This is the time of year when new and exciting cookbooks are coming on the market!
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less, and I chose this Date-Nut Kale Salad to share with you today:
This new cookbook is the third in the Well Fed line-up by fellow blogger and thyroid disease-survivor Melissa Joulwan, and the theme is making “real food” paleo-friendly meals quickly. All 128 recipes in this book are grain-, legume-, dairy-, and sugar-free, so I was more than happy to review it today. And, I’m offering a copy to one lucky reader; read onto the end to find the entry link! Full disclosure: I was sent a complimentary copy.
What’s a kale salad recipe doing showing up in cool weather? It turns out that kale is actually a winter veggie, and this recipe is versatile enough to act as a side dish or a main dish option depending on how you dress it up:
Melissa’s recipe includes adding a cooked protein like roast chicken to the salad, but I’m showing it here as a side dish. Also, I used dried cranberries and pine nuts instead of the dates and sliced almonds, but it’s all about improvising, right?
This salad made enough for leftovers, so I ended up serving it both as a side and a main dish (seen here with roasted squash, artichoke hearts, and chicken):
Here’s the printable recipe for the salad as Melissa wrote it:
- 2 bunches kale (about 2 pounds)
- 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup (omit for Whole30)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1?2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 medjool dates
- 1?4 cup sliced almonds
- Massage the kale. Remove the tough ribs from the leaves and chop the kale into slivers or bite-sized pieces. Place the leaves in a very large bowl and add a pinch of salt. Toss the leaves to distribute the salt and start massaging. Grab handfuls of kale, rubbing them against each other and squeezing. It’s similar to kneading dough, and the harder you are on the kale, the more tender it will be later. e best way to know if you’ve massaged it enough is to take a little bite: if it’s still leathery or bitter, it needs more of a rubdown.
- Make the dressing. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small bowl. Peel and crush the garlic clove and add it to the lemon juice, then whisk in the maple syrup, salt, and red pepper flakes. While you continue to whisk, drizzle in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the kale and mix with your hands to coat the leaves.
- Finish the salad. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and reheat it over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast until golden, about 2 minutes. Keep an eye on them; they can burn quickly! Set aside to cool. Pit and chop the dates. Add the almonds and dates to the kale and toss to combine.
I love this new cookbook! Melissa is a recipe-writing veteran, so her instructions are clear, and her flavors are bold and internationally-inspired. She is a sassy, savvy woman, and I identify strongly with her story and ideas about diet and wellness. In other words, she is a cool chica and that comes across even in her recipe writings.
As mentioned, Mel has generously offered to send one lucky reader a copy of her new book. To enter, just use this link; one winner will be selected at random on November 22nd. Continental US residents only, please; all restrictions apply:
Also, here’s a free 30-page PDF sampler from Well-Fed Weeknights.
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