Last week I had the rare and lovely luxury of an afternoon off. I spent it with a dear friend, lounging in her pool and soaking up some California sunshine with some California wine. In the evening she left to pick up her two little girls, and along with them, came back with bags of delicious, fresh produce. I told her I love to create, and persuaded her to spend time with her girls while I spent time in her kitchen. What fun to create with the ingredients of someone else’s pantry and zero planning! This is what I came up with. My friend called me the next day and said “What the heck did you put in that dressing?! It was delicious!” And so I will name this salad for her. Happy Health!
* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.
1 bunch curly kale “deboned” (center fibrous stalk removed) and pulled into small, bite size leaves
1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts (remove tough bottom and shred leaves into a slaw)
1 cup chopped, small broccoli florets
1 small orange or red bell pepper, chopped
1 small Persian cucumber, sliced into half rounds
1 small onion, chopped
1 beet shredded with a peeler
1/2 cup prepared quinoa (I cook mine in chicken broth or veggie broth for extra flavor)
small handful shredded Parmesan cheese (obviously omit to keep the recipe vegan)
1 or 2 tbsp roasted, salted sunflower seeds
chopped flat leaf parsley to taste
juice of 1 small lemon
1 tbspish mayo (or Vegenaise to keep the recipe vegan)
1 or 2 tsp mustard of your choice (probably not French’s Yellow….)
drizzle of vinegar of your choice
drizzle extra virgin olive oil
dash fresh black pepper
dash garlic powder
Start by drizzling a tiny bit of olive oil and lemon juice over the kale and massaging all the leaves for 4 or five minutes to tenderize. Mix all remaining ingredients in the bowl with the kale, making sure the wet ingredients are distributed over all the veggies. We ate this with sushi grade, lightly seared salmon, but this salad is sturdy enough to be a light meal. Also, because of its sturdiness, it’s a great salad to make ahead and pack for lunch or have on hand for a quick dinner for several days.