Kale Salad with Apple, Avocado, Parmesan & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Kale, Apple, Avocado, Parm Salad | www.kiwiandbean.com

We did something really really brave this past weekend, and took our brood on a five-hour road trip to Montreal. Well, I should clarify: that’s five hours according to Google maps, which doesn’t (yet, anyway) adjust travel time for bathrooming, screaming, crying, nursing, “the iPad is not woooooooorking,” snacking, lunching, bathrooming again, hair pulling and crying (mine, this time), and nursing again. Hey Google, if you’re reading: five hours pfft, try eight POINT five hours.

This left us one clear day to “enjoy” ourselves in Montreal, and make our way through a very long to-do list, which predictably was interrupted by bathrooming, screaming, nursing, crying, snacking, lunching, bathrooming again, screaming again, barfing (this was new!) and nursing again. Question: do people call this a “vacation”? Doesn’t seem like the right word.

I will say, though, that it was worth it (yes, truly) to see the Bean race gleefully—and donning a Hooter Hider come superhero cape, no less—towards “Mama’s school!!!” (i.e. my alma mater), to photograph Kiwi & Bean sitting on the steps of my very first apartment (and kitchen, importantly), and to push my baby stroller through the streets where I spent my most formative years. So much of the city was exactly as I remembered it, and yet here I am 10 years older with a husband and a couple of crazies. Wowza.

Walking

Running

And of course, no trip to la belle province would be complete without scarfing at least 20,000 calories, and we did manage to pause the screaming, nursing, bathrooming and barfing for just long enough to stuff our faces with several days’ worth of excellent food, coffee, wine, cocktails and pastries.

Montreal Food

Which means this week is stuff-my-face-with-vegetables week. Kale salad, anyone?

Now, I should say that it wasn’t too long ago that kale salads were at the very top of  my do-not-cook list. I just couldn’t be convinced that raw kale was worth the trouble. But I’ve recently come around, and I will admit that if you use the right kind of kale, massage it in just the right way (yes, I’m going to suggest that you get all sexy-time on your greens), and mix it with the right combination of taste enhancers—in this case avocado, apple, pepitas, parmesan and a kick-ass honey mustard vinaigrette—kale salad can be pretty good, and maybe even really really finger-licking good.

In fact this kale salad is so darn good that I’ve actually managed to persuade the Bean to take more than 1/17th of a bite. If your kids aren’t into kale (and frankly, I kinda don’t blame them), you can serve them a “deconstructed” version consisting of cubed apples and avocado, a handful of pepitas, a few shaves of parmesan and a bit of vinaigrette for dipping.

Kale, Apple, Avocado, Parm Salad | www.kiwiandbean.com

Kale Salad with Apple, Avocado, Parmesan & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 side-dish servings

Dressing recipe adapted from www.cookieandkate.com.

Ingredients

    For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • For the salad:
  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale (aka tuscan kale, dinosaur kale)
  • 1 gala apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. For the dressing: whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, or shake them up in a small mason jar.
  2. For the salad: Destem the kale (cut it away from the woody stems), and then cut it into thin ribbons. Put the ribbons into a large salad bowl and use your hands to massage the kale by squeezing it firmly. You want to repeat this rub-down several times, in order to break down the tough leaf fibres to make the kale more palatable and silky. Add the apple, apple, cheese, and pepitas to the massaged kale and then toss with the dressing until everything is well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and scatter the avocado cubes overtop just before serving.

Notes

I actually like this salad best after it's been sitting in the fridge for a few hours (minus the avocado, which should be added just before you eat). While the kale sits, it softens and absorbs the dressing, which makes it quite a bit tastier. I expect that this would even survive overnight and all the way until lunchtime, for those inclined to take it to work or send it to school.

http://kiwiandbean.com/kale-apple-avocado-salad/

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No-Cook Sicilian-Style Tomato Pasta Sauce

No-Cook Tomato Pasta Sauce | www.kiwiandbean.com

I predict that you get about one paragraph into this blog post and decide that this dish is not for you. Or that, even if it might work for you, it definitely won’t please the littlest mouths in your house. I’m going to guess that if you skipped straight ahead to the recipe, and scanned the list of ingredients (resist; don’t do it!!), you’d click about as far away from here as you could go: “Oh, blech, no way not in my house,” you’d likely think, if not say out loud. Continue Reading →

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Power Cookies

Power Cookies | www.kiwiandbean.com

While I was writing this blog post for you, the Bean ate a leaf.

Ok, she didn’t quite eat a leaf, but she picked a leaf from a tree in our yard, and took a couple of hefty bites.

I quickly fished the masticated leaf bits out of her mouth, and contemplated a call to poison control or whatever it’s called, but she assured me—in the way that only a three year old can provide assurance—that she didn’t actually swallow.

Phew, I suppose.

Except she now knows the attention-grabbing power of eating garden greenery. Bean: 1. Mama: zero. Continue Reading →

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For my blogger friends: Canada’s new anti-spam law

So I’m taking off my foodie hat and putting on my lawyer hat today, to talk about Canada’s new anti-spam laws! Exciiiiting, right? Those of you who come for the recipes, I apologize. This is just a short little break from regularly scheduled programming, and I will be back with food stuff, I promise!

If you are still reading, then you are probably a blogger type or a web type, or else just really really bored and looking for something to read. For those in the latter category, might I suggest this.

For those in the former category, welcome! If you are confused or panicked or just plain curious about the new anti-spam law, and how it might affect your blogging activities, you have come to the right place!

Now before I begin, a disclaimer: I ain’t your lawyer, and this is not legal advice, y’hear? This is what we call legal information. If you have questions about how the new law applies to your particular circumstances, or you find yourself caught in an anti-spam pickle, you will need to retain a lawyer to help you.

With that out of the way, let’s get on with what will hopefully be the quickest and dirtiest, but most helpfully simplified, summary of the anti-spam law that you will find on the interwebs. Continue Reading →

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Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad | www.kiwiandbean.com

Well hello Saturday June 21, 2014. We’ve been waiting for you.

I’ve often thought it would be lovely to live in a warm summery climate year round, to drop my kid at school wearing a t-shirt and sandals, to eat Christmas dinner on the deck, to give up snow boots, shovels and mittens, to celebrate February birthdays in the park. Continue Reading →

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Your Summer Barbecue Meal Planner!

Barbecue collage

You will have to forgive my triple-A-type personality, and possibly hold back some laughter. Because I totally made you a Summer Barbecue Menu Matrix. Whaaaaaaaat? I know—so weird.

But before y’all go taunting me on Twitter and stuff, let me explain.

Summer barbecues are my fave. The best way to entertain friends and family, in my experience, because even if the food is just ok, you are sitting out in the sun or under the stars with your feet in the grass and a drink in your hand. And what could be better than that? Continue Reading →

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Make-Ahead Breakfast: Whole Grain Banana Oatmeal Waffles

Banana Oatmeal Waffles | www.kiwiandbean.com

If “waffle” makes you think of the boxed up frozen kind or the topped with fake whipped cream and syrupy strawberries kind, then read on. Waffles can be healthy! As in totally whole-grain, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free healthy. They can also be as easy and weekday-friendly as toast….if you whip the batter up the night before. Continue Reading →

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“In the Door” Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice | www.kiwiandbean.com

The Bean—now three years old—recently discovered the power of “why”. In a big way. As in:

Me: Let’s get dressed.
The Bean: Why are we getting dressed?
Me: Because we are going outside.
The Bean: Why are we going outside?
Me: Because it’s a beautiful day.
The Bean: Why is it a beautiful day?
Me: [Stumped.] Put your socks on and stop asking questions.

I have a feeling I’m supposed to welcome this to and fro as a signal of my child’s robust intellectual development. So why do I find it so dang annoying? And how the heck is it possible for a three year old to routinely stump an adult some 20 years (ahem) her senior?

When I next serve up this quinoa dish—one of the Bean’s favourites, incidentally—I imagine she might ask: Why do you call this quinoa dish “fried rice”? A good question, indeed. And perhaps a sign that we (I) have taken this quinoa thing too far. Why not just make rice fried rice?  Continue Reading →

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Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw

Napa Cabbage Slaw | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

After months of stewing, braising and roasting, I am so giddy to finally be ushering barbecue season into the K&B kitchen. Nothing chases away the winter blues better than a big hunk of grilled meat. Am I right?

I’ll admit that we have a bit of a spring/summer dinner “formula” around here, and if you follow me on Instagram you will no doubt recognize it: grilled meat or fish, oven-roasted veg, big ass salad. I serve up this formula at least two or three times per week, but to keep things interesting, I rotate through different marinades, veggies and salads. And on special occasions I add (*gasp*) bread.

This Napa Cabbage Slaw is a recent recruit to the salad lineup. I developed the recipe for our friends over at Belly Bootcamp (who whip moms-to-be and moms—including this one—into wicked shape), but it is SO good and healthy and fabulous in every way that I had to share it with you too!

Napa Cabbage Slaw | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

You will have a hard time resisting *raw cabbage* (yes, cabbage) when it’s tossed with red pepper, apple, cilantro and green onion and spiked with a sweet and sour Asian-inspired vinaigrette and salty roasted peanuts. It’s not only a great side for grilled meat or fish; it makes a perfect healthy lunch or topping for a burger or pulled pork sammie. You can change up the vegetables to use whatever happens to be overstaying its welcome in your refrigerator. I recently added sliced radishes and shaved broccoli, with yummy results.

If your kiddo is a salad skeptic like mine, offer up a deconstructed version of the slaw: set aside some of the undressed veg and peanuts, and serve with a bit of the dressing for dipping.

Now hop on over HERE for the recipe!

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What’s Cooking on the Web This Week (May 9)

Cappucino

Happy almost Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! And happy spring too! I’m doing a happy dance for warmer temperatures, flowering trees, singing birds, and looooong sunny days. Boy oh boy do we deserve it.

Since I introduced my weekly “what’s cooking” column to the blog, I’ve missed about 427 weeks. But I’m back! With a little variation on the theme: instead of posting a meal plan, I’ve got a round-up of some of the most awesome family-food-related (and sometimes not so food related) content on the web.

Did you know that May 16 is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day? (Did you know that I double heart Jamie Oliver? Sigh.) It’s all about getting our kids excited about cooking and eating REAL, wholesome food. I’m in.

I am just a little obsessed with making chicken breasts taste good (as you might know), and this Pretzel Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce from Family Bites just might do it!

Have you ever been at a dinner party or restaurant where everyone is glued to their phones?

I almost bought this.

Would you consider joining a family dinner co-op?

A 3-step plan for travelling with kids.

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