It’s been a whirlwind week here with my sister and her family in town for a holiday visit. I’ve had so much fun playing with my seven-month-old nephew, cooking up tasty dinners each night, chatting with my sister and her husband, and just being in the presence of family. Separated by distance, we usually only see each other every five or six months, so family time is precious.
We have just a few days left together, so I’m going to keep today’s post a little shorter than usual so I can get back to singing “The Wheels on the Bus” to my nephew. He loves it when people sing to him. If I had a nickel for every time he’s smiled his dimpled little grin this week, I’d be rich! Nothing like a sweet, smiley baby to melt your heart.
Despite a wonderful Christmas celebration complete with a mix of healthy and indulgent dishes, I’m finding myself craving lots of salads and fresh fruit these days. Nothing is tasting better than a big bowl of shredded kale salad like this one. The creamy peanut dressing helps it feel satisfying and hearty. If you cannot eat peanuts, swap in any other nut or seed butter in its place. Tahini or roasted cashew butter would be mouthwatering. Salads like these with dark leafy greens as their base keep well in the refrigerator for several days, a great bonus for those of you heading back to work and in need of a healthy lunch option to take with you. Add some chicken or chickpeas for extra protein and you’ll be all set.
A few quick announcements…
- New Year, New You starts right here next week on January 5th! I hope you’ll join us for what’s sure to be a month of fantastic healthy recipes, tips, giveaways, and more.
- Laura Russell, author of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, recently reviewed my book and a few others here in her round-up of great gluten-free cookbooks for The Oregonian. Swing by and check it out!
I won’t be back until the new year, so until then, have a great close to 2011. See you in 2012!
Kale & Carrot Salad with Peanut-Ginger Dressing
For the salad:
7-8 cups thinly sliced lacinato kale* (stems discarded)
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thinly into half-moons
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons creamy unsweetened peanut butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dark maple syrup or honey
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated on a Microplane
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl, toss the kale, carrots, scallions, and peas to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, peanut butter, olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with peanuts, if using, before serving.
Ingredient Tip: Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan kale, black kale, or flat-leaf kale. Curly kale would also work, but I prefer the texture of the flatter leaves.