It’s been several weeks since I’ve returned from the land of meat, carbs, and what potato isn’t a vegetable? As much as I love my bangers and mash, after two weeks of heavy carbs and animal protein it was time to break from the rut and consume some salads. I’m honestly not a huge fan of them especially in the winter, but red leaf lettuce with chicken was mighty tasty to my palate. Salad doesn’t have to be boring nor does it have to be what my Grandpa calls it, “rabbit food.” You all know what I mean; that iceberg lettuce “salad” with a few slices of tomato and carrot with Thousand Island dressing that you can find at old diners. Salads can be hearty, filling, and delicious.
The main reason why I started my seasonal fare series was to teach people. I find in the foodie and even nutrition word we may think things are so blatantly obvious that everyone should know them, yet they really aren’t. It happened with citrus; I mentioned to my Mum I was writing a post saying it was in season right now, completely surprising her. It was something I took for granted, but after a drive to our local produce stand it was so clear that they are. There was your average navel orange, the cara cara (my favourite), the tangelo, mandarins, satsuma, clementines, and the deliciously red blood orange. Then you have you have grapefruit from either Texas or Florida, pomelo, key limes, limes, regular lemons and meyer lemons. We even saw a Buddha’s hand but for ten dollars that thing was not coming home. What’s your favourite?
Previously on the blog, in my first seasonal fare post, I discussed why citrus is good for you and why you should incorporate more into your health than just your average glass of OJ. Citrus isn’t just juice nor should it be defined as only for desserts (lemon meringue, orange cream, etc.) combining them in salads or using them as marinades is an excellent way to use this seasonal fruit. This wintery kale and lentil salad is brightened by a dose of tart lemony vinaigrette and sweet chunks of mandarin; perfect for any meatless dinner meal. Once everything is prepped, your lentils are cooked (I follow this recipe), your kale is massaged (trust me it works, do it), and everything is chopped this salad comes together pretty quick. It serves a family of three or two hearty portions.
- 1.5 cups cooked green lentils
- 3 cups tuscan kale, finely shredded
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
- 3-4 mandarin oranges, chopped
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- LEMON MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Prep your ingredients. Remove the stalk from your kale and cut the leaves into thin stripes. Place into the mixing bowl and pour ½ tbsp of olive oil over top. Massage the oil into the kale. I know this may seem weird, but for some reason it makes raw kale taste so much better. Trust me, just do it.
- Mix the lentils, hazelnuts and mandarin oranges in with the kale. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the juice and zest of a lemon with the dijon mustard and a few pinches of salt and pepper together. Slowly pour in 2 tbsp of olive oil while whisking. Mix the vinegarette into the salad and serve.