December 13, 2011

Creamy Avocado Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables

This past Saturday, the day that Bo and I were preparing to go to the Tacky Christmas Outfit Party, I wanted something filling and healthy for lunch.  Knowing that we would be consuming several sugar cookies that evening, I wanted to pack as many nutrients into my lunch as I could.  Since we are leaving for Christmas vacation soon, we have been trying to eat up what we have in our pantry and refrigerator.  With that being said, I look into the refrigerator and saw:

  • a bunch of kale;
  • a head of cauliflower;
  • a pound of carrots;
  • one crooked neck squash; and
  • very-close-to-its expiration-date avocado hummus.

So what does one make with these ingredients? 

To be honest, at first I wasn't sure.  I figured that maybe if I just started throwing things together it would come to usually does...usually...and thankfully this time it did!

Step #1: I tore the kale into bite size pieces.

Step #2: I made a dressing with the very-close-to-its expiration-date avocado hummus.

Step #3:  I roasted some vegetables with oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne.

Step #4: I tossed to my heart's content! :)

Oh, wait?!  You mean you actually want the recipe now?

Are you sure?

Okay, okay... you go! ;)

Creamy Avocado Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Serves 2

1 bunch of kale
1/3 C avocado hummus
1/4 C vegetable broth
1/4 tsp cayenne, divided in half
1- 1 1/2 T lime juice
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 crooked neck squash, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, sliced in half
1 1/2 T sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


  • Toss chopped cauliflower, carrots, squash, and tomatoes with the sunflower oil, salt, pepper, and 1/8 tsp cayenne until fully coated.
  • Place in a 400 degree oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes (tossing every ten minutes) until beginning to brown and slightly tender.
  • Meanwhile, tear kale into bite size pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Blend the hummus, broth, 1/8 tsp cayenne, and lime juice until smooth.
  • Toss the creamy avocado dressing with the kale.
  • After vegetables have finished roasting, add them to the kale salad and toss well.
  • Serve immediately while vegetables are warm and kale is beginning to wilt.

This salad turned out much better than I had anticipated!  There was a beautiful balance of flavors: the slightly sweet kale, tossed with the creamy avocado dressing (with just a hint of lime to brighten it up), and the savory-sweet perfection of roasted vegetables.  

I have to say, roasting is one of my favorite kitchen techniques.  The process of roasting brings out the best and most subtle flavors in every ingredient.  In this recipe, the carrots were slightly caramelized, the cauliflower was perfectly soft...but not mushy, and the tomatoes were bursting with sweetness.  Roasted perfection.

And honestly, if we eat first with our eyes, doesn't that just look scrumptious?!  The colors, the perfectly coated kale, the delicately browned vegetables...hmmm-hmmmmm...I think I am salivating...AGAIN! ;)

Next up - a book review and a book-inspired recipe!

Question of the Day:

How do you use your leftovers?

Ally and Bo

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