After our new understanding about stretching our grocery budget and maximizing nutrition by purchasing seasonal produce, I really want to make an attempt each month to try adding a new fruit or vegetable to our family’s menu. Seasonal vegetables are few and far between in Nebraska winters, but there are a few, shipped to our local stores and grown in the United States, that are plentiful AND economical. One of them is kale. I have neither eaten or cooked it before, but decided to give it a try.
Kale is part of the cabbage family and is high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and lutein. It also has high levels of calcium and is known for it’s powerful anti-oxidant properties as well as being an anti-inflammatory. Ruffly, deep green leaves make it decorative as a garnish, but it is also fantastic in soups and stews, because the leaves are thicker and hold up better than spinach or other greens. It is a great textural component in any dish.
I went straight to Food.com to look for a highly-rated recipe using kale. It was so cold last night and I was planning a hearty, comfort-food supper, Sausage Potato Casserole. I knew I was going to be doing a variation of my own recipe (It turned out even better!) and I wanted a refreshing side dish with crisp texture to accompany it. I found many recipes that used kale in soups or sautes, but when I ran across the recipe for Lori’s Kale Slaw I knew my search was over. And you’ll be happy to know I followed it ALMOST exactly, sort of. 🙂 Pretty close, anyway. The ingredient list is long, but most of them are small amounts of spices. My estimate is that the entire salad was made for around $2.00.
Yield: 8-10 servings
- 5 cups of chopped kale
- 3 or 4 grated carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1¼ cups mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (I changed my mind after the picture was taken, because I wanted the extra sweetness of the red wine vinegar.)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp. allspice
- ½ tsp. thyme
- ½ tsp. oregano
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. cayenne
- ½ tsp. allspice
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- Chop the kale. I sliced across the entire bunch in about 1/4 inch strips.
- Grate the carrots and then mix the carrots, walnuts and chopped kale.
- Mix the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sugar and all the spices. Then resist the urge to eat this yummy dressing straight out of the bowl. It smells amazing and tastes even better!
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and walnuts and stir until the veggies are thoroughly coated.
- Though the dressing is creamy and you may be expecting it, this is NOT a creamy salad. As you toss the dressing with the veggies and walnuts, each individual piece will be coated with the delicious sauce. After it is mixed in, you won’t see any visible evidence of the dressing, except for a slight shine on your veggies. Once it is thoroughly mixed, refrigerate the salad for at least one hour to allow the flavors to meld.
This salad has a wonderful crunchy texture from the fresh veggies and walnuts and a sweet, peppery bite from the yummy dressing. It was the perfect accompaniment to my latest variation on a savory Sausage Potato Casserole! Delicious!
My next post will be the quick, one pot casserole recipe, pictured above, and the recipe for the money-saving homemade cream of chicken soup I used to make it. You won’t want to miss this one!