Wednesday, January 14, 2015

IF NOT ALREADY A "KALE LOVER", THIS QUICK AND EASY RECIPE WILL MAKE YOU ONE ...

I never do this but I interrupt my regularly scheduled content to bring you duh duh duh, a recipe. Upon posting a pic to my Instagram @bagladies of a kale salad the other nite, I got so many requests for the recipe, I said why not.
First time for everything. I realized the other nite that I was starving and I didn't want to break my work flow. My children were with their Dad so slaving in the kitchen was not the move, not on this nite. It was one of those moments where you survey your kitchen for what you have and what impromptu meal you can make happen. 

I had a bag of kale and you can watch what I did with it and I also break down the prep, step-by-step (If you can't see the video embed, please click HERE).

YOU WILL NEED:
Kale (I keep a 1lb. bag of stemmed/cleaned kale)
2-3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1/2 Onion (sliced)
2T Olive Oil
3-4 Slices of Turkey Bacon
Sea Salt
Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (shredded)
Raisins

DIFFICULTY:
My 9 yr. old Daughter aka, "Chef in the making" can make this 

TOTAL TIME: 
13 - 15 minutes

WHAT TO DO:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan or skillet on low to medium heat. 

While waiting for the oil to heat, slice a 1/2 onion. Once the oil is heated which should only take a couple of minutes, toss the onions in the pan and stir just a bit in the oil. The onions should only take about 5 minutes. While the onions are sautéing, mash and mince the garlic cloves. You will notice the onions are a bit more translucent and you will definitely notice that "onion-ny" aroma (that's a good sign). Toss in the garlic along with the onions and stir for about 2-3 more minutes and remove from heat. I love the combined aroma of the onions and garlic. Be warned, you may start drooling at this point. Note: If you notice browning, turn the heat down. This step is simply to sauté lightly to release the flavor of the onions and garlic. There is nothing worse than the flavor of burnt garlic.

Transfer the onions and garlic to a separate bowl. To reduce dishes, I transfer to the bowl I will be eating out of once done with prep.

Place strips of bacon in the same pan and brown on both sides. This should take no more than 5 minutes particularly if using turkey bacon which is my preference. It browns faster and you don't have all that oil and fat run-off that you get with pork.

While bacon is cooking, get your kale ready. If like me, I keep a bag of already cleaned and stemmed kale on hand. You can find at any grocery store. Since this salad is very impromptu, there is no right or wrong measurements. The amount of kale is really based on how big you like your salads. If I had to measure I use about 5 cups of kale but you can decrease/increase to your liking. I do lightly rinse and if familiar, even the cleaned kale sometimes has tough stems still attached so I go through and remove any stems left behind. There are usually a few. By this time your bacon should be done.

Turn off the heat, remove bacon from the pan and let cool until ready to slice.

Dump kale into the same pan. This step is not totally necessary but I highly recommend. I realized there were such good flavors in the pan between the onions, the garlic and the bacon, dumping the kale allows you to sop up all that good good and add even more flavor to your salad. And if you just pulled the kale from the fridge, this brings it to a more preferable temperature. You don't have to turn on the heat cause the pan should still be warm. Simply toss the kale a few times in the pan and sop up the flavors and any oil. You will notice the kale wilting just a bit (that's a good sign).

Now all you need to do is dump the kale into the bowl previously set aside for the onions and garlic and toss together to mix up all the flavors. Slice the bacon which I do easily by just stacking one on top of the other and slicing across so you end up with bacon bits to toss. Add the bacon to the salad and mix in.

Lastly, the dressing and seasoning. There is no measurement to the dressing, it's really a preference. I was turned onto the particular dressing I use which is a Wegmans brand Yogurt and Honey Mustard by The Coupe in DC. They use a similar dressing for their kale salad which I love. Most grocery stores have a like dressing or you may have a preferred kale dressing or some other dressing you like, whatever works. You really just want enough to coat the kale lightly, not drown the kale in it or overwhelm the onion and garlic flavor. After which, I add just a dash of sea salt to bring out the flavors, a dash or two of red pepper for some heat, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, garnish with a handful of raisins and voila!
Nows all you gotta do is dig in. The combined flavors particularly of the onions and garlic make for a delicious delight! The cheese adds a tang and the raisins add a sweetness. The way in which I broke up the steps suggest that it takes longer to prep but trust, it takes 15 minutes max! If it takes longer, you are just a slow poke LOL! This is a guaranteed quick and easy salad. It's light but filling. 
The only thing left to do is savor the flavor.

Do you eat kale? Will you try this? Be sure to share how you like it!
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