What I love most about the holidays is that it’s a time ripe with the essence of both past and present. In these weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this remains more true than ever. I used to always wonder why and how and who thought it was a good idea to “put” two such grand holidays so close together (isn’t one enough?!), but I now know that it was a brilliant idea.
During these early December weeks, we’re all a little tired, a good bit cozy, some giddy with expectation, others antsy to call it all a day. Regardless of where you find yourself, though, the reality is that this time of year reeks of tradition while also begging for something fresh. Thankfully the New Year is just around the bend.
With this in mind, I wanted to come up with something that would embrace the past while refreshing the present. I’ve written before about how I’ve become know as the Salad Maven of many a party. I find it to be something many are scared to play with, yet to me it’s fun, inexpensive, and the hardest culinary experiment to mess up. Not to mention that amidst the heaviness of casseroles and roasts, salads are the saving grace!
So in celebration of this holiday interim, I thought it appropriate to embrace hearty and comforting ingredients, while calling on some lively current food trends. I’ve combined coconut shreds with warm quinoa to bring out the oils, creating a soft and delicate texture. The bite of Granny Smith apple perfectly compliments the sweetness, and my Zesty Sesame Vinaigrette ties it all together. Toss it with shredded Lacinato Kale, and you may just find you’ve been knocked into 2014!
Best of celebrations!
- Kale Salad
- 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale, chopped thin
- 1 Cup Red Quinoa, cooked and warm
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, diced
- 1 Recipe Zesty Sesame Vinaigrette (Below)
- Fun Options: Dried Cranberry, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds
- Zesty Sesame Vinaigrette
- ½ Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, strained
- ¼ Cup Brown Rice Vinegar
- ⅛ Cup Olive Oil
- ½+1/4 Tsp Sesame Oil
- ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
- Dash Salt & Pepper
- Sesame Seeds, to garnish
- Combine all ingredients except oils. Slowly whisk in oils.
- To serve:
- Before quinoa has cooled completely, stir in coconut shreds. Toss with kale and apple, adding the dressing last. Once everything is sufficiently dressed, finish with sesame seeds. Add additional options if you wish.
All images rights of The Lavender Lunchbox. Bowl provided by The Frock Shop – Charlotte, NC.
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