Holiday Salad: Kale with Dried Cranberries, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Candied Ginger and Orange Dressing

Warwick:  Nicole. I’m really sorry about last night.

Me: Sorry? Why are you sorry?

Warwick: Because I was snoring so much. I don’t know why I was having such a hard time breathing.

Me: Oh. That’s okay.

Warwick:  I should have just gotten up and used Saline Drops. They helped a lot this morning when I got up.

Me: Well, don’t worry about it. . . .I’m glad you’re feeling better . . . .and you know. . . .I’d rather sleep next to you snoring, than not sleep next to you at all.

Warwick: Really? I never would have known that from the kick in the ribs you gave me last night when I was snoring.

Me: Ooops. Sorry.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I really did mean it.
I would rather sleep next to him snoring ALL up in my ear, giving me NO rest at all, driving me bloody mad, if it meant the alternative was not sleeping next to him at all.

And honestly, I didn’t mean to kick him.  Well. . . .that hard anyway.
I guess I just don’t know my own strength.
It must be all this Kale Salad I’ve been eating lately.

I’m strong like a whale, ’cause I eat’s me Kale.
I’m Nicki Woo the Rib Kicker of her man.

(might need to work on that last line).

Holiday Kale Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, and Crystallized Ginger  What I like best about this salad, besides the fact that it is completely delicious, is that you can dress it ahead of time, and it will never get soggy. The Kale leaves can stand up to whatever you throw at them.

I first tried this salad at Central Market when I went to visit my girlfriend in Austin. She promised I would love it and I did. Fell head over heals in love in fact. Central market serves this salad with an Orange Sesame Dressing which was quite nice. Below is my version without the sesame added, because I made it on the fly on Thanksgiving (and two other times since) and I didn’t have any sesame oil. And I loved it just the same. Here is the concoction I came up with. . . .

Ingredients:
Kale, washed and cleaned
Raw Almond Slivers, handful
Dried Cranberries, handful
Roasted and Salted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas), handful
Crystallized Ginger (Candied Ginger), 6-8 pieces chopped up finely*

Orange Dressing:
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1 TB Soy Sauce
2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TB Sugar

Directions:

1. Remove Kale leaves from the hard stem. Cut into bight size pieces. Set aside.

2. In a skillet, with the heat on medium, toast almond slivers for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.

3. Make the Orange Dressing. In a jar, combine orange juice, canola oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Place a lid on top. Shake to combine. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, place half of chopped up Kale. Sprinkle half of the cranberries, pumpkin seeds, ginger, and almonds. Drizzle with dressing. Repeat with the remaining kale, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, ginger and almonds. Drizzle with more dressing, serve.

*PS – This is what candied/crystallized looks like just in case you didn’t know 🙂 You can find it in the spice isle in little jars already in bit size pieces, or if your grocer has a bulk bin section, often they sell it there as well. No candied ginger? Try drid pineapple instead.

Oh. That’s okay.

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