Summer Blueberry Kale Salad

Blueberry Kale Salad

Summer Blueberry Kale Salad has so much good-for-you stuff going on.  We’ve got the kale, obviously; blueberries, which we know are packed with antioxidants; plus some healthy nuts and seeds, shredded carrots, and for sweetness a few dried cranberries.  Everything is tossed together with an easy peasy honey balsamic vinaigrette.  

Some people fear raw kale because on the stalk, it’s tough and you may not know what to do with it.  But really, making a raw kale salad is no more difficult than any other kind of green salad, except for this one thing:  add the dressing to the greens alone first and mix it well.  When I say “mix well” I mean it, no gentle tossing.   This isn’t baby spinach or field greens.   Your hands are your best utensils so wash up and use them to “massage” the dressing into the greens.  The idea here is that by “massaging” the kale with the dressing, the you are breaking down the kale just enough that it becomes tender and delicious.  You know you’re doing the right thing when you see the kale turn from a dull, dark green to a bright, shiny green.  

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Peppercorn & Honey Pickled Onions

Peppercorn & Honey Pickled Onions

I wish someone could explain to me why red onions are called red onions when they’re really purple.  

Anyone?  

Red, purple, whatever color they are, they are pretty in green salads, pasta salads, grain salads, all kinds of salads.  But here’s the rub – red onions are supposed to be fairly mild and a bit sweet, but more often than not I find that they have a pretty strong bite with a tendency to overwhelm other flavors.  A simple fix for this problem is to pickle your onions first.  They’ll be a bit briny from the vinegar and sea salt, and also have a little sweetness from the honey.  

Peppercorn & Honey Pickled Onions

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Salty Sweet Pecans

Salty Sweet Pecans

I love candied pecans.  Are you with me on this?  OMG, they are so very very good…and so very very bad for you.  I tried to clean them up a bit, cutting out ingredients such as refined sugar and butter and simplifying the process.   Making a cleaner, slightly less unhealthy version of candied pecans was fantastic, but I admit that I was driven to make them this way as a direct result of my not wanting to wash a baking sheet.  Don’t ask me why, but I hate washing cookie sheets.  They are unweildy, they don’t fit well in my sink, and they end up splashing water all over the place.  And, in cases like these, they are about 5 times bigger than what I need.  So, I fired the cookie sheet for nut toasting purposes and brought out the nonstick skillet.  It works just as well and clean up is a bit, well, cleaner. 

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