This Easy Winter Kale Salad with Spiced Nuts is my new go-to this season. When that time of year comes around with it’s festive (wine!), indulgent (cheese! chocolate!) and tons of eating out (more wine!), my on-and-off heartburn can really go into overdrive.
Which is the very reason why I look for a healthy and hearty, salad-based main meal. Case in point: this Easy Winter Kale Salad with Spiced Nuts. If you like your salad hearty and are up for some fun add-ins, you’ve got to check this one out.
Now the inspiration for this salad came from a recent event I attended in Toronto where I got to cook with a Chef; talk with a farmer; and learn from a dietitian researcher.
It was really awesome. We had a ton of fun cooking, eating and learning (what dietitians love to do best I guess!)
The theme for the event was Love Your Heart.
Which is great because our heart does a lot of ticking in our lifetime so why not keep it happy? And when you have any blood sugar issues, all that extra sugar can damage the arteries of the heart over time so you really want to focus on heart-healthy nutrients, like unsaturated fats, fibre and antioxidant-rich veggies.
This evening was super cool because I got to talk to a farmer from Alberta, Canada: Jeanette Andrashewski – about farming canola and how much is exported and how she deals with the ups and downs of farming in general.
It sounds like such a supportive community and people really look out for each other.
So awesome 🙂
Canola is such a fabulous oil and is great for Lovin’ Your Heart.
It has vitamin E and K and is has the lowest amount of saturated fat of all the oils.
And as I learned from our fabulous chef that night, it has a neutral flavour and light taste so it doesn’t over-power other ingredients but allows for the flavours of the food to shine through.
Maybe it because I grew up in Manitoba but I was always partial to canola oil for the health reasons and because it can really take the heat – great for BBQ’ing.
I also love that canola seed is grown by over 43,000 family famers on the Canadian Prairies 🙂
Tip from Chef Alexandra - let the dressing sit on the kale for a few minutes to allow it break down a bit.
Now for the details on this delicious salad
This Easy Winter Kale Salad with Spiced Nuts is my take on the salad of the evening.
And it’s perfect for Lovin’ Your Heart – canola-oil based salad dressing, avocado for more heart healthy fats and antioxidant rich kale and cranberries.
I also love this salad because it’s flexible and forgiving. And by that, I mean if you need to make it ahead of time – no problem. If you want to bring it with you to a friends for a potluck, it’s perfect. And it even is a great way to have a meal salad – add some BBQ’d salmon or chicken breast and you’ve got a healthy meal.
For the avocado in the salad, I’ll often use the frozen avocado chunks from President’s Choice. This is so convenient and takes all of the guess work out of whether or not that avocado is gonna be ripe when I need it.
Easy Winter Kale Salad with Spiced Nuts
- 1 large bunch kale about 8 cups, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 cup edamame frozen
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries unsweetened
- 1 ripe avocado chopped I'll use frozen pieces
- 1/2 cup almonds chopped, walnuts are fine too
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp Greek Yogurt plain
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Wash and chop the sweet potato. Roast at 425F for about 10 minutes. Flip and roast for another 10-15 minutes or until soft and with dark brown spots. Once done, let cool for 10 minutes.
- While sweet potatoes are roasting, combine canola oil, lime juice, and garlic in a mason jar and shake until combined. Then, add mustard, greek yogurt and cilantro and shake again to combine.
- Place the torn kale in a large bowl or serving platter. Toss with the dried cranberries, avocado chunks and edamame. Add the roasted sweet potato chunks once mostly cooled.
- Pour dressing over the kale mix and toss to combine. Place salad in a large serving bowl or platter.
Make the spiced nuts
- Warm a small pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sugar and stir until the butter is melted. Add the walnuts and toss until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the rosemary and cayenne and continue to toss just a few seconds to release the aroma. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Once the nuts are done you can add to the salad on top if serving right away. If serving later, keep the salad ingredients separated and just combine them immediately before serving. See notes below for other tips.