If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that all the recipes here at Eat Within Your Means are plant-based/vegan. Eating out when vegan presents a challenge sometimes, especially when you don’t have a choice about the restaurant. I consider it an opportunity to get creative, and I actually think it’s fun to look at a restaurant menu and find all the hidden vegan gems. Except, this is practically impossible at Applebees. I’ve tried. Just ask Michael about that story.
Anyway…a couple of months ago we found ourselves at a German restaurant for lunch. I knew ahead of time that there probably wasn’t going to be a lot of room for me to stretch my creative “make-a-meal-out-of-random-menu-items” muscle. So, I prepared for our fallback of salad and french fries. 🙂 But what I didn’t expect was the salad would be so wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that it inspired this here salad I’m about to share with you. Get excited! This is a good one.
So, yeah, I’m the girl who is posting a kale salad recipe right after announcing the start of her weight loss journey. It’s fitting, right? But actually, I’d eat this salad whether I was trying to lose weight or not. It’s simply good. And it’s SUPER simple to make. Ready?
Ok, so first things first. You’re going to slice up an apple and toast up some hazelnuts. Some people call them Filberts. I think Filbert is a funny name. I kind of want to get a dog and name it Filbert. But not enough to actually get a dog. Maybe one day. I have digressed. Back to the hazelnuts.
Toasted hazelnuts are a revelation, and they are so very easy. Dump some on a baking sheet and put em’ in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Let them cool and then rub off the skins with a paper towel. The skin might not come off on some of them, and that’s totally ok. We’re not going for a fully nude hazelnut. That was a weird sentence.
As for the apple, slice it up really thin and soak the slices in some cold salted water. This will keep them from turning brown. Because nobody wants brown apples in their salad. Moving on…
Not to state the obvious here, but you’re going to need some kale. A lot of it. This is because you’re going give it a massage (yes, really), and it’s going to wilt down quite a bit. But not in a sad, limp, goopy way. The wilt just means that the kale will be a pleasure to eat instead of a chore. Wash and dry the kale really well, and then chop it up into small pieces, keeping in mind that they will shrink down a bit.
Oh, and guess what? You don’t even need to make a separate dressing for this salad. You get to make the dressing right in the bowl. Is your mind blown? Ok, maybe it’s not epic, but I do hope it makes your life easier. Did I mention it’s also oil-free? Yup. Good stuff.
This dressing is really well-balanced, which is just another way of saying that it tastes good. It’s not overly sweet or lemony, but rather, it’s the Goldilocks of salad dressings. Not to mention you literally dump the ingredients on top of the kale and mash them together, and voilà! Dressing! You can say voilà when you do this, too – it’s all part of the experience.
I know you’re looking at that avocado and wondering if you’re going to be able to see it in the salad. And no. You will not. You’re also wondering if it will turn brown. Nope. It virtually disappears as you massage in into the kale. Speaking of that massage, it’s a stress reliever! For you. I’m not sure how the kale feels about it. So if you have any angst that followed you into the kitchen, take it out on the kale. It can handle it. And once your therapy session is over, you get to eat! Salad therapy.
See what I mean about the wilting? Oh, by the way, if you happen to have any leftovers, even up to three days later, it will still look and taste as good as it did the first day. Maybe even better! This is a virtue that only kale can boast, and it makes me happy.
Ok, now you have a perfectly dressed bowl of kale deliciousness (this is not an oxymoron), but it looks a little too simple. It needs some accessories! Time to top it with those nearly nude hazelnuts and sliced apples and get to the part I like best. Chomp, chomp, chomp.
Don’t you feel healthy just looking at it? So, go make it, and eat it, and then tell me how it went. I really want to know. If you want to light up my life even more, take a picture of your simple kale salad masterpiece and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #eatwithinyourmeans. I will sit in awe and marvel at your salad prowess.
Salad therapy for everyone!
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts (Filberts)
- 1 large apple (any variety)
- 2 bunches kale (any variety)
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 1 large avocado
- 2 lemons, juiced
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice apple thinly and soak the slices in cold, salted water.
- Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Check on them occasionally to make sure they do not burn.
- Wash the kale in cool water, then dry it thoroughly with a kitchen towel and chop into bite-size pieces.
- Place the kale in a large bowl along with the maple syrup, avocado, and lemon juice.
- Massage the kale until the avocado disappears and all of the pieces are throughly coated and slightly wilted. Season with salt to taste.
- Once the hazelnuts are cool, rub the skins off with paper towels or a kitchen towel. It's ok if not all of the skins come off.
- Plate the salad and top with the hazelnuts and apple slices.