How was your holiday weekend?
Mine was great! It was a great time to connect with Rob’s family, relax and we were also able to squeeze in a short (if you consider 6 hours short for 88km, but still brutal) bike ride on Good Friday.
As I mentioned earlier, I was was a bit hesitant about what I would eat over the holiday weekend while being away from home, considering I have cut out dairy, fish, meat, refined flours and sugars. In the end, there was no need to be stressed at all. Rob suggested making a few things while we were down, and I picked out some dishes that I knew tasted great, used relatively common ingredients and would appeal to a wide range of people.
In the end, I made the red lentil and lemon soup for Good Friday, the black bean, cilantro and apricot salad (substituting fresh orange juice for the mango nectar which was just as good) and my staple hummus recipe from my university days: peanut butter hummus (no tahini or sesame oil needed!). They were all well received, thank goodness!
The main meal over the weekend was Sunday Easter brunch, which was filled with an overabundance of Polish goodies. Nearly everything had meat or eggs, but I was able to contribute some greenery. I chose to share this salad that my family and I enjoyed over Christmas. While a raw kale salad would be different in itself, I figured the beets would bring some Polish-style comfort to the new dish.
Adapted from Ainslie at Everyone is a Vegan, I really liked the mixture of the massaged/wilted kale with a sharp lemon dressing, raw grated beets with sweet dried fruit (a mixture of raisins, currants and dried cranberries works well) as well as crunchy toasted almonds. Before I made this salad, I didn’t know you could eat raw beets, but you can, and they taste great. A tip for working with beets, though: if you buy them with the greens, leave yourself a long piece of stem to hold. This way, when you grate it, your hands don’t get nearly as purple (not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m just suggesting how to stay clean!).
This is also a perfect salad for parties, since you can make it advance, and if you make too much, the leftovers keep well for a few days. What a super salad! Judging by how many people have invited themselves over to (not yet) our new abode, I better start compiling a list of easy, crowd-pleasing dishes like this for company.
Raw Kale and Beet Salad with Raisins and Almonds
2-3 cups kale, chopped (1/4-1/3 of a bunch)
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1 beet, washed and shredded (keep a long handle from the stems to keep your hands clean!)
1/4 cup raisins/dried cranberries/currants/mixture
1/8 cup slivered almonds, toasted (do not toast if following a raw diet)
1. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle in the lemon juice, oil and salt. Mix it all up with your hands (no cheating!), working the lemon juice and salt into the kale leaves until the colour begins to darken and the leaves wilt (around 5 minutes).
2. Add shredded beet to kale, toss to coat beet in dressing. Top salad with raisins and almonds before serving.
Serves 4 as a side/appetizer (and can easily be doubled, or tripled for a large crowd)