Oh holidays. How I have enjoyed you! You were full of family and cookies and fondue and turkey and Christmas stockings (how did Santa know I wanted Ninja-bread men cookie cutters?). Not to mention the cocktails, slow cooker escapades and Buffy the Vampire Slayer sessions in my basement nest. Sigh.
This week it's time for the real world. Back to work, getting up before the sun rises, the meetings, the routine. Back to exercise and a diet that is not predominantly cookies. It had to end at some point.
As much as I love cookies, I also love a good salad. I especially love a salad for dinner...they usually require very little effort and a lot fewer dishes than a normal meal, and by the way, they are, ahem...good for you.
One of my new salad obsessions is kale. It is really good for you: it is full of iron and calcium, anti-oxidants and vitamins. Much more nutritious than lettuce (which is why I pretty much never eat lettuce...what's the point?). On its own, kale is really bleh. Bitter and a weird texture and it just tastes healthy. But if you marinate kale in some tangy dressing for a few hours, the bitterness of the kale disappears and it takes on a whole new flavor. It not only becomes edible, but it actually tastes good! No, I'm serious.
This salad combines the tangy marinated kale with sweet pomegranates and salty feta. Paired with soba noodles and shredded rotisserie chicken (the kind you can buy pre-cooked at the grocery store), and this salad is a healthy, delicious meal. With substance. That will leave you feeling full and proud of yourself that you ate kale and surprised that you gasp! actually liked it.
Kale & Soba Noodle Salad with Pomegranates and Feta (Makes 4 large servings)
- 1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, stems removed and ripped into bite size pieces (around 8 loose cups)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 package (45g) soba noodles
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 pomegranate, de-seeded
- 3 spring onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
- Rotisserie chicken, shredded
Recipe for dressing adapted from Michael Smith
Combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, ground mustard and salt and pepper in a small container. Shake well to combine. Toss kale with dressing and let it sit for 2-3 hours, tossing occasionally (overnight is even better).
Cook soba noodles according to package directions (make sure it is el dente...it absorbs the dressing). Drain and run under cold water until cool.
Toss soba noodles, onions, feta, pomegranate and slivered almonds with kale and dressing. Top with shredded chicken (not pictured here). Serve immediately.
Notes: it is best to eat the salad while the soba noodles are fresh. The next day, they are a bit soggy, but that didn't stop me from devouring them for lunch!
If you want to leave out the soba noodles, cut the dressing in half.