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Kale has gone from being a slightly wilted garnish at chain restaurants to being the cool kid on the block.  Everyone wants kale!  It is one of the healthiest foods on the planet and can be incredibly delicious!  This is a simple yet delicious raw kale salad made with items I always have on hand.  My husband doesn't like raw kale but he does like this salad!

The trick to raw kale salads is to massage oil into the kale prior to using the kale in a salad.  Without the massage raw kale is just too harsh but something about the massage loosens the kale up and makes it perfect for eating raw!

Ingredients
  • Kale, washed
  • Oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
  • Trail Mix
  • Balsamic Glaze (sometimes called balsamic reduction)
  • Salt to taste

Directions to massage kale
  1. Remove stems from kale and break kale leaves into bite size pieces.  Put the kale leaf pieces into a large bowl
  2. Drizzle oil onto the kale leaves; I use about 1 Tbsp oil for a large bunch of kale or 1/2 Tbsp for a small bunch.  
  3. Massage oil into kale until all kale pieces are glistening and feel relaxed :)  The kale can keep like this in the frig until ready to use or can be used immediately.
Directions to assemble salad
  1. Take desired amount of kale and put into bowl or on a plate.  I usually use about 50 grams of massaged kale for one of my salads
  2. Top each portion of kale with one serving of trail mix
  3. Drizzle balsamic glaze over kale and season with salt if desired.  Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  • Any kind of trail mix will do but it is my personal suggestion that if you are using trail mix with M&M's or yogurt chips that you separate the candies out before putting the trail mix on the salad.  You can eat them after your salad as a reward for eating healthy kale!
  • Any kind of kale works in this recipe but I have used green curly kale most often.
  • I will be experimenting with recipes to make my own balsamic glaze and sharing the results here but in the meantime it can usually be found in the grocery store near the other vinegar.  I use it in place of salad dressing and am just a little bit addicted to it!

 
This might not be the best photo but this dish is fantastic!  Loaded with plants and full of good for you ingredients.  But best of all it is delicious!
Inspiration:  This dish was inspired by and adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe I found in the May 2010 issue of Food and Wine magazine called Chile-Honey-Glazed Salmon with Two Sauces.  In his version there is salmon instead of a baked potato and his first sauce is a tomatillo salsa prepared in the oven which I have changed into a pan-roasted tomato salsa due to the limited availability of tomatillos here in Montana.  His second sauce is very similar to the black bean sauce I have here.

Pan-Roasted tomato salsa

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound tomatoes (about 2 large), coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
Directions
  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  
  2. Add onions; cook until translucent
  3. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds
  4. Add tomatoes; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Add cilantro and lime; recheck seasoning.
  7. Serve warm or cold! 
Notes
  • If fresh tomatoes are not in season (or inconvenient) it is fine to substitute a (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes
  • If you like your salsa spicy consider adding a jalepeno when you cook the onion; you could also add hot sauce or crushed red pepper to get some heat
  • If you like your salsa smooth you can put it in the blender to puree or use an immersion blender.  Just be careful putting hot food into a blender because it can make a big mess!  Personally I like it chunky so this step is definitely optional.

black bean sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans with their liquid 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat
  2. Add onions and cook until they start to turn translucent
  3. Add garlic, chipotle in adobo sauce, and cumin; cook for 30 seconds
  4. Add black beans with their liquid; reduce heat to medium low; cook for 5-10 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and mash with potato masher to get a chunky sauce.  If a smoother sauce is desired you can use an immersion blender
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  7. Serve!
Note
  • Any kind of bean would work here, especially pinto or kidney beans, but the black bean is best in this recipe

Baked potato

Ingredients
  • Russet Potato, washed and scrubbed
Directions

  1. Poke holes in potato with fork
  2. Wrap in paper towel and dampen
  3. Microwave for 5 minutes or until done (all microwaves are slightly different)
  4. Remove potato for towel; split and fluff with fork
  5. Top with black bean sauce and pan-roasted tomato salsa
Notes
  • If you want to bake your potato in the oven instead that is even better!  After poking holes in the potato wrap it in tinfoil and stick it in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about an hour.
  • Sweet potatoes are a great substitution here so if you'd rather use a sweet potato good for you!