Tag Archives: healthy

Kale Salad with Shaved Apple, Candied Almonds and Romano


This kale salad has become a legend among my friends after a self-described non-foodie made it during a girls getaway trip. We all should have known that any gal who can whip up a Spam/Kraft Mac ‘n cheese dinner can also deliver a delicate and elegant salad made of only unprocessed ingredients.

Kale is all the rage these days, so you may be able to find shredded kale pre packaged at your local Food Lion equivalent. But it’s so much easier and cheaper, honestly, to do it yourself. Slice off the thick rib, roll the leaf into a cigar and then slice as thinly as you can.

Kale is a hearty, toothsome green that only works raw if shredded into ribbons and tossed with a tenderizing vinaigrette.


Kale Salad With Apple and Candied Almonds

– 2 T extra virgin olive oil
– Zest and juice of 1 lemon
– 2 c. Thinly sliced kale, ribs removed
– 1/4 c shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
– 1/4 c chopped candied almonds (sauté whole almonds in a pat of butter and couple spoonfuls of brown sugar over medium heat until coated. Cool on wax paper)
– 1 crisp apple, thinly sliced
– pinch cayenne
– salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together oil, zest and juice in your salad bowl. Add seasonings to taste. Add apple slices and coat. Add kale, almonds and cheese. Toss to combine.

The almonds offer a crunch and candied sweetness to the tart apple and lemon mixture. The Pecorino Romano adds a nuttiness and thickens the dressing so it nicely coats the leaves. I like to shave big shards of cheese over the top for garnish.

I have made this for numerous dinner parties and thanks to the robust kale, it does well as a leftover, too.

Cheers, friends!


Falafel Burgers

I always feel the need to pat myself on the back when I make a “fake-out” meal. You know what I mean – these are all over Pinterest – meals that substitute super foods, grains, veggies where normally high-fat meats or empty carbs once were. It’s one thing to put applesauce in your cake recipe and another to create a satisfying meal that doesn’t make you miss your high fat/empty carb ways. Not that I have anything against those things, obviously…

I’m talking about a chickpea burger. I never order the veggie burgers in restaurants, but in college I went on a Bocca burger kick and quite liked them. So here I am, not in college, not eating a frozen veggie burger every night, but still wanting something healthy-burgeresque.

A recipe in my Fine Cooking magazine looked tasty – more like a grilled falafel instead of a fried falafel. So I made it one night and just loved it – also great as leftovers taken to work.

The only thing I would change is to make a cold creamy tzaziki sauce instead of the tahini sauce, which I found to clash with the burgers. We ended up not using the tahini sauce and instead adding some sour cream on top of our burgers, which was nice and cold, mixing well with the hot burgers and hot sauce shaken over the top.

Falafel Burgers

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1/4 c. EVOO
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 8 Pita pockets
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 T tahini, divided
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cucumber, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • Hot sauce, to taste

Heat oil, garlic and cumin in small saucepan until garlic is soft, about 3 min. Set aside.

Tear up 2 pitas and toast until lightly browned. Grind in food processor until fine crumbs form. Dump out and set aside.

In food processor, puree 1 can garbanzo beans and oil mixture, 2 T tahini, 1 T lemon juice, egg and 3/4 tsp salt until smooth. Add remaining garbanzo beans and pita crumbs, parsley and cilantro. Pulse until beans are coarsely chopped and mixture is well blended. Shape into patties and grill, covered, until heated through (this can be done in frying pan, too), 2-3 min. per side. I used a stove top grill pan.

Put remaining tahini in small bowl and whisk in 2 T water and 3 T lemon juice – it will thicken before it thins. This will be your sauce, should you want it.

To serve, heat pita halves until soft and fill with burgers, tomato and cucumber. Add tahini sauce and hot sauce to taste.

Do you like my fancy tahini swish I presented? Basically a food stylist, y’all.

Yum – the burgers are warm, the cumin is warm, the garlic and Texas Pete’s are hot, the tomatoes are cold and the cucumbers are crunchy. A nice combination – I’d like to call this a whole meal in a pocket. Maybe serve with a couscous or tabbouleh salad – or not!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo