Christmas Kale Salad

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Merry Christmas and Mazel Tov on spending quality time with your families! Yesterday we hosted an impromptu Christmas Eve complete with homemade hot cocoa and a Costco-sized Bulleit bourbon (thanks Mark Zar!) and I finally got to try out a new recipe that I’ve been meaning to make since our flop of a Thanksgiving. I had heard rave reviews about Costco’s 7 Superfoods salad in a bag concoction and let me tell you this rivals it tenfold! This raw kale and brussel sprout salad does best marinating in the dressing a few hours before serving. I also threw in some sliced red pepper for a festive theme and have thus dubbed it it’s aptly named title.

CHRISTMAS KALE SALAD
1 bunch black kale, sliced thinly
12 oz brussel sprouts, finely grated
1 cup slivered almonds toasted in a pan for 3-4 minutes on medium heat
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 red peppers, julienned

DRESSING
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Use a hand blender to purée the salad dressing. Toss all ingredients with dressing in a large bowl and let sit in refrigerator at least one hour before serving. I used a food processor with the grater attachment for the brussel sprouts.

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A White Flag Thanksgiving

turtleWell Thanksgiving was a bust this year. Asher started morning preschool two weeks ago, and by the end of his first week he had a raging fever which quickly spread throughout the house and resurged in some new capacity every few days until we were all forced to raise the white flag and give up on seeing the outside world for six days. Both boys developed inner ear infections and were miserable, and Robby and I stayed up every night comforting, cradling, medicine dosing, and crying ourselves into sleep-deprived naps on the floor next to the crib. Our Thanksgiving dinner consisted on white bread and whiskey with baby monitors and Advil on hand, and we were feeling mighty sorry for ourselves.

berriesWhile being home with sick little ones especially on a long holiday weekend really blows, it was also kind of the best and I have a lot to be grateful for this year. In just this one week, our soon-to-be-one-year-old Everett is now crawling, eating, and blubbering like a real toddler. He hates the sight of baby food, and he only wants to play with legos, crawl through tunnels, and haphazardly shovel an entire banana into his mouth. What happened?! Are we just too busy to notice the small changes that happen every day? Or did he really just wake up and decide to literally develop overnight? As a family, we were able to heal and grow together this past week, and my husband and I were reminded that we can pull through the worst of days relying only on each other. What a concept and test of marriage!

kale chickpea Last night was the first night all four of us slept well and happy, and in celebration I finally cooked a meal! This kale chickpea red pepper stew is so delicious and nutritious, and is best served on top of a bed of quinoa. The entire cost to serve 4 people is around $5.

KALE CHICKPEA RED PEPPERS

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 bunch kale, roughly torn from stems
1 red pepper, julienned

In large pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Stir in kale and cook for 5-6 minutes. This fry will give the kale a little bit of a roasted taste. Then add vegetable broth, red peppers and chickpeas and cook another 7 – 8 minutes. Serve over quinoa, pasta, or cous cous for a delicious side dish or main entree. You can also top with red pepper flakes or parmesan for a bit of Italian flavor.