Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette / Inspired by Houston's

Hello new readers! 

Thank you for visiting our blog! I'm so excited about this new relationship Laura and I are going to have with all of you! I want to share with you this recipe I made last week. Every time my husband and I are visiting my family in New Orleans for any length of time we always go out to eat. One staple restaurant my dad always loves to visit when we are there is Houston's. It's not really a New Orleans restaurant, but their food is just always consistent. I heard recently that the owner of Houston's prefers that his restaurants not be called a "franchise," but rather a "collection." I love that. Whenever I go to restaurants I always do a quick scan of the menu seeing what nutritious and whole-food options are offered. I was surprised and delighted to find this new kale salad listed as a side on their menu. This salad has such vibrant flavors! I would be hard pressed to find any other foods with greater nutritional benefits and disease-fighting properties than fresh raw greens, but I'm not going to lie-- kale salads have become so prevalent that now they can be almost boring. Even if eating greens does a whole range of wonderful things such as preventing and fighting off cancer to making your skin glow when eating frequently, sometimes it's just not that exciting. This recipe is the opposite of your average and blah kale salad. You will definitely be wanting more after you taste it, so much so that I had to figure out the recipe for it to make it at home. Since, I eat seasonally, I make this recipe and others like it a lot during those winter months as to not get tired of leafy greens. It also has every bit of valuable nutrition one would need and it's also a great salad option for taking to parties! Are y'all always searching for great staple recipes to take to gatherings and to serve to company like I am? I especially look for healthy-whole-food recipes that others will rave over as much as I do. This recipe happily fits perfectly into that category! The kale also keeps extremely well even until the next day. The best part-- this salad is one of the easiest to make as everything gets thrown into the food processor and no chopping is even involved. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!



Peanut Vinaigrette: 

2 TBSP sesame oil
3/4 CUP of Peanut Oil / You could substitute the peanut oil with Olive Oil - Just increase your measurements of peanut butter
1/4 CUP rice vinegar
2 TBSP of fresh squeezed lime 
1 1/2 TBSP honey
3 TBSP peanut butter
3 TBSP Soy Sauce 
1/4 TSP cayenne pepper / I actually like a little more and you can add to your taste 
1 TSP salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Chill in Fridge while you craft the salad ingredients.

/ You can make this dressing beforehand and keep in a mason jar in the fridge / 


1 big bundle of curly kale / can be red kale as well
1 1/2 CUP of collards / can use cabbage if you would prefer 
20 fresh mint leaves 
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro 
4 carrots 
3 cloves of garlic 
3/4 CUP of peanuts
4 stalks of green onions 
Finely Grated Parmesan or Asiago Cheese sprinkled atop

( All of these ingredients could be chopped beforehand and placed in mason jars to keep until you want to make the recipe for quickness and convenience when making this recipe. )

Pulse all vegetables in food processor (or blender works fine too) until chopped small-- think basil chiffonade or parsley flakes type of small. I had to do this in a few batches. I do batches of the kale and collards mixed with the herbs and pulse until finely chopped. Then I pulse the carrots until finely chopped and then the garlic and nuts. Add everything to a salad bowl and combine. Mix in the dressing and then incorporate the green onions. Taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese on top if desired. Enjoy! 

/ As you can see below this dish keeps well in the fridge even up to a few days to eat as leftovers.  If anything the flavors almost get even better. / 

P.S. Since writing this recipe, I have gotten questions about how to eat organically on a budget and also how to store fruits and vegetables so they don't go bad fast. You can read about how I store fruits and vegetables effectively here and also how I save money buying organically and eating seasonally here
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