Day six of vegan recipe challenge: what the kale

In 2014, what has been hotter than Nicki Minaj, selfies, and the podcast Serial?

Kale.

Kale is still reigning as the “it” food. Will it be resigned to the “so last year” list in 2015? I doubt it. No only is the vegetable packed with vitamins and antioxidants, it’s versatile enough when someone says something ridiculous like – “I don’t like kale” – you can say: “But you haven’t tried it like this yet.” Maybe they still won’t like kale, but at least you’ve hit them with your best shot.

festive

Behold! A kale salad of wonder that christened our dining room table this Thanksgiving. No surprise: it’s another Angela Liddon masterpiece found in her first and latest cookbook – “The Oh She Glows Cookbook.”

The splotch marks of the pomegranate juice in my cookbook show that while a mess may occur, it’s so worth it. Who wants a clean cookbook?

splotchThe war of cooking takes its toll

Festival Kale Salad with sweet apple-cinnamon vinaigrette & pecan Parmesan
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 to 25 minutes; Cook time: 7 to 9 minutes
gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, grain-free

For the pecan Parmesan:
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh peeled ginger

To Assemble:
1 bunch kale, destemmed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
1 apple, cored and finely chopped
1.4 cup dried cranberries
1.2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1/2 pomegranate)

1) Make the Pecan Parmesan. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C). Spread the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

2) In a mini food processor, combine the toasted pecans, nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process until crumbly and combined. (You can also chop the pecans by hand and mix everything in a small bowl.) Set aside.

3) Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, oil, applesauce, and ginger until combined.

4) To assemble the salad, place the kale in a large salad bowl and pour on the dressing. With your hands, massage the dressing into the kale leaves until fully coasted. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. The kale will soften slightly during this time.

5) Top the kale with the apple, cranberries, and pomegranate arils. Spring the Pecan Parmesan over the salad just before serving.

Voila! Easy, delicious salad with a nice healthy crunch, some sweetness – and it’s so pretty!

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