Kale Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

kale saladWe love kale.

Love, love, love, love it!

Not only is it a super food – packed with a whole slew of vitamins and minerals, it also tastes good.

I tried to grow my own kale last year, but  I planted it too late. It struggled all season, barely giving me enough kale to make myself a salad once a week.

So this year I planted early and abundantly. Four different varieties – just in case one didn’t work I would have a back-up.

And they all came up! All four varieties – Russian red, Blue Curled Scotch, Dwarf Siberian and my favorite – Scarlet Kale (cause it’s so pretty!)

We have kale by the dishpan full!

Kale for lunch. Kale for supper. Kale to share.

And kale to make this delicious salad frequently! Which is a very happy thing – since I absolutely adore it!

You need four basic components –

Kale – any variety, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces and placed in a serving bowl. If it’s not baby kale, you might want to pull out the tough stalk and ribs.

Add some fruit for sweetness.  Strawberries are our go-to favorite, but blueberries, raspberries and even dried cranberries are yummy. Put in as much or as little as you want – no judgement here!

Then throw on something for a crunch factor – like roasted nuts, or sunflower seeds. Personally I like to toast some slivered almonds with a little butter in my cast iron skillet, then sprinkle with a touch of salt when they are golden brown and delicious!

And finally – toss the entire salad with this yummy poppy seed dressing. (Which can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.)

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar (5 teaspoons Truvia)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Place all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake.

Refrigerate.

Boom! That’s it! So easy and so yummy!

Just pour that goodness right over those healthy leafy greens and enjoy!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

homemade ranch dipWe love ranch dressing around here.

It’s a staple at almost every meal.

You could almost call it a separate food group.

It comes it a bottle from the store and it’s not something you mess with.

But I did.

I actually made a homemade version – and served it to my children despite their astonished and – yes – even hostile looks.

And they loved it!

Score for mom!

It has now almost totally replaced the bottle from the grocery store. Pedro liked it so well that he requested it for his graduation party.

Good thing it’s so fast and easy and to throw together because we’ve made gallons of it!

Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Milk or Buttermilk

Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and spices in a bowl.

You can serve it now as a dip.

But if you want a salad dressing – just add milk or buttermilk to your desired consistency.

Store in the fridge. Enjoy!

Fresh Raspberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Vinigrette I’m gonna get all fancy on you today! I feel a little bit like this country gal had gone “Food Network” with this gourmet recipe!

But this fresh raspberry vinaigrette is a winner!

My mom mixed some up and brought it to our family camping trip over the Fourth of July and it was a BIG hit.

She emailed us all the recipe – and I made a batch using the fresh blackberries that the girls picked.

We served it at Dagmar’s birthday supper and got rave reviews! My husband even poured it over his grilled pork loin and ate some on his ice cream!

It’s versatile – you can make it with fresh or frozen berries and you can use strawberries, raspberries, or even blackberries.

And it’s easy! Just a quick whirl in the blender and you are ready to impress!

Fresh Raspberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Original recipe from Terri Nordaker

Mix in blender (food processor works, too)
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar  or  1 cup raspberries + 1/3 cup white/wine/or regular vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon grated onion or dry onion flakes

Slowly add 1 cup oil (any kind will work – I used vegetable)  Note – if you use olive oil you will need warm to room temp before serving because olive oil thickens when refrigerated.

Stir in 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds.

Pour into a pretty serving container and enjoy! Refrigerate any left-overs.

I have no idea how long it will keep in the fridge – we eat a batch as fast as I can mix it up!

I’ve linked this post up with Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale, Tuesdays at the Table over All the Small Stuff,  Tuesday Tastes at Crazy Daisy, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace.

Rhubarb Chutney

My mom is back as guest blogger today with a yummy – and rather unique – use for our abundance of rhubarb…

Rhubarb Chutney

This cool and “wet” spring has allowed us to harvest rhubarb from our patch longer than usual. Rhubarb cake, sauce, pie, and crisp are all delicious.

But, this recipe, teaming garlic, black pepper , ginger and vinegar with the usual sugar & rhubarb “called” to me as I was turning the pages of a magazine.

It is a great accompaniment to any meat; something different than catsup, mustard, relish, or even tarter sauce!

It does freeze well, too.

Rhubarb Chutney

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
8 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup golden raisins ( I used regular raisins)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced.
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons ground black pepper

Place vinegar and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add rhubarb and remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and mixture thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes. It does thicken as it cools.

Cool completely. Store in a glass jar or plastic storage container in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes about 5 1/2 cups.

(Per 1/4 cup serving: 100 calories, og fat, omg chol., 1g prot.,24g carbs., 1g fiber, 35mg sodium.)

Enjoy!
Nana Shirley

Make Ahead Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad It’s been a busy week.

And it doesn’t stop yet! We’re packing up to head out for some special family time at my niece’s bridal shower.

In the midst of all the busyness – my girls are working on some preparations for a special Mother’s Day lunch for me on Sunday.

I’m not sure everything that is on the menu – but I have seen some Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes in the fridge along with this luscious fruit salad.

We love this salad because it not only tastes great – but it is fast and easy to put together – and it stays well in the fridge for several days.

I originally got the recipe from my mother-in-law and we have served it often – to rave reviews.

It travels well, – trust me on this one! I have served it at a funeral meal and a political gathering in the last 2 weeks!

I have substituted the drained pineapple juice for the orange juice and tried a variety of fruit!

Make Ahead Fruit Salad

2 -1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
juice of one orange and grated rind (about 1/4 cup)
1 can pineapple chunks
1 can mandarin oranges
Assortment of fresh fruit

Drain the pineapple and mandarin oranges well and put the fruit in a large bowl.

Wash and cut the other fruit into bite sized pieces. Add to the bowl with the pineapple and oranges. Set aside.

Mix together the cornstarch, sugar, water, orange juice, and grated orange rind. Cook on medium heat until the mixture is thick and clear.

Pour over the fruit when the mixture is hot.

Cover and refrigerate.

Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.

You can use a variety of fresh fruit in this salad — apples, grapes, melon balls, strawberries, bananas or blueberries, but if using blueberries and bananas add them just before serving.

You can add as much or as little fruit as you wish – my kids like it really juicy, but I prefer it with more fruit.  This is one of those recipes you just can’t mess up!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up at Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum