Thursday, June 26, 2014

Green Detour: Southwest Kale and Romaine Super Salad

And now, for a break from your regularly scheduled baking - it's dinner, it's lunch, it's an awesome salad that will actually leave you feeling nourished and satisfied! After months of being forced to eat out frequently due to inordinate amounts of time spent in the library, I've been on a mission to cook my own meals on my own terms. I love eating fresh, green things because not only do they make me feel great, but I know I am getting the nutrients I need to stay energized and healthy! Now, I've never met a cookie or pastry I didn't like, but you can't survive on flour, sugar, and chocolate alone!! Balance is key. And I'm here to keep it delicious whether it came from a friend's backyard garden (Thanks, D!) or out of a piping hot cupcake pan.

This dish was dreamt up while perusing various food websites and recipes. I especially like because even though they sometimes use lots of fancy ingredients and I don't even think I've ever tasted fennel (sad), everything is test kitchen prepped and I can use their proportions to create my own creations. I started this salad off with a corn and black bean salsa, which I will include the recipe for below. It's great by itself or with a good chip, but i decided to rinse and chop some fresh greens (use whichever you like), top with half an avocado, dump a hearty serving of salsa over top and finish with some chopped almonds for crunch.

My salad philosophy is pretty simple: start with fresh greens with a high nutritional value (romaine, spring mix, spinach, all types of kales and chards and whatnot), and go crazy from there! I am always trying to spice it up with mix-ins that are yummy, fun in your mouth plus hearty and healthy, and will continue to (try to) inspire some salad fever in you, dear reader, with my creations.

Southwestern Salsa 
(makes enough for 8 servings)


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh from 2 ears corn, or thawed from frozen)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced seeded bell peppers (I used mini sweet ones)
2 or 3 small hot peppers, diced (to taste - you can use jalapeno, poblano, chiles, etc)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of half a lemon


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add corn, black beans, hot peppers, and bell peppers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté, mixing only occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

Scrape into a large bowl.

Add green onions and cilantro, and toss in lemon juice.

Look at all that flavor

Viola! You have a yummy salsa to top a hearty dinner salad and take as a midday snack with chips the next day. Or to bring to a picnic and serve to the great friends and hungry ants that attend. A great alternative to regular old tomato salsa, or make that as well as some guacamole and you have a tri-dip party! Stay healthy, my friends.


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