This vegan salad is wheat free, gluten free, oil free and soy free! Big deal. I don’t care a whole lot about stuff like this. I am not a vegetarian, much less a vegan, though there are times I cook vegetarian meals or order a vegetarian pizza, with extra cheese, please. I don’t worry about soy, or oil, or gluten, or wheat. I do not make stuff like this. Ever. But I did today. And…I liked it.
Some time in the last year I started following this blog, Eating Bird Food. No doubt this was one of those stages when I told myself that I would start eating better. I don’t eat poorly, but I also don’t make “health” food a big priority in my life. I definitely do not worry about wheat and gluten, and thankfully I don’t have some allergy that requires me to. I eat stuff that tastes good and makes me feel good. Though I have been known to eat too much of the “tastes good” (darn you Cabdury Mini Eggs!) and then I have less of the “feel good”.
So, why did I even make this salad if I am not into food like this? It just sounded really yummy. So I made it. And it was yummy. It made for a nice, fresh, lunch that left me feeling really good. I might even consider making it again. The dressing is creamy and nutty and has a nice flavor from the ginger and curry. The vegetables are perfect together and different enough in flavor and texture to be interesting. The sweet apples and cranberries are a perfect contrast to the rest of the savory flavors. The fennel is genius. Make sure it is sliced as thin as you can get it. Raw fennel can be overpowering if the pieces are too big.
Dressed salads do not typically hold up overnight. This one was still crunchy and delicious after 24 hours in the fridge, so I was able to make lunch out of it 2 days in a row! Crossing my fingers about tomorrow! If you wanted to have it all week, just dress each individual serving when you want it to avoid soggy salad.
The recipe for this salad is from the cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan! and was posted on Eating Bird Food this week. She’s made and reviewed some other recipes from the book, and they all look pretty tasty. I’m not about to give up my cheese, beef and bacon, but I have been convinced that eating vegan isn’t disgusting! But it’s also not a lifestyle choice I’m going to make for myself. I will, however, stop cringing at vegan recipes. You might even see more vegan recipes on my blog…
- Make dressing and refrigerate.
- Slice and julienne the fruit and vegetables (except the apples) and refrigerate.
- Chop the almonds and measure out the cranberries.
Kale Salad with Curried Almond Dressing
- 1 small to medium-size apple, cored and julienned (3⁄4 to 1 cup), tossed in 1tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups chopped or julienned kale (leaves cut/torn from stems and stems discarded)
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 1 cup very thinly sliced or julienned fennel
- 1/4 cup cranberries or raisins
- 2/3 – 3/4 cup Creamy Curried Almond Dressing (or more, if desired; recipe follows)
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons sliced or chopped raw almonds
- Extra salt and pepper to taste
- 1⁄2 cup raw almonds
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2/3 cup water (or more to thin as needed; see note)
- 1 very small clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste
- Place the apple, vegetables, and cranberries in a bowl and toss.
- Add the dressing, starting with about 2⁄3 cup and adding more as desired, if you want a thicker coating of dressing.
- Toss to coat well, then let sit for 5 minutes or more to allow the kale leaves to soften slightly in the dressing.
- Serve, garnishing with a light sprinkling of almonds and extra salt and pepper, if desired.
- Using a standing blender, food processor or an immersion blender and deep cup or jar, puree all the ingredients (starting with 1⁄2 cup of the water) until very smooth.
- Add additional curry to taste, and additional water to thin as desired. Dressing thickens with refrigeration.