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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sweet Kale Salad w/ Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe)

My friend introduced me to this awesome bagged salad, and I got kind of hooked. The problem is that it's $4-5 in the store, and I'm REALLY not a fan of bagged salads - I've read too many stories of nasty bacteria, I don't know where the food's been, and they almost always have this faint mildew-y smell. My friend is also lactose intolerant, and had (falsely) assumed that the poppy seed dressing in the bag contained dairy.

When I realized that the small stringy things inside the salad weren't bean sprouts - which have a super short fridge lifespan - and were actually broccoli stalk slivers, I decided to try making it myself.

And aside from missing the chicory (listed on the bag), I've done a great job at re-creating it, including the dressing - which is not only dairy-free, but VEGAN. Here's how I make it:

SWEET KALE SALAD with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing (Ho-made version)

1 1/2 to 2 c. of washed, dried kale, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup finely shredded green cabbage (napa might work well also)
1/4 cup red cabbage - adds a bit of colour in place of the missing chicory
4-5 fresh Brussels sprouts, cut into approx. 2 mm slices
1/3 - 1/2 c. broccoli stems, cut into tiny julienne slivers (roughly 2-3 mm wide, and 1 to 2" long)

1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds
1/8 c. dried cranberries

Toss together except for the seeds and berries. Keeps for me (undressed) in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week. Adjust any of the above measurements to your liking.

1/3 c. white sugar
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground dry mustard
1 tsp. grated onion
3/4 c. canola (or other light tasting) oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-2 tbsp. orange juice

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, orange juice, mustard and onion and process for 20 seconds. Add oil and blend for another 20 seconds, or until it's all smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Store in a glass jar for a week or more (it probably won't last that long).

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Add seeds and cranberries on top. I also add some toasted almond slivers when I have them on hand.


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