Confession: I over indulged in sugary bliss during the holidays and loved every bite.
Yesterday I ate my last Chocolate Turtle then I cried. They're gone.
I'm sad. Yet I tell myself that this is a good thing because I need to start eating healthy once again.
I know first hand the benefits of eating healthy foods. Can you believe that I gave up the three "C's" (Chocolate, Cookies & Cakes) for almost 2 years when trying to boost my fitness level in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It worked. I had my bites of dark Dove chocolate that I had hidden in secret places every now and then, but for the most part I sat it all aside for a new goal.
I love chocolate, but I equally enjoy the feeling of eating well.
Because it's January and because I love you all and want you to be healthy and happy, I'm going to share a new favorite salad that I found in the November issue of Bon Appetit.
I have to admit that I'm not a fan of steamed or sauteed Kale or Brussels Sprouts. I don't really enjoy them roasted, but I love them raw. That is why this salad appealed to me.
You will need 1-2 bunches of Kale (Lacinato or Tuscan), 12 oz brussels sprouts, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, a shallot, Pecorino cheese (I'm using Parmegiano Reggiano because that's what I have), whole raw almonds and salt and pepper.
I'm showing you how to juice a lemon. I'm sure you know how to do this, but I want you to see that I'm using fresh lemon juice NOT bottled. I really hate that bottled stuff.
Anyway, you will need 1/4 cup.
Finely chop one tablespoon of a Shallot.
Add the chopped Shallot to the lemon juice.
Finely chop or mince one clove garlic.
Notice the black color of my garlic press. I'd like to know which idiot put it in the dishwasher. I know. I should be grateful someone helped with the dishes. Ah, it still works.
Add some fresh ground black pepper.
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt.
Add 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
Because I'm almost out of Dijon (heaven forbid) and because I love this grainy stuff, I'm adding a heaping spoonful of it to my dressing.
Whisk to blend.
Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil.
Continue whisking until well blended. I seriously could eat this by the spoonful. It really packs a punch.
Set aside until ready to use.
Coarsely chop 1/3 (or more) cup raw almonds.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a warm skillet. The original recipe calls for oil, but I really love the flavor of the butter on toasted almonds.
Add the almonds to the melted butter.
Continue to stir the nuts until they begin to brown. Don't let them burn.
Sprinkle with a bit of Kosher salt.
Remove from heat and place on a paper towel. Whoops! I forgot that part. Oh well....
Thoroughly wash the Kale in a sink full of cold water. Drain and dry the Kale.
Remove the center stem from the Kale.
Roll the Kale together then slice thin.
Place the Kale in a bowl.
Wash brussels sprouts and remove the outer leaves if needed.
Mix in with the sliced Kale.
Pour the entire amount of salad dressing over the Kale and Brussels sprout mixture. I tried to use just a little of the dressing, but ended up dumping the entire amount over the salad. I think it really needs it. The dressing pairs so well with the Kale and Brussels sprouts.
Toss to mix the dressing thoroughly throughout the salad.
Sprinkle with the Pecorino or Parmigiano.
Top with the toasted almonds. Lots and lots of the almonds.
I have, also, added rendered bacon bits to the salad. I figured that is the only way that I could get the husband that never reads this blog to try it...he still did "the chew" (only our children will understand that comment).
Kale & Brussels Spout Salad
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
1 cup finely grated Pecorino
Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.
DO AHEAD Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.
Good-bye 2011 Holiday celebration filled with wonderful tastes of the season. Hello 2012...let the detox begin!