Why hello, internet. I really didn’t mean to abandon you for, oh, a year and a half. I had this baby, see, and he took up a lot of my time. After a year I am slowwwwly making my way back to my old self. And I made this salad today and thought the internet might like it.
What a nice weekend in the country! It’s always so nice to see my parents’ gorgeous farm. Every time I’m there, the gardens have expanded and they have even more chickens.
I told my dad that I was sad that I didn’t love vegetables as much as I do now when I lived at home. Sure I ate whatever my mom made for dinner, but I definitely wasn’t as rabid about kale and garlic and tomatoes as I am now!
And this salad, man. Rabid doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about it. I wasn’t sure Will would even like it, as he’s pretty attached to regular caesar salad, but he ended up scraping the leftover cashews out of the bowl! I was inspired by one of those fancy $10 salads that I used to get for lunch when I worked downtown. It has a lot of the flavour of a caesar salad but without making you feel overloaded by dairy afterward. I added some cashews and hemp hearts to give it a bit more texture.
- one bunch kale (note to self: try with dinosaur kale next time!)
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 15 minutes
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (my head of garlic was small so I used the whole thing)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp capers
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- lots of fresh ground pepper
Wash and dry your kale and pull it off the stems and into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and set aside while you make the dressing.
Start by peeling the garlic. Mince it on a wooden cutting board, adding a pinch of salt to help make the garlic more paste-like. Once the garlic is very fined mined, put it into a small bowl and add the olive oil to it.
Finely chop the capers, adding them to the dressing. Add the lemon juice, mustard, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the cashews and roughly chop them. Add them to the salad bowl, along with the hemp hearts and the dressing. Toss thoroughly so the dressing coats the kale. Top with a touch more fresh pepper and enjoy!
There have been times in my life when I lived on taco salad for weeks. Weeks. It’s a slippery slope: I’d buy some lettuce, cheese, beans and corn chips and think, hmm, maybe instead of tacos I’ll do taco salad, just for a change. And then I’d eat it for every lunch and dinner for like, two weeks straight! I don’t know what it is about taco salad that appeals to me, but I think a big part is that I’ve only ever had my own homemade version. Ugh, why can’t restaurants do a veg version of it? It would be so easy to omit the beef and just do beans. Or nothing! Sometimes a girl just wants some lettuce, cheese and salsa, ya know?
Before I get into this delicious quinoa salad, I wanted to brag about a really cool gift I got from my sister this year.
Reusable produce bags! How smart is that? I always have one of those lightweight reusable totes in my purse to cut down on the number of plastic grocery bags I use, but now I can do that with produce bags too!
Ok and one more thing that has vastly improved my life: I just realized a few weeks ago that I could just write the best-before date on the carton of my already opened stock so I know how long it’ll be safe to use. Right? Riiiight? Ugh, there are some things that it takes me an embarrassingly long time to figure out.
So I’ve never really gotten the quinoa obsession. As a lifelong vegetarian, it’s one of those foods that people assume you eat constantly, like tofu and salads. I’ve only ever tried it as a side dish at vegetarian restaurants and I’m always underwhelmed by it.