Kale Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette is a recipe inspired by “Crossroads” – a vegan cooking book by chef Tal Ronnen.
Crossroads is also a 100% vegan fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles serving plant-based dishes such as “Artichokes Oysters with Tomato Béarnaise and Kelp Caviar” and amazing fresh pasta like “Pappardelle Bolognese” or “Acorn Squash Ravioli with Kale and Black Garlic Butter Sauce”.
In the book you can find great techniques for making the perfect pasta and it includes some inspiring recipes, so I am definitely grateful to have bought it last year!
This salad here is based on a recipe from the book. I have changed a few ingredients and added Raw Onion Rings to it, which I think go very well with it, adding some crunchiness to the whole dish.
Kale is actually one of the healthiest foods on the planet and from all the super greens, kale is king. It contains antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene & minerals. If you are curious to learn more about kale’s benefits, there are plenty of interesting articles on kale to be found online, including this one here for example: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-kale.
Kale and other leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, beetroot greens, carrots greens, etc. are very important in our alimentation, yet many aren’t aware of it. Salads such as this one here are a great and simple way to integrate more greens to your diet.
Except for the raw onions rings which require dehydration and need to be prepared in advance, the green kale salad needs only about 15-20 minutes to prepare and to be ready for serving.
Enjoy preparing it at home and please leave a comment if you liked it. I would be very happy to hear your feedback.
- 2 bunches kale
- 1/2 cup dried currants/ raisins/ chopped dates
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 fresh thyme springs, leafs stripped from the sterms
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- finely grated zest & juice from 1 lime/lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup / other sweetener of choice
- 1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2-3 white onions
- 1/4 cup flax seeds, finely grounded
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, finely grounded
- 2 tbsp black sesame
- 2 tbsp white sesame
- 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tbsp date paste ( from 2 dates)/ 1tbsp of other sweetener of your choice
- 11/4 cup almond milk
- Add all ingredients for the vinnaigrete in a jar and mix until well combined. Set aside.
- Raw kale can be tough, so the key here is to treat it right. To achieve a silky texture you should cut the kale very finely, just like confetti. Lay each kale leaf upside down on a cutting board and cut down both sides of the center rib to remove it. Stack a few leaves at a time, roll them into a tight cigar shape, and cut crosswise into very thin ribbons.
- Put the shredded kale in a colander or salad spinner and rinse well with cold water. Drain and dry well.
- Combine the kale, currants, and pine nuts in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands to dress the salad evenly. and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Peel the onions and cut them lengthwise about 1 cm thick.
- Prepare the batter by grinding flax & sunflower seeds into a flour using a food processor or a high speed blender. Pour flour in a bowl and set aside.
- Using the same blender mix the almond milk with the date paste. Add almond date milk to the seeds flour bowl and the rest of the ingredients mixing all until well combined. Add a bit more water if batter is too thick. Dip the onion rings one by one into the batter and then place them on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 40C for about 12h or until crispy.
- If you don't have a dehydrator you can also use the oven at 50C with the oven door slightly open.
Nuts and seeds are crucial ingredients for a large variety of vegan cheeses. The best nuts to use for a mozzarella-type cheese are cashew nuts, as they’re great for achieving a very nice and smooth consistency.
Packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, cashew nuts have cancer fighting properties, protect your cells, hair and skin and can prevent gallstones. Be sure to always get the unsalted and unroasted kind, free from cracks and spots.
Another V.I.P. ingredient you need in order to make this delicious & healthy cheese is psyllium husk – a plant-based and 100% raw thickener. Psyllium Husk, native of India, promotes digestive health. It is commonly used as colon cleanser, relieving symptoms of constipation and diarrheas. This high fibre plant-food, helps to control blood sugar and supports heart health.
I am absolutely thrilled by the taste and consistency of this dairy-free healthy cheese and I encourage you to prepare it at home. Feel free to share the results if you liked it. 🙂
- 100g cashew nuts, soaked
- 400ml water
- 2 tbsp ground psyllium husk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- thyme & rosemary
- Soak cashews nuts overnight or about 8 hours in cold water.
- Add water, lemon juice and psylium husk in a bowl and mix well. Let it sit for about 2 hours to thicken.
- Drain the water from the cashews and mix them in the food processor. Add a little bit of water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency. Add psylium husk mixture, salt, pepper and herbs and mix again. You now have your mozzarella cheese mixture.
- Add the mixture to a food storage container or bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Mozzarella is ready to serve!
- Why are we soaking the nuts?
- In short: To “activate” them. Soaking, sprouting and fermenting activates phytase, which inhibits the phytic acid and lectins bound in the phosphorus content of the outer layer of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Phytic acid blocks absorption of minerals and inhibits the enzymes needed to digest food such as pepsin, trypsin and amylase. In the plant world phytic acid is required for protection against insects and to maintain the freshness of seeds for germination and protect against moulds and fungi. Fast forward to our plates though and digestively it binds to minerals and locks them into a phytate complex, therefore leaving the mineral and phosphorous content of foods unobservable. These enzyme inhibitors block the body’s enzymes needed for the proper digestion of food.
Raw and unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack packed with plenty of health benefits. Full of minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium), vitamin E, proteins and fibre.
Almonds can be consumed as raw butter, raw almond milk (a great alternative to dairy milk) or ground into a flour to make delicious desserts.
This time I got inspired to create a salty-sweet recipe, a healthy version of the traditional Spanish “Tostada” – toasted bread served with tomato, olive oil, salt & pepper.
My dehydrated raw “tostada” is crunchy, delicious and super nutritious!
- 500 gr raw almond pulp*
- Pulp from 5 ½ cucumbers (through juicing - I use the Essenzia Slow Juicer)
- Pulp from 1 celery stalk (through juicing)
- Pulp from 2 handful fresh basil (through juicing) or finely cut
- 5 tbsp tamari
- 2 cold pressed olive oil
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 4-5 ripe avocados
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2-3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl using your hands until it's all well combined. This mixture makes about 4 full dehydrating sheets and I divided each sheet into 4 slices (4 "toasts").
- Press the mixture on the dehydrating sheets until you have an equally even surface and dehydrate at 40 degrees for 11-12 hours.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl for about 2-3 minutes using a fork.
- Serve the "tostada" fresh or store the raw almond toasts in a paper bag for up to 5 days (making sure that it's sealed well and airtight).
- *Almond pulp - for this recipe I've taken the remaining pulp from soaked almonds used to make almond milk with the Essenzia Slow Juicer.
There are no coincidences and everything happens for a reason 🙂
After a mild and sunny January morning my thoughts started revolving around spring and summer, sparking a desire for preparing something fresh and vivid to eat for lunch. Among the leftovers in the kitchen I was fortunate to find a ripe mango, avocado & also cucumbers. Hmmm!!! Knowing that these 3 ingredients alone can create magic on a plate I found what I was looking for. I am herby sharing one of my favourite and very easy and fast to prepare tropical infused salads with you. If you are like me, this will make you crave for more and more… yum. 🙂
Those that already tried these flavours together know what I am talking about and for the rest of you, what are you waiting for? 🙂
It will take you only 10 minutes to prepare and then just dig in and enjoy!
Bare in mind that using fresh, organic ingredients will elevate your dish to the next level. There is one particular key ingredient not to be replaced with in my kitchen and that is nutritional yeast from “Salud Viva”, a spanish company that caught my attention here on the island of Ibiza and I simply love their products. (Important when going for different nutritional yeast is to select sweeter one with a more “cheesy” flavour, not the bitter one that you find in most mainstream supermarkets! – Organic and bio stores should all have sweet and cheesy-like versions of nutritional yeast these days.)
I use this amazing product often in my kitchen and I cannot imagine a life without it at the moment. I sprinkle it over salads or toasted bread with avocado, prepare delicious nut cheese with herbs and spices or yumi cheesecake desserts with it and it is generally an amazing substitute for Parmigiano cheese, working great in risotto or pasta dishes as well. I highly recommend it! 🙂
- 1 1/2 ripe avocado, still a bit firm
- 1/2 ripe mango
- 1 medium cucumber
- handful of sprouts
- small handful of lamb's lettuce / corn lettuce / or other preferred greens
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp inactive nutritional yeast (e.g. from "Salud Viva")
- sea salt with flowers
- For decoration: greens & radicchio
- Choose avocados that have the right ripeness and consistency, not overripe (and eventually with brown spots inside) and not too hard. Cut avocados in half and remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh as a whole and cut into small cubes and set aside.
- Peal both mango and cucumber and cut in small cubes. If the cucumber is organic and properly cleaned keep the skin on. Set mango and cucumber cubes aside.
- Cut the onion in very fine small cubes and add in a bowl together with the avocado, mango and cucumber cubes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix all very gently.
- Start assembling the plate as desired (I've used a pastry circle cutter to fill in the mix, to keep it in a nice form) and decorate with radicchio, greens and little drops of olive oil.
- A simple way to find out if your avocados are perfect is to remove the small stem or cap at the top. If it comes away easily and you find green underneath, you've got a good avocado that's ripe and ready to eat. If it's brown the avocado is overripe and mashy. If the stem doesn't come off it's too early to be consumed.