Zel's Vegan NutGourmet

Zel Allen Goes Nuts for Good Health

Posts Tagged ‘kale salad’

WALNUTS & KALE LOVE ME–AND YOU TOO!

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on July 30, 2011

I love walnuts! Walnuts and I are great friends who enjoy each other’s company often in a multitude of delicious ways.

I also love kale, and I know I’m certainly not alone–lots of people love kale. Turns out both walnuts and kale love people, too! Those rich and crunchy nuts and dark, chewy, greens are packed with antioxidants–lots of antioxidants.

Don’t’ ever worry about getting too many antioxidants. It’s practically impossible to do. In fact, most people don’t eat enough of them and suffer health challenges.

To reap walnuts’ and kale’s wonderful antioxidant benefits, pair them up, and turn them into a fabulous salad!

Deliciously nutty and oh! so tasty, this salad is a winning combination of fresh flavors, pleasing textures, and a healthful nutrition boost. A very tasty, delicately sweet Zesty Cilantro Dressing tames the somewhat bitter bite that makes walnuts and kale off-putting to some. The bonus surprise is that this salad is an excellent keeper and tastes just as fresh and charismatic next day.

WALNUTTY KALE SALAD WITH ZESTY CILANTRO DRESSING

Yield: 4 servings

1 bunch fresh kale

3/4 cup Zesty Cilantro Dressing (Recipe below)

2 to 3 medium carrots, coarsely shredded
3/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 cup black raisins
1/3 cup golden raisins

1. Wash the kale thoroughly and cut or tear away the tough center rib. Tear the kale into bite size pieces, discarding any smaller tough ribs will that make the salad difficult to chew. Place the kale pieces into a large bowl.
2. Pour the Zesty Cilantro Dressing over the kale pieces and use your hands to mix and massage the dressing into the leaves, coating completely.
3. Add the carrots, walnuts, and raisins and toss well to distribute all the ingredients evenly.

Zesty Cilantro Dressing
1 cup lightly packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup water
8 pitted dates, snipped in half
1/2 cup cashews or macadamias
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
Pinch cayenne

1. Combine all the ingredients in the blender and blend at high speed until they are fully pureed and the dressing becomes smooth and creamy.
2. Use a funnel to pour the dressing into a narrow-neck bottle for easy serving. Use immediately or chill and use later. Shake well before serving. Refrigerated, the dressing will keep for 1 week. Makes about 2 cups.

Posted in Antioxidants in Nuts, Nut Nutrition, Nut Recipes, Nuts and Health, walnuts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PEANUTS & KALE ANNOUNCE ENGAGEMENT

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on March 25, 2011

Peanut lovers like me, who never tire of those crunchy, nutty-tasting wonders, always gravitate toward recipes that include them in any form. I’m also an avid fan of kale, raw or cooked. So I thought why not combine peanuts and kale. How could I miss?

Slowly, another kale salad was beginning to take shape, but was still in the process of creative cultivation and ripening. What would the dominant flavor be? Would it be sweet, tart, savory, or a pungent kaleidoscope of all those flavors.

The decision ultimately fell onto my taste buds. They were craving a kale salad with a taste-popping dressing that could be defined as sweet and sour, but also yearned for something pungent with a strong umami edge. That magical blend of flavors spoke to me from far-away places like Thailand or possibly Indonesia, where sweet and sour sauces are king and crafted so well.

Starting with a crunchy peanut butter, I found it really easy to assemble a sweet and sour dressing within minutes. Smooth peanut butter would be all right, too, but I love the texture of those little tidbits of chopped peanuts that deliver a petite crunch with every forkful of the bite-size kale leaves. All I needed was a bowl, a wire whip, a measuring cup, and some measuring spoons. My feet sprung into action and led me instantly to “kitchenland”–my favorite little creative nook.

I chose to include another ingredient, low-fat coconut milk, to lend richness to the dressing. It would certainly have been richer still with a thick coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, but a little restraint delivered great flavor and far less fat, especially saturated fat, and fewer calories, for sure.

I learned a little secret from a raw chef who makes heavenly kale salad. In working with raw kale to make it a little softer to the palate and to best infuse the dressing throughout, he lovingly and patiently massages the dressing into the kale pieces before adding other ingredients. The results are unmatched! The pampered kale salad becomes a divine symphony, rich with flavor notes and innovatively embellished with a chorus of sweet fruits and crunchy veggies.

Enjoy the recipe along with the great health benefits from two highly nutritious gifts of nature–kale and peanuts.

BANGKOK KALE WITH PEANUT DRESSING

Yield: 4 servings

1 large bunch kale, ribs removed, torn into bite-size pieces

Peanut Dressing
3/4 cup crunchy, unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 1/4 cups chopped or whole tangerine segments
1 cup sliced hearts of palm or quartered, water-packed artichoke hearts
2 Persian cucumbers, quartered

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1. Place the prepared kale into a large, deep bowl and set aside.
2. To prepare the Peanut Dressing, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne in a medium bowl and mix well with a wire whip until creamy and well blended.
3. Measure 3/4 cup of the Peanut Dressing and pour it over the kale. With clean hands, mix and massage the dressing into the kale until it is well incorporated and the kale is well coated. Refrigerate the remaining dressing for another salad.
4. Add the tangerines, hearts of palm, and cucumbers and toss well. Divide into 4 salad plates and garnish with the diced red bell peppers.

Leftover Peanut Dressing
This dressing is so tasty you won’t need to wonder what to do with the leftovers. Here are a few ideas:

Tuck it into the fridge and pour it over next day’s steamed veggies.
Dress another salad.
Use it as a dressing over a pita sandwich filled with bean burgers and veggies.
Pour it over coleslaw and toss well.

Posted in groundnuts, Nut Recipes, peanuts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ONE HAIL OF A KALE SALAD

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on August 31, 2010

Kale is barely visible in the American diet and often appears merely as background garnish on salad bars. Yet, kale is right at the top of the A-list of foods with the highest nutrient density. Packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, and the antioxidants beta carotene and lutein & zeazanthin, this leafy green ought to be highly praised and given an honored place in the diet several times a week. Hopefully, this tasty recipe will lure you into the kale den.

You might even fall in love with kale after eating this salad because this kale has a partner to charm your taste buds and offer a pleasant crunch. Peanuts, also highly nutritious, are a great source of monounsaturated fat that helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Often grouped with nuts, peanuts are actually in the legume family and are a rich source of the antioxidant resveratrol that helps to induce good blood flow to the heart and brain.

The antioxidants in peanuts measure up to those fruits with the highest antioxidant levels: pomegranates, blackberries, and strawberries. You may be surprised to discover peanuts contain more antioxidants than apples, carrots, and beets.

Kale makes a gorgeous display on the dinner table and certainly packs a hearty nutritional punch. Dotted with bright red radishes, crisp cucumbers, and crunchy bits of roasted peanuts, this earthy forest green salad is bathed in a rich and creamy dressing that instantly satisfies the savory palate. The secret to softening the kale and making it so much easier to eat is giving it a loving massage, a technique that infuses it with deeper flavor as well. This salad is a great keeper. If you don’t finish it in one sitting, you can tuck it into a covered container and keep it refrigerated for up to 3 or 4 days.

ONE HAIL OF A KALE SALAD
WITH CASHEW CAESAR DRESSING

Yield: 6 servings

1 large bunch kale, stems discarded, torn into small bite-size pieces
1 cup Cashew Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts, coarsely ground in a hand-crank nutmill
1 bunch red radishes, sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
4 green onions, sliced

1/2 ripe avocado, chopped

1. Place the kale into a large mixing bowl and pour the Cashew Caesar Salad Dressing over. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale, mixing and massaging for one full minute to soften the kale and infuse it with flavor.
2. Add the peanuts, radishes, cucumbers, and green onions and toss well
3. Transfer the salad to an attractive serving bowl or platter and sprinkle the chopped avocado over the top.

Note:
If you cannot locate Persian cucumbers, use 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped

Cashew Caesar Dressing
Caesar salad remains a long-standing favorite. The original dressing was made with a generous measure of Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and a raw egg in a base of olive oil. I’ve taken grand liberties with this oil-free, cashew-based dressing. Far from the standard Caesar, this tasty version has a rich character all its own.

Yield: 2 3/4 cups

2 cups water, divided
1 cup cashews
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons dark miso
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon vegan Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum

1. Place 1 cup of the water, cashews, and garlic into the blender and process until the cashews are broken down. If using a high-powered blender, you can place all the ingredients into the blender at once.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until thoroughly incorporated and the dressing is smooth and creamy. Use a funnel to transfer the dressing into a narrow-neck bottle for easier pouring.
3. Use immediately or chill until ready to use. Shake well before using. Refrigerated, the dressing will keep for up to 10 days.

Variation:
Substitute macadamias or pine nuts for the cashews

Posted in Antioxidants in Nuts, cashews, Nut Nutrition, Nut Recipes, Nuts and Health, peanuts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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