Overnight Kale Salad with Pomegranate

Yes this is an iPhone shot and you’re lucky to get that these days.

A post! A post! Yeah, I can hardly believe it either, haha. Want to know how I managed it? A paragraph at a time, that’s how. In between model fittings I added to this post bit by bit until it was decent enough to be worthy of the public eye. Or the internet public eye that is. There is a bit of a difference. 😉

This salad was a wonderful breath of fresh air to me as I had been searching for ways to get more kale into my diet. I really liked kale, but had struggled with preparing it myself in the past. Sauteing the deep green leaves on the stovetop was an easy way to start. As the queen of leftovers, though, I found sauteed kale to not be very palatable after the second day. Kale chips weren’t bad, but were difficult to pack without crushing and took time to make in my mini-oven as each batch had to be quite small. The few salads I tried with these tough, ribbed greens were nearly inedible – I am not polygastric, thank you very much.

However, I knew I was on to something when I read about this Overnight Kale Salad. The zesty marinade sounded delicious. The toss-and-leave strategy was perfect for busy/lazy bums like me. And the recipe called for cheese and pomegranate: two of my favorite things. My only concern was that the acid wouldn’t wilt the tough kale leaves enough to be edible or perhaps be too effective and turn my kale into a soggy mess. I needn’t have worried, the end result is a totally delicious, fully edible salad that has been tested by yours truly again and again.

Overnight Kale Salad with Pomegranate (adapted slightly from Women’s Health)

Ingredients:

3   T   white wine vinegar

2   cloves garlic, finely minced (~1 rounded T)

1   T   honey

1   T   EVOO

1   t   salt

pinch of black pepper

little squirt of fresh lemon juice

1   bunch of dinosaur or curly kale, ribs removed, torn into bite-sized pieces

1   C   pomegranate seeds

1   C   grated, fresh parmesan cheese *

* Note: I go a little crazy with the pomegranate and cheese because they are just so good and I love lots of texture in my foods (crunchy seeds, soft cheese, firm kale). Feel free to scale back a bit here if you wish. I won’t judge.

Procedure:

1. Whisk together vinegar, garlic, honey, EVOO, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

2. In a large bowl, toss kale with dressing until coated evenly. STOP: don’t panic! The dressing will seem ridiculously light, I know, but the kale will wilt to nearly half its size in the acid bath. Try these proportions after fully resting first before doubling your dressing or you may regret it.

3. Cover bowl air-tight with plastic wrap and let marinate overnight in the fridge. In the morning, give the salad a good toss before serving – it should have about half the volume as before. Will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge (gotta love vinegar).

Beezer’s Notes:

This has become one of my favorite salads of all time and is perfect for winter when you’re struggling to be healthy while still satisfying that cold-induced hunger. Now I know I’m technically posting this in the Spring, but since we’re still getting snow here I think I’m justified. Another bonus? This lovely dish tastes even better as leftovers! The longer it sits the more the flavors develop and meld, so it is perfect for those of us who want very flavorful meals in very little time.

Overall Enjoyment:  ♥        

Advertisements

Peach and Walnut Salad

With all these cookies our kitchen has been seeing recently, I thought I might try to balance things out a little bit by sharing this salad recipe. I know, I know… it’s not *quite* as exciting as candy-laden blobs of heaven…but I wouldn’t bother to share something as simple as a salad if it weren’t one heck of a delicious salad. Lucky for you, this one is! 🙂

I’d also like to share something that comes from another, older corner of my life: gaming. With the move, grad school, and general lifestyle upheavals I haven’t gamed much in the past year unless you count the occasional Machinarium replays or Plants vs. Zombies iPhone addiction I had last fall. In the past, though, I used to log hours on Day of Defeat and Counter Strike with my two younger brothers and even my dad. As an ex-marine and sharpshooter, my dad was actually hilarious to play with (think technophobe with military know-how). I’ve also played WoW on and off since 2007 and have dabbled in other RPGs, but the first-person shooters will always be in my top faves.

Why am I telling you this? Because as a female gamer who prefers “violent” games I’ve come across my fair share of trolls (to put it nicely)…but nothing like what some gals are putting up with these days. I just listened to an NPR broadcast dedicated to online harassment in games which, in turn, led me to discover the amazing blogs Fat, Ugly, or Slutty and Not in the Kitchen Anymore. I also learned about the sexual harassment of Miranda Pakozdi that was broadcast live in front of a world-wide audience. That’s right: broadcast live. For five days. The poor girl finally forfeited the competition just to escape the source of the harassment: her coach.

The silver lining to all this is that it’s starting to make the news and not just gamer mags. I mentioned the NPR program, but there has also been a BBC radio documentary, articles in the New York Times and Forbes, numerous other digital posts, and a cute but informative video by PAX TV’s Extra Credits. Hopefully with more and more people – women AND men – standing up for decent human behavior, trash talking will remain just that: harmless jabs about someone’s leet skillz (or lack thereof) instead of crossing the line into something disgusting, degrading, and completely unacceptable.

Peach and Walnut Salad (from Women’s Health July/August ’12 edition)

* serves 4 as a side or 2 for an entrée *

Ingredients:

3   ripe peaches, sliced into thin wedges

3   Cups arugula

4   oz.   fresh mozzarella, cut into 1″ cubes

2   T   chopped walnuts or pecans

3   T   EVOO

2   T   white wine vinegar

1   C   fresh basil

¼   t   salt

Procedure:

1) In a large bowl, toss together peaches, arugula, mozzarella, and nuts. Put oil, vinegar, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

2) Divide peach salad among serving plates and drizzle with basil oil dressing.

Beezer’s Notes:

I promise you, if you are attempting to have a salad instead of cookies this is the salad to have. You’ll enjoy sweet peaches, soft cheese, slightly bitter greens, and crunchy nuts – all drizzled with a zingy pesto-like dressing. This salad manages to be light and filling at the same time, perfect for summer. Plus, with enough of these you could maybe justify your next batch of cookies (or at least, that’s what I tell myself, haha).

Overall Enjoyment:  ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

Horseradish Potato Salad

Are you ready for my first food post from my Nova Scotia kitchen? The Jimmy Carter smoothy, delicious as it was, was actually made back in Vermont during the move (when the blender was the only appliance left unpacked) and so doesn’t count. My new kitchen here will take some getting used to, being about an eighth of the size of my old one and tucked in the back corner by the door – no windows! – but I’m thankful to have one at all. I figure if Deb can produce gorgeous dishes from her mini-stove there’s hope for me.

Speaking of the lovely lady behind Smitten Kitchen, this potato salad recipe is right from her collection. Brad and I were invited to a welcome BBQ thrown by other grad students in my department soon after we arrived and I didn’t have much time to prepare anything all that impressive (not to mention most of our kitchen supplies were still in boxes). When time is short and I need a foolproof recipe, I always turn to Deb. She hasn’t let me down yet and I think you’ll agree this potato salad lives up to her reputation. It was also a winner for me as soon as I read the title: I loooove horseradish and dill. Put the two together and the party’s already started! 🙂

Horseradish Potato Salad (from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

3   lbs   small (~2″) potatoes

¼   C   red onion, chopped

1   T   white-wine vinegar

½   C   sour cream

½   C   yogurt*

2   T   fresh dill, finely chopped

¼   C   chopped fresh chives

1   T   Dijon mustard

3   T   prepared horseradish (you can see how to make your own here)

1   t   salt

½   t   black pepper

*Note: you can also use one full cup of sour cream alone if you’re going for the creamiest texture. I used half sour cream, half plain non-fat yogurt and really liked the blend.

Procedure:

  1. Boil potatoes until fork-tender. Cool them to room temperature and quarter them (depending on size – some of mine were so small I just halved them).

2. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and do a taste-test. Adjust seasoning as needed (I followed Deb’s suggestion and added an additional Tablespoon of vinegar) before folding the mix over the potatoes.

3. Serve immediately or keep in fridge for up to 24 hours (the onion begins to bleed its color after 6 though, just a warning). If chilling, leave out to thaw a bit before serving as the dressing becomes quite thick.

 

 

oops! some of my potatoes were a little naked. i was in a hurry, please excuse.

Beezer’s Notes:

As I said above, Deb’s recipes have never failed me (well…there was the Coconut Milk Fudge fail from over a year ago, but let’s forget about that shall we? I take full responsibility for getting over my head with that one…) and this salad received lots of compliments at the BBQ. The flavor balance was a bit different from what I had imagined – I tasted dill first and foremost with the horseradish as a pleasant after-burn – but I’m chalking that up to using brands I’m not yet familiar with here. I would have added an additional Tablespoon of horseradish to my mix if I really wanted to highlight its flavor, but loving dill as equally as I do the spicy root I decided to let the flavors stay as they were. Still, you might want to start with 1 Tablespoon of dill and taste before continuing with the second.

Overall Enjoyment:   ♥   ♥   ♥

%d bloggers like this: