Kale, Mandarin and Avocado Salad

Kale, Mandarine and Avocado Salad

Kale, Mandarin and Avocado Salad

I have over-indulged!  Way over.  I imagine there are any number of people saying the same thing about now.  Don’t we ALWAYS over-indulge during the holidays?  And we’ve got only the first one behind us.

I’ve eaten too much sweet potato casserole, stuffed myself with stuffing, picked at one too many pieces of pecan pie. I’ve done the peppermint stick ice-cream.   It was delicious, but it’s over.

Stomach, I’m going to be nicer to you,  because you deserve a break.   Before I start making cookies, I’m making a salad.  This is going to be so good, you’ll be thanking me all over the place.  So, hang on to your hat.

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A salad  begins with greens, right?   And what’s the most popular green in town?  Kale!   Yes, kale, chopped up nice and fine, raw and crunchy.  Next we add some romaine, also chopped up nice and fine, also crunchy.

Cut up the greens nice and fine.

Cut up the greens nice and fine.

To sweeten up this deal we’re adding clementine or tangerine.  Grab and peel those babies.

Avocados go in next;  for color, for fat nutrients, for creaminess…..oh heck, just put them in because we love them, and they love to hang out with citrus.  Bright and juicy meets soft and creamy.

Avocado + Citrus = True Love

Avocado + Citrus = True Love

Last, we sprinkle in some toasted sesame seeds because we need something to get stuck in our teeth to embarrass us later. If you want to leave them out that’s okay,  you can still go ahead and walk around with kale stuck in your teeth.

To soften the kale, you can rub it with a bit of olive oil and salt….that’s called a kale massage….a totally normal thing to do.  If you find baby kale you can skip this step.  My supermarket is now carrying baby kale.

Once the kale is massaged, make the dressing.  The dressing ingredients go into a small jar.  They consist of rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and pepper.  Add in a tiny bit of minced garlic if you’d like.

 

These become the dressing.

These become the dressing.

Now tighten the lid, and start shaking.   Shake, shake, shake like mad.  That’s it.  Done.

Toss dressing with salad.

Toss dressing with salad.

Toss some with the salad, and as it gets tossed together the orange segments may split open and the avocado may mash a bit making these two elements a lovely addition to the sesame dressing.   Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Now’s the time to grab a fork and dig in.  Your stomach will thank you.

Do yourself a favor, take a break today with a salad this good.

Do yourself a favor, take a break today with a salad this good.

KALE, MANDARIN AND AVOCADO SALAD

Yield:   Serves 4 as a side salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups clean and well-chopped kale
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups clean and well-chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 tangerines or clementines, peeled and divided into segments
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • fresh pepper and coarse salt to taste

Instructions:

1.  Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Massage the oil and salt into the kale.

2.  Add the romaine, tangerines, and avocado to the bowl.

3.  Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

4.  In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and pepper.  Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until emulsified.  If you don’t have a jar, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.

5.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad.  Toss to combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!

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SOURCE:   adapted from The Joy of Baking

Maple Soy Salmon with Roast Cauliflower

Maple-Soy Salmon

Maple-Soy Salmon

Since I went  a little hog-wild at the supermarket and purchased a lot of different forms of citrus fruits, now I’m in the situation of trying to use them in as many ways as possible.  Eating them peeled and sectioned “out of hand” and in fruit salads is a given.  A tangerine, a Mineola, or a clementine  make a quick snack any time.  I’ve already shared with you my recipe for Lemon Cream Squares here, so this week I will be featuring recipes that contain other forms of citrus.

Roast Cauliflower with Clementines, Cranberries, and Pistachios

Roast Cauliflower with Clementines, Cranberries, and Pistachios

One of the recent dinners I made was this one, Soy Maple Salmon with Roast Cauliflower.  Even  though you see no mention of a citrus in the title it’s there none the less, in both the salmon part and the cauliflower.  We thought this meal was fabulous and one that I want to repeat again soon.  During this season when seafood is also plentiful, I try to prepare a fish item at least once per week.  The total calories for these two items is under 400 calories, and only 18 Gm. Carbohydrate.  There is a bargain of goodness in this meal any way you look at it.

In planning my time to prepare this meal I found that if I roasted the cauliflower and made a salad while the salmon was marinating, I could then pop the salmon in the hot oven, finish the cauliflower dish and dress the  salad.

SOY-MAPLE SALMON

SERVINGS:    4

Marinating the salmon.

Marinating the salmon.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2  Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4   4-5 ounce salmon fillets

1.   Mix all the ingredients (except salmon) plus  2 Tablespoons water in a large bowl or zip-lock baggie.  Add the salmon and turn to coat.  Allow this to marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

2.   When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400*F.   Coat a rimmed pan with cooking spray.  Drain the fish, season with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until slightly golden and beginning to crisp around the edges, 8 – 10 minutes.  The salmon should be moist, and flake easily with a fork.

Note:  Salmon will be baked after cauliflower at a lower oven temperature.

ROAST CAULIFLOWER WITH CLEMENTINES, CRANBERRIES AND PISTACHIOS

SERVINGS:   4

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower brushed with oil and ready for the oven.

Cauliflower brushed with oil and ready for the oven.

  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slabs
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 clementines, zested and segmented
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons whole or chopped pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon zest from clementines
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1.    Preheat oven to 450*F.  Arrange cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and brush with 2 Tablespoons olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast, flipping once, about half way through cooking time, until tender and a little charred at edges, about 25 minutes.

Cauliflower after roasting.

Cauliflower after roasting.

2.  Transfer to a serving platter with clementine segments and cover with foil to keep warm.  Turn down oven heat to 400*F to cook salmon.

3.  In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil, add the cranberries, pistachios, clementine zest, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Stir to heat through.  When ready to serve, drizzle over the cauliflower and clementines.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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This dinner entree is a mash-up of two recipes that I put together with some major modifications.

SOURCES:   Salmon:   Food Network Magazine;   Cauliflower:  Whole Living Magazine