kale + pomegranate salad with chili lime almonds

lettuce

Does the world really need one more kale salad? Admittedly, the combination of flavors looks like a hearty winter salad, and it very well can be, but trust me when I say the chili lime almonds are brimming with such a bright flavor that works wonders next to the salty feta and fruity pomegranate seeds.

The best part is that this is a recipe within a recipe! You can make just the almonds and have a healthy and yummy snack all week long! Because everyone knows you can’t go wrong with a little brown sugar.

bowl

bowl2

I’ll let you in on a little secret .. I took these pictures what feels like a million years ago in Michigan. It’s so weird to even think where we were at the beginning of 2016 because  Dayne and I are quickly getting back to our old selves here in Minneapolis. Our little family of four found residence in a 1920’s duplex with a small yard and our lives quickly filled up with friend’s birthdays, family dinners, long walks around Lake Harriet and we couldn’t be more thankful to be back to our home.

Keep an eye out for a little Michigan inspired post coming soon! Just because I’m wildly in love with Minneapolis does not mean I’m not thankful for our year and a half in Michigan.

closeup

DSC04370

dressing

kale + pomegranate salad

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups dino kale, chopped
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese

chili lime salted almonds

  • 2 cups unsalted almonds
  • zest of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

maple balsamic dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Slice acorn squash and toss with olive oil and spread across a baking sheet.
  3. Roast squash for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender. Set aside.
  4. Set oven to 375° F.
  5. In a large bowl, combine almonds, lime zest, chili powder, sugar and maple syrup and stir until nuts are evenly coated.
  6. Spread nut mixture on a sheet pan.
  7. Roast nuts for 6-8 minutes, until they are brown  and the sugar is bubbling.
  8. Remove the almonds from the oven, sprinkle with the salt and stir.
  9. Let the nuts cool completely before serving.
  10. In a blender combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth.
  11. Assemble salad: kale and lettuce, squash, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, chili lime salted almonds.
  12. Top with dressing and serve!
Advertisements

whole wheat pasta: two ways

almond and breadcrumb pasta // kitchenblend

whole wheat pasta: two ways // kitchenblend

whole wheat pasta: two ways // kitchenblend

Adding more carbs on top of carbs seems like it would be incredibly dense, but the combination of almonds and breadcrumbs creates an unforgettable and unbeatable texture to the pasta that is actually quite fluffy. The beauty of these two recipes is that they take however long it takes to boil water and cook noodles – the additional preparation can be done in between filling a pot with water and draining the cooked noodles.

almond and breadcrumb pasta

serves 4

  • 1/2 pound of whole wheat fettucini
  • 1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted whole almonds
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

[Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, add the pasta and cook according to the packages instructions. I usually cook my noodles anywhere from 8-10 minutes, the perfect al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Place bread crumbs, almonds and garlic in a food processor and pulse until almonds are finely chopped. Add the almond mixture to the cooked pasta along with the olive oil, add any salt and pepper to taste, it won’t need much.]

spicy lemon pasta // kitchenblend

whole wheat pasta: two ways // kitchenblend

whole wheat pasta: two ways // kitchenblend

spicy lemon pasta

serves 4.

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat fettucini
  • 1/2 cup chili oil (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

[Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, add the pasta and cook according to the packages instructions. I usually cook my noodles anywhere from 8-10 minutes, the perfect al dente. Drain, but make sure to reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.]

[Stir together the chili oil, lemon zest and juice, and salt in a large bowl. Add the pasta and toss with enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten, you probably won’t need more than 1/4 cup or so. Season the pasta with a little more salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Transfer to individual bowls, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.]

chili oil

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

[In a small saucepan, heat the olive and red pepper flakes over low heat, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Use right away or store refrigerated for up to 1 month.]

 

ahhh nuts.

spicy maple nuts // kitchenblend

I’ve been lying to myself and pretending I’d rather have raw almonds to snack on. Yes, raw, unsalted things are better for you; but c’mon. The amount of salty almonds I snuck from whoever left their bag of nuts in the office, said otherwise. Sorry to whoever you are. I generally have almonds and walnuts hanging around in our pantry and finally put them, plus some cashews to use after making these and these.

These take three seconds, have much less salt than store-bought almond snacks, are vegan and spicy – aka my new best healthy snack friend.

spicy maple nuts // kitchenblend

spicy maple nuts // kitchenblend

spicy maple nuts // kitchenblend

spicy maple nuts

  • 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 1/2 cups any nuts
    • I used 1/2 cup each of almonds, cashews, and walnuts

[Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients, expect the nuts into a large bowl. Stir until combined. Dump in nuts and mix until completely coated. Spread out coated nuts onto parchment paper, making sure nuts are evenly spaced. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and delicious.]