In My Active Kitchen

Having fun in the kitchen and out

Everything is Better with Kale… and Avocado

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Happy New Year! May 2014 be the best year yet.

Honestly, despite many happy moments (like, you know, getting married!) I’m quite content to say goodbye to 2013.  I move into this year with hope, excitement and optimism.   So on that note, let’s kick this year off with one of my all- time favorite foods: kale.

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My husband, friends and family have all been tolerating my obsession with kale for many moons, but I can never seem to get enough.    When you pair it with creamy avocado, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.  Plus, despite whatever else you may have eaten that day, I think eating Kale should automatically cancel out the bad stuff.  So look upon this as a get out of jail free card.

Avocado makes it even better.

Avocado makes it even better.

This salad is just so damn yummy I could eat it all day.  Filled with toasted crunchy almonds, sweet cranberries, creamy avocado, and then topped with a tangy citrus-y dressing you’ll feel the health seep into your bones.  True story.

The key with kale, particularly curly leafed kale, is to allow the fats from the olive oil soften the leaves to make it easier to digest and kill off the bitterness.   I also cannot stress enough to remove those tough stems- they taste awful and will ruin any good taste created by the other ingredients.

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I’m also going to share another little secret: stop buying bottled dressing and start making your own.  Pre-made stuff is usually filled with all kinds of unnecessary preservatives and sugars you don’t need.   Making your own requires only a jar and ingredients you already have kicking around, so save yourself the 3.99 and buy some dark chocolate instead.  Glad we could have this chat.

Now, go make this salad tonight and thank me later.

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Tangy Kale Salad with Almonds, Avocado and Cranberries

1 head of curly leafed Kale

1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil

½ c. toasted almond slivers

½ c. dried cranberries

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Grated parmesan cheese

Ground pepper

This dressing:

½ lemon, juiced

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

¼ c. apple cider vinegar

½ c. olive oil

In a mason jar or mixing bowl combine all dressing ingredients and shake/mix together thoroughly, taste and adjust to your preference.

To prepare salad, remove leaves from the stems of the kale, wash and dry thoroughly then toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large mixing bowl.  Gently massage the oil into the leaves of the kale to allow them to soften.     Add in your toasted almond slivers and dried cranberries and pour in dressing.  Mix well so all the leaves are coated with the dressing and serve onto individual plates, top with a few slices of avocado and freshly grated Parmesan cheese and ground pepper.

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