bite-size pieces. Do not worry about drying the kale. It’s going in the pot.

Cut the tempeh into dice-sized cubes.

When the noodles are done, turn off the heat. Add the kale and tempeh. Doing this blanches the kale quickly and perfectly preps the tempeh, which can have a sour aftertaste if it’s not cooked/steamed.

As soon as you have everything in the pot, drain the water. Put it in a big bowl, awaiting sauce.

For the sauce – in a sauce pan, mix all the sauce ingredients over medium heat until they are blended. Pour over the noodles/kale/tempeh and toss together.

Enjoy!! Makes 4 delicious servings.