Over the last 9 years I have been living apart from my immediate family spending 8 of them in Los Angeles and 1 in Melboune, Australia. There have been many years where I haven’t made it home for the holidays for various reasons including school, work, boyfriends or because sometimes going home for the holiday’s is difficult. Like many, my parents are divorced and figuring out which parent to spend what holidays with isn’t always easy. On the upside, so many people I know and love in LA also don’t go home for the holidays so there is always a friends-giving or gathering of the like so I’ve never felt like I missed out. However this Thanksgiving I am traveling with my dad back to Chicago to see the extended family- cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. My traditional Italian family is not very vegan or vegetarian friendly so I have been thinking a lot about what I want to contribute to the meal and this kale salad recipe is a serious contender.
It’s hearty, flavorful, filling and full of seasonal ingredients making it anything but boring. The zingy lemony dressing brightens all the flavors but is not over acidic and decreases the need for adding a lot of pink salt. Additionally, the colors really make this salad one of those dishes you eat with your eyes first. I’d be willing to bet that the average meat eater wouldn’t think it was missing something like cheese since it has so much goodness going on already.
Not only is this salad beautiful but it packs a major health punch as well. It’s loaded vitamin A, K, C, B6, Manganese, Calcium, Protien, Fiber and Potassium to name a few. With all the unhealthy things we tend to eat this time of year your body will thank you for this one!
Song of the day- Your Should Know Where I’m Coming From by Banks
Featured in this post are my DIY Painted Wooden Spoons
Preheat Oven to 425f.
line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cubed sweet potatoes on it and lightly sprinkle with pink salt and oil if you desire. Toss to evenly coat.
Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the pieces are tender to a fork.
To prepare the kale: wash, pat dry with paper towels, remove the stem and break or chop into bite size pieces. (optional: save the stem/ribs for smoothies or veggies stock). Transfer the kale into a large bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a little bit of olive oil. Message the leaves with your hands, lightly scrunching big handfuls until the leaves are a darker green and fargrant.
Do not skip this step- it is the key to a delicious kale salad.
remove the seeds from the pomegranent and set aside.
Using a mandolin or chefs knife (be careful) slice the fennel bulb as thin as possible. Set aside.
Remove the core and chop the apple into 1/2 inch pieces. set aisde.
In a large skillet over medium heat toast the pecans stirring often for 3-5 minutes. remove from heat, chop and set aisde.
Prepare the dressing by whisking everything together in a small bowl. Add this to the bowl with the messaged kale and toss to coat well.
Then add in all the remaining ingredients and give it a good toss. Serve immediately.