Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Toasted Almonds

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Dude, people are fucking weird.
Not everyone of course, but there are some real questionables walking our streets.

I was in Trader Joes a few days ago buying groceries as I usually do, spending a lot of time in the fresh veggies section, when I noticed this lady, who was sort of in my peripheral, observing me.

I was studying the beets because I think I’m going to play with them the next few days.

I’m trying to eat healthy, really I am.
I don’t know what it is but I just keep falling off that fucking wagon.
Again and again.
My recent demise was public, you saw it.
Pork Belly Tacos.
I mean really..
Was I really not supposed to eat all of that?

I actually don’t feel bad for devouring that like an animal.
It just…what’s the word I’m looking for…
Reset.
There it is.
Eating those tender, juicy, high-fat morsels just reset my clean(er) eating progress.
So for the umpteenth time, I’m dragging my fat ass back on the wagon, starting with this kale salad.

But back to this lady.
Sorry, I’m all over the fucking map today.

Anyway this lady approaches me and you know how you can feel someones eyes on you?
Like you can feel someone is staring at you?
That was this lady.
So I turned around and sort of half smiled at her and raised my eyebrows. The universal signature for “Yes…?”

Trader Joes around here attracts more of the hippy, yeah maaan crowd, so it’s not entirely uncommon for random people to strike up a conversation with you. This is really the only place where that sort of thing is acceptable.
I’m in Trader Joes, I get it, so I engaged.

What are you buying there?
Ah, just some beets. I want to do something with beets and I’m trying to determine how many I want.
Oh, you’re a chef?
Yeah no, I just like playing with food.
Oh, well that’s nice. What do you typically cook?
Anything really, but most my food has an emphasis on seafood.
Ahhh haaa! Well, I think I’m going to make a salad for my husband.
That’s nice.
Yes, I’m trying to get more creative. Do you think these spring onions would go well with a salad?
Oh yes! You can also add in some corn, Haricot Verts, Peashoots are fun too..the more the merrier. *wide smile*
Oooh! Good idea! Thank you! *smile back*

What are you going to add to your beets?
I’m not sure yet, what do you think?
What do I look like, a fucking sorcerer?? *swings cart around and rapidly walks away*

All I could do was blink.

Look, I’m not saying I’m perfect here but what the fuck?
How did I just get played by an old lady?

I’m working on attitude adjustment lately so I’m not going to tell you the shit that crossed my mind when she did that because I’ve already seen improvements in my behavior but 2 weeks ago I probably would have yelled out,
“Hey lady! LADYYYYY?!? FUCK YOU TOO.”

Anyway back to this salad.
I think everyone that owns a cooking utensil has fooled around with Kale at some point so there is nothing genius about this recipe but this is a pretty badass salad.

I added the sweet potatoes because I wanted a more sustaining meal and the citrus elements merged with the sweet mustard dressing do a good job of cutting the bitterness of the kale to give it pretty wonderful flavor profile.
I also included Zucchini because I had one left over from the Alaskan Cod dish last week but you can pretty much use any vegetable in this because… well, it’s a salad.

Side Note: After the Pork Belly post went up, that was the end of the corn tortillas for me.
I had the rest of that juicy poison with this recipe.

 

Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Toasted Almonds

What I Used

2 large Sweet Potatoes. 1 med Zuchini. 10oz Kale (leaves only). A handful dry-roasted & salted Almonds. 1 tbsp Sweet Mustard. 1 large shallot. 1 tbsp Lime Juice. 1 tbsp Lemon Juice. 1 tbsp Orange Juice. 2 tbsp Sherry Vinegar. Olive Oil. Salt. Pepper.

What I Did

Start the dressing first because you want to give it some time to sit.
– In a large bowl, add 1 tbsp sweet mustard,  the diced shallot, 1 tbsp lemon zest, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp sherry vinegar and 1 tbsp fresh orange juice.
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– Mix well and while mixing, slowly drizzle in ½ cup olive oil.
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– Season with salt & pepper.
– Set aside to sit at room temperature

– Preheat the oven to 400F.
– Peel & chop the sweet potatoes into 1in cubes.
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– Heat 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, overn-proof sauté pan and add the potatoes.
– Sauté the potatoes, occasionally shuffling them  around until they start to brown.
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– Sprinkle with salt & pepper, then place the sweet potatoes in the oven to finish cooking.
– Remove from oven when potatoes can easily be penetrated with a fork. About 8 mins.
– Set aside somewhere warm.

– Dice/slice the vegetables, zucchini in my case.
– Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over med-high heat and sauté the vegetables until they are tender.
– Remove from heat and set aside.

– In medium pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil under med-high heat.
– Add in the kale leaves and cook, gently tossing them until they wilt.
– Then lower the heat and continue to cook the kale for about 5 more mins.
This helps break down the bitterness of the kale.

Lastly, toast the almonds.
– Crush the almonds a bit to open them.
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– Then heat a pan over med heat and without adding oil, add the toasted almonds to the pan.
– Cook, stirring frequently to brown but not burn them.
– Remove from heat and set aside.

To serve,
– In a big bowl, add the kale, vegetables and mustard dressing.
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– Mix well but gently.
– Add in the sweet potatoes and toasted nuts.
– Give one final mix and serve.
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89 Comments

  1. That cow bait-and-switched you! It’s like the opposite of what you did here, where you offered me kale but then linked me to pork belly.

    I’m sorry. I know you’re trying to be healthier, but I can’t resist pork belly. I’m sad I missed that post the first time around, but I’m going to go read it again now.

  2. Ha! That is so weird and hilarious! That salad looks great but you lost me over to the Pork Belly. As for the beets, I usually make them “Harvard” style. I cook them with pearl onions in water and apple cider vinegar sweetened with sugar, allspice and clove. I thicken the cooking liquid with cornstarch to make the sauce.

      1. I put the beets back in the sauce and serve them like that, usually with ham as the main dish. I always serve bread on the side for sopping purposes 🙂

  3. I was never a fan of beets until I tried them with some feta (or a tangy goat cheese). Love the tangy/zesty contrast with that weird, earthy sweet flavor beets have. They are still growing on me! So let’s see what you got 🙂

  4. Great combo of flavours! And, yeah, I get the same kinda drilling from people at farmers markets where I go off on a recipe idea, except I get a slack-jawed vacant look. Crazy folks out there.

  5. The salad looks great but the story with the old lady sounds even better haha and oh yeah you got tricked by her like big time sista 😀 you see it happens to me too any time I try to adjust and be nicer than I am- people just trick me! Once I get back to normal no messing around!

  6. Well, this looks delish Mrs. Cake. Rule number one, never make eye contact. (I never follow my own rules hence, the crazys get me every time.) Roasted beetroot, goats cheese, walnuts and puy lentils is one of my fave summer salads. (Leave the cheese out for you? I will eat your portion).

    1. Sigh…the ONE time..the ONE time I try and practice my soft skills..I just…there’s no winning.

      But I like that plan…yeah, I can dig it.
      Ok so, how about you grab the cheese…any kind you’d like and I’ll bring the wine.
      Now are we doing red or white wine?

      1. It’s very sensual. No. Really. You take some EVOO, some acid (I like lemon juice) and you rub it into the kale. I prefer to chop my kale first. But when you rub, it lessens the harshness and it’s lovely. And sensual. I usually add a splash of honey too. This is right up your alley girl!

  7. Beautiful pictures – you make healthy look so sexy! I myght even give that a try, Adding some bacon, perhaps tossed it lard … just joking.
    Great almond crusher, btw!
    Now as for that attitude adjustment treatment: are you taking classes? Can I get it on the internet? Perhaps through the health care system? Having just passed the anti sarcasm training my boss sent me to over the holidays I feel I am ready to take the next step.

    1. Haha, you like that? That hammer is multipurpose, haha!

      The attitude adjustment class I’m in is part of my probation. Your boss would have to nominate you as a prime candidate for this class because the alternative is Soft Skills Bootcamp.
      The criteria for Attitude 101 is simple though, I think you and Marta easily qualify:
      – Excessive sarcasm
      – Repeated cocking of head to the side with lips pursed to annihilate.
      – The inability to hold your tongue WITHOUT giving an eyeroll
      – Chin carried just a little too high
      And lastly
      – The inability to offer a genuine smile without faltering.

      1. It sounds perfect. I wonder what you mean by ‘soft skills’, though. Is this something to do with being ‘nice’? Do you have to go to a nursery to do it, ‘taking turns’ and ‘not making others sad’? I’d pick Attitude anytime!

  8. Eating healthy is so hard but it’s totally worth it…I am on that journey right now and I can’t believe how much of a fatty I am. Lol with the conversation at Trader’s Joe with the lady, you’re something else

  9. Hahahaha, that lady! I would’ve just stared in blank shock at her 😀 Oh, and I’m one of those rare people that has never ever used kale! I can’t get it where I live and I only ever ate it when I’m abroad 😉

    1. That’s pretty much what I did.
      And like, she said it so loudly, everyone with earshot just kind of paused like “Uh…okaaay?”
      Where do you live? What are the super greens around you?

  10. your crazy lady anecdote was amazing. totally something that would happen to me, although i’d be all you-two-weeks-ago and chase after her to hurl some nastiness at her. and possibly ram my cart into her shins. too much? haha
    i commend your self-restraint. 🙂

    ps. that salad looks delish!

  11. Dang that looks good! Im craving beets like nobodys business lately! Ive eaten nearly a whole can of beets this week. No fresh here, but I really just wanted that raw earthy beety goodness ya know? Also, I think maybe that lady WAS a sorcerer. And that was a test. Youre not a toad now, so you passed, I imagine. Or maybe you summoned some kind of beet magi by rubbing one just the right way. I reckon the sort of genie that lives in a beet would be weird and surly.

  12. Oh my… Dana, this is perfect! I will definitively give this a go. Really amazing, you don’t play around with food, you do magic with it. Alright, enough with the sucking up… I don’t know what’s wrong with me today, I’ve been acting lovey-dovey all day. Anyway 😀 have a good evening 🙂

    Oh, and good for you not yelling at that woman. Old ladies can be mean and talking back gets them really fired up, I had my fair share just the other week with an old lady telling me not to ride my bike where she was walking, even though she was in the wrong lane :/
    Lou

    1. Hey babycakes!
      I feel the love, don’t stop, don’t stop!!

      And old people are the worst. They can love you like no other but then turn on you in an instant.
      Sort of like teenagers. Or maybe not.
      I proudly have no idea.

      xx

  13. This post was hilarious, such a funny story. My friend actually linked this to me and it totally made my day. We then got into a conversation of random things that happen when conversing with strangers. 🙂 great post

  14. I see you’ve gone all Kumara! I still have to smile when the whole rest of the world calls them Sweet Potato. They are one of the basics in NZ kitchens. I still have to make friends with Kale though. Meaning, I have successfully ignored it so far. I guess in protest against all the bloody Kale smoothie posts on the webs. But this looks like actual food! Good stuff.

    1. Hahahaha!
      Yes, kale is your friend. Don’t fight it.
      But I get what you mean about its overexposure.
      That’s how I feel about Chia Seeds and the Paleo thing in general.
      I’ll investigate it after its fad phase is over 😀

  15. Our old apartment was sandwiched between **3** care-homes for **cough** senior citizens.

    I had encounters in the local supermarket so surreal that Hunter S. Thompson would have shaken his head in disbelief. Kubrick at his freakiest would not have been up to making a movie about them.

    Nice recipe, too….!

  16. Nice recipe. Appropriate to the season and full of yummy things. 😉 Your food pcis and cooking process pics are beautiful.

  17. Are you serious??? She really said that??? OH MY GOD!!!!! Is it bad that I personally would’ve tried to trip her? p/s I made a Kale Salad recently too but yours looks yummier.

Go on, get it out..

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