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:  ♥        

Hearty Kale and Kielbasa Soup

I was determined to make this soup after trying the very first delicious spoonful from our Co-Op a few months back. Hearty Kale and Kielbasa Soup, brainchild of Linda Glenn, was the winning recipe of the “Souperbowl Challenge”: a friendly competition in which locals submit recipes to be made and judged by cooking classes. In celebration, the winning soup was served at the Co-Op’s hot bar for a week; during which time yours truly sampled a taste and quickly bought a bowl! With big chunks of kale and kielbasa, subtly spicy undertones, and softened beans and squash holding it all together, this is the perfect cold weather soup. You get your vitamins, protein, and tummy-warmer in a single cup.

Hearty Kale and Kielbasa Soup (from Linda Glenn via the Onion River Co-Op)

Ingredients:*

* Note: I’d like to take a moment to mention that one of the attributes the Souperbowl contestants were judged on was their use of local ingredients. Please, if at all possible, support your area’s agricultural community and buy locally. Your taste buds will thank you! 🙂

1            bunch of fresh kale

1            large yellow onion

3           Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

1            medium squash (or 2 sweet potatoes), peeled and cubed

8     C    chicken broth

¼    C     EVOO

6             cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1  15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1  15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1     lb.    kielbasa sausage, sliced

1             bay leaf

1             hot pepper, seeded and chopped (you may want gloves)

2     T    paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and kielbasa in EVOO. When the onion is translucent and fragrant, add the garlic but do not let it brown (the sausage doesn’t have to be cooked through yet).
  2. Add the squash/sweet potato and diced hot pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Season with the paprika and add the broth and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While waiting, prepare the kale by rinsing it thoroughly and tearing the leafy portions from the thick ribs or stems. Discard the stems and tear the rest into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Add the potatoes and kale to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes before adding the beans. Heat for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.

makes about 6 quarts of soup! great for a dinner party or freezing for later.


Beezer’s Notes:

This recipe was a blast to make. True, it does require a large amount of ingredients and quite a bit of chopping, but you soon get to the fun part of just tossing things into a pot and letting the magic happen on its own. At this point, you can sit back and breathe in mouth-watering smells...mmm…

I think my boyfriend may not have such a fond association with this soup, as he was the one seeding the peppers. I deliberately bought the mildest hot peppers I could find (not having much experience with such things, I was a bit intimidated, haha), but the juices were still devious in the way they clung to his skin after a quick wash. “I’ll be back in a sec!” he said, as he casually finished rinsing his hands and walked toward the restroom. A few minutes later he returned to offer assistance, but didn’t stay very long. I remember a growing look of alarm on his face as he walked – this time much more quickly – back to the restroom. He didn’t return for quite some time.

Needless to say, I highly recommend using gloves when cutting and seeding hot peppers of any kind. If you do brave the burn bare-handed (hah! how’dya like that alliteration?), make sure to wash thoroughly with plenty of soap and warm water; especially before touching anything…um…shall we say… sensitive. 😉

Overall Enjoyment: ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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