Raw Kale & Brussel Sprout Salad w/ Dijon Maple Dressing…

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Many people turn up their noses at kale, but when you take the time for this one quick step, it’s incredibly delicious! When using raw kale, the key is to give it a little TLC in the way of a  massage.  Wouldn’t that make you more agreeable too?

You simply drizzle with a little olive oil and add a pinch of salt and give it a good massage, scrunching it in your hands.  Don’t be gentle here…more like a deep tissue massage…. Once the kale is bright colored and fragrant, you’re ready to use any way you please.

I love this combination but change it up to make it any way you like.  You could use chopped dried apricots, white or dark raisins, chopped dried figs.  You could use toasted pecans, sunflower seeds or walnuts.

Raw Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad w/Dijon-Maple Dressing

1 bunch curly green kale
1/2 lb. brussel sprouts
2-3 T. sliced almonds, toasted
3 T. dried sweetened cranberries

Dijon Maple Dressing

2 T. white wine vinegar, cider vinegar will do
2 T. maple syrup or honey
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. minced shallots or red onion
Pinch of pepper

1)  Tear the leaves from the thick fiberous stems and tear into small pieces.  Give a good washing and spin out the water and toss into a large bowl.  Drizzle the kale with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and add a pinch of kosher or sea salt.  Now scrunch with both hands, massage well until the kale is bright green.  Have a small taste, it should be quite tender.  Don’t worry, you can’t over massage.
2)  Prep the brussel sprouts by washing and trimming the end of the stems and removing any discolored leaves.  Thinly slice them by hand or in a food processor with the slicing blade.  I much prefer the latter.  Add to the bowl with the kale.
3)  If you need to toast the almonds, you can do it in a skillet over medium heat, watch very closely and turn them often with a spatula.  Allow them to cool.
4)  Add the dried cranberries and cooled toasted almonds to the bowl.
5)  In a small bowl whisk all dressing ingredients together.  Pour over the salad and mix well.
6)  Now taste!  Add additional seasonings if needed.  Enjoy immediately.

I love this salad even a day or two later.




Roasted Delicata Squash/Great Thanksgiving Side Dish!


Recently I discovered that I’m in love with delicata squash.  My friend and excellent cook Barbara Westerman suggested I try it.  WOW,  she was right!   While in the squash family, it has a taste entirely of its own.  In addition to the taste, there are several reasons why I absolutely love it.  First, there is no peeling involved, the skin edible, it’s tender and delicious.  Secondly, it’s easy to cut in half, no power tools needed to break into it.  Thirdly,  preparation is incredibly simple.  Lastly, it’s beautiful on the plate, it would be a lovely side dish to serve with roasted turkey,  roasted pork, chicken or fish.

The squash I bought was about 7-9″ in length and 3″ across.  Like other squash, the larger and older it gets,  flavor is lost and it’s less tender, so buy this size or smaller.

006Look for firm skin with no blemishes.  The first step is the most critical.  Wash it thoroughly, rubbing the skin with your hands or with a vegetable brush under running water.  It grows on the ground and a little sand will ruin your whole experience.


Preheat the oven to 350′.  Cut the ends off, slice in half and remove the seeds.  Slice into 1/4″ slices.010Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  For a twist, you could season with chili powder or smoked paprika.

011Toss to coat evenly and spread over a foil lined cookie sheet.  I like Reynold’s non stick foil.  Roast for 15-20 minutes.

012Simple.  Delicious. Healthy.  Beautiful.



PS-Can be made ahead and re-warmed.  Enjoy cold as a healthy and delicious snack!