Tag Archives: kale

Kale Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

I got a new blender this weekend! I bought it to replace my on-it’s-last-legs blender. This old blender operated only on the lowest setting or on pulse, plus the rubber ring that sits between the blade and the bottom of the blender pitcher disappeared!

The blender I ended up purchasing is a Hamilton Beach Professional 1500 watt Blender.

Blender

This blender is a compromise, or maybe a blending of two requirements … I wanted a high powered blender and “Tom” wanted a quiet blender. It turns out that the higher the wattage or power of a blender, the noisier it is and we wanted a blender with a minimum of 1000 watts. Well, it turns out that there actually are a few quiet high powered blenders out there. They can be very expensive though. We finally settled on this Hamilton Beach blender because it’s got the power, it’s got a quiet shield, it’s got a variety of settings including a self-clean setting, and it was on sale at London Drugs right near our house! The pitcher is a bit small at only 1 litre, but I think I can live with that.

As soon as we got the blender home, we wanted to try it out – me to try out the high power and “Tom” to test out the quiet shield. I decided to make the salad dressing for a kale salad in the blender (I would usually make a dressing in a measuring cup with a whisk). Well, let me tell you that a high powered blender whips salad dressings together so well that the oil and vinegar does not separate! So cool! And quiet? Yes indeed! “Tom” is very happy with that quiet shield!

Kale Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

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Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took of the salad. I took it with my phone in poor light.

3 tbsps apple cider vinegar

2 tbsps honey

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic (minced if you are whisking, cut in quarters if you are high power blendering)

pinch sea salt 2 tbsps olive oil

handful of walnuts, broken

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped into small pieces

salt

5 or 6 fresh strawberries, large dice (I used local strawberries which are still available from the local road stand if you can believe it!)

In the blender, add the dressing ingredients, vinegar to oil. Blend on medium power for less than a minute, until ingredients have transformed into a smooth sauce. Toast the walnuts in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking and stirring, for about a minute or so until the nuts smell toasty and just start to brown. Set aside to cool. Place the kale leaves in a large bowl. Add a drizzle of the salad dressing and a sprinkling of salt. Massage the sauce and salt into the kale until the leaves begin to wilt and reduce down. Add the strawberries to the bowl, pour on about 1/2 of the dressing, toss gently to combine. Sprinkle on the cooled walnuts.

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The New Sensation! Broccoli Leaf Chips!

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So, you’ve probably heard of kale chips … that crispy snack made by tossing some┬ákale leaves in oil and baking for a few minutes. Simple, easy, somewhat nutritious. Well, kale chips have had their day in the sun. I’m here to tell you about BROCCOLI LEAF CHIPS! Yep, you heard it right … crispy chips made out of the highly nutritious leaves of the broccoli plant.

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Probably the reason this snack has not made it into the ovens of vegie eaters is because you can’t buy broccoli leaves in the grocery store. You could probably buy some from your local farmers market, but you’d have to make special arrangements because who every heard of eating the leaves instead of (or as well as) the broccoli flower.

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Well, I heard about the nutritional powerhouse-ness of broccoli leaves from my brother years ago when he was a hippie living in Sooke, BC, growing organic vegetables in great, bountiful quantities. When he entered a nursing program in Vancouver he tried to convince his nutrition instructor that there was more to broccoli than just leaves, but I don’t think this went over too well! Fast forward to yesterday when “Tom” and I were harvesting in our little community garden plot. Our broccoli was ready for picking and “Tom” asked if the leaves were edible. Well, I knew the answer to that one, so we collected several leaves from the plants and took them home. We tried steaming them up along with the fresh broccoli heads, but the leaves were kind of leathery and not very pleasant to chew (although the flavour was fine). Then, today, when I was preparing supper, I decided to make a batch of kale chips, but it turned out there weren’t enough kale leaves to make it worth while. I glanced at the full bag of broccoli leaves and thought, “Why not!” I prepared both kale and broccoli leaves the same way and, voila! Delicious, crispy, light chips! I was so thrilled about this culinary discovery, I had to share it immediately. (Thus the rather sub-par pictures)!

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And now here’s how you can make them too:

Kale and Broccoli Leaf Chips

several leaves of kale and/or broccoli (I used about 6 to 8 leaves)

olive oil

coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Prepare the leaves by cutting out the stems then cutting or tearing the leaves into 2 inch squares. Put the leaves into a bowl and drizzle a bit of oil in. Toss and lightly massage the oil into the leaves so that most of the surface of the leaves is covered. Add a bit more oil if you need. Sprinkle in a bit of coarse salt and toss again. Lay out the leaves on a baking pan (no need to oil the pan) and bake for 8 minutes. Pull the pan out, gently move the leave around a bit, then bake for another 2 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

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