Tag Archives: kale

Raw Taco Salad

Remember that raw phase I went through? Ya, i’m trying to forget it too. But sometimes I accidentally eat completely raw meals.

This was one of those nights. I had read somewhere about using walnut “taco meat,”but the post I read it in used it to be raw. I immediately closed the window and moved on with my life. Now I know I have talked about my cravings before, but the weirdest habit of mine is craving things that I have never eaten. And well, that happened. I was craving this “raw taco meat” made from walnuts. On my way home from work that day I picked up some walnuts and guacamole to adorn the rest of the salad ingredients that I already had at home.

Another element that I am going to bring into this salad is massaged kale. Every time I told someone I made a massaged kale salad, I was greeted with confused stares. But man oh man, everyone needs to hop on the massaged kale salad train. Basically, it is exactly what is sounds like: you coat it lightly with some olive oil, lemon juice (but tonight I used lime juice, since it was a taco salad), salt, and pepper and then get to massaging. You get the benefits of it being cooked almost, meaning it is much more palatable and you pre-break it down for your digestive system, but you also get the benefits of it being raw, meaning all of the precious nutrients are left untouched.

And finally, I have also been playing a lot with using peaches in savory dishes. Peach or mango or pineapple salsa? Yes, please! I also had some peaches, so onto the salad they were going.

Anyways, this raw taco salad of sorts was phenomenal and an absolute synch to throw together! Literally I was raving about the salad after every bite that I took. And then I made it for lunch each of the following days. It packs really well since you don’t have to worry about the kale wilting. The salad doesn’t need much of a dressing since the walnuts are flavor packed as well as the guacamole brings its Mexican goodness to the party. Raw food, you win this round… in the tastiest of ways.

Raw Kale Salad
Inspired by Roost Blog
Materials:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup your favorite guacamole
  • 1/2 peach, diced
  • 1/8 cup red onion, diced
  • juice from 1 lime
Methods:
  1. Place walnuts, spices, soy sauce, and lime juice in a food processor and process until the walnuts take on the consistency of taco meat.
  2. Toss kale in lime juice and olive oil with a few shakes of salt and pepper and then massage, as if you were kneading dough, until kale has wilted and taken on a supple texture.
  3. To assemble: Place kale in salad bowl, top with scoop of guacamole, sprinkle walnut taco meat around, top with diced peaches and red onion, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  4. Enjoy!
    • Probably audibly.
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BBQ Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza

Remember when I went bananas over this sauce? Well it has made another appearance in my kitchen. This past weekend my advisor kindly held a lab summer get together at his house and the theme was vegetarian, so I was stoked. Therefore being the resident vegetarian, I had to bring my A-game. I thought long and hard about what to make, and in the end decided that a BBQ pizza would be perfect: I was thinking I could cut it up into smaller pieces, making it good finger food, and I would make it interesting and vegan so that I could blow people’s minds. But really, at a summer time gathering, who doesn’t love BBQ sauce and pizza? 

Well, I am lucky I made it as “gourmet” as a did… because when I rolled up to the gathering in some ripped jeans and a T-Shirt, I realized it was more of a summer cocktail party than a summer BBQ (which is due to my poor reading skills, the invite never actually said BBQ). My boss had put out quite the spread of fancy hors d’oeuvres and the wine was flowing, so I snuggled my pizza in between some veggie lasagna and Vietnamese salad. 

Speaking of flowing wine, we had a friendly wine tasting competition. He had us blind taste 4 under $15 red wines. We had to identify the grape type, rate it (according to NIH guidelines), and give other general notes. Now, a couple of things you should know about me before I continue the story: 


1) I am really not a huge wine person.
2) Since moving to California, I have tried hard to become a wine person.
3) I have been wine tasting in Napa/Sonoma twice in the last 2 months alone. 
4) When I lived in Italy I could (and often did) take an entire bottle of wine to the face. 


Ok, now that we have all of that clear, I would like to proudly gloat that I WON! While I am sure a lot of it was luck, let’s pretend there was a little bit of skill to it too :-). What put me over the edge to win was when he tried to sneak in a bottle of 2 buck Chuck, I just drew a big sad face on that line. So anyways, it is usually a good idea to impress your new boss with your drinking skills, right? 



But back to my cooking skills! I have made this pizza before, and enjoyed it immensely. It is a little spicy from the chipotle in the sauce, a little sweet from the sweet potatoes, and a little crispy and garden fresh from the kale. I finished it off with a cashew cream drizzle to cool down the spice and tie everything together. I thought it was great, every bite of pizza was gone, and people kept telling me they loved it (but then again, maybe they just wanted me to share my newly won bottle of wine with them ;-)). 

BBQ Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza



Materials:

  • 1 ball of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin (about 1/4″)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 batch smoked onion and chipotle sauce
  • 1/4 cup cashew cream (but leave out the chipotle quoted in this recipe)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the sweet potato slices with the olive oil and give a shake of salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange sweet potato slices on baking sheet in 1 layer and roast for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  4. Toss the chopped kale with the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Turn oven up to 450 degrees.
  6. Roll out pizza dough to about 12″, and pre-bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. Spread sauce on the hot crust, neatly lay sweet potato slices, and then cover with kale.
  8. Place back in oven for about 15 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven and drizzle with cashew cream before serving.
  10. Enjoy!
    1. Best served with friends and coworkers with a full glass of wine. Talking about science is totally optional.