From Looneyspoons: Janet and Greta  with my own Notes and Tips. Here's what they have to say about kale - "the incredible edible that many health experts are calling “The New Beef!” Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef and more calcium per gram than whole milk. Holy cow! One cup of cooked kale also has two grams of protein, all the essential amino acids your body needs, plus 9 non-essential ones.  Yeah, two grams of protein might seem paltry compared to a T-Bone, but kale’s protein is actually easier for your body to extract and use than the protein in meat. When it comes to plant protein, a little goes a long way! And as if that weren’t enough, kale contains more health-promoting omega-3 essential fats than omega-6 fats, almost unheard of in nature. Too much omega-6 fat promotes inflammation and disease in the body. And finally, a cup of cooked kale gives you 10 times your daily requirement for vitamin K, making it a bonafide bone-builder. Plenty of reasons to go krazy for kale!"

Apple-Cider Vinaigrette (Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 TB apple cider vinegar
2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TB Dijon mustard
2 TB pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside until ready to use.

4 cups (well-packed) chopped kale (ribs removed)
2 cups finely sliced or grated red cabbage
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped green onions (with white parts)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place chopped kale in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup dressing and massage kale for 3-5 minutes using your hands.

Add all remaining salad ingredients and more dressing - as desired - aim to add flavour without making the salad too wet or soup-y. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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Notes and Tips...

  • Apple Cider Vinegar - I like to use artisanal cider vinegar, but my pet peeve is that it seems hard to source locally. Even the local olive oil (and vinegar) dispensary shrugs at my request for nice cider vinegar - they don't seem to realize how often it shows up in recipes these days. For the latest batch of this salad I used the last drops of Gingras (from the December One of a Kind Show). This company is based in Quebec, but their products already seem to be well respected, sold even in Dean and De Luca. My next bottle will have to be purchased online...
  • Kale - I buy a bunch of kale which often produces a bit more than 4 cups after the ribs are removed - I use it all. I hold onto a bunch, and slice it rather than "chopping" it.
  • Red Cabbage - these are always so large (groan... will shortly post a red cabbage recipe that helps make use of the remaining cabbage). Grating the cabbage makes it too mushy and watery with red colouring all over the place. Instead, I put chunks of cabbage into my food processor (feed tube) using the slicing blade and whoosh - done.
  • Carrots - since I have now dirtied my food processor anyhow, I grate the carrots in the food processor as well, using a coarse rather than fine grater.
  • Craisins - they now have a sugar-reduced version in case that is a concern.
  • Pumpkin Seeds - I prefer to use toasted seeds (unsalted - though I suppose salted might work as well)
  • Green Onions - I slice these very thin rather than chopping
  • Kale Massage - I have not found that an entire five minutes is necessary 2-3 seems to work.
  • Be creative - once I had no carrots and instead added chunks of roasted sweet potato or roasted butternut squash; I would think that sunflower seeds would work; other dried fruit instead of cranberries - as might other creative additions or substitutions. Update - made this today adding pistachio, fresh cherries, blueberries and little (out of the pod) sugar snap peas. You can't go wrong with variations.
  • Make Ahead - I often prep everything the day before and assemble on the day. It does taste better after sitting for an hour. Leftovers are still tasty the next day - though they don't look quite as pretty
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