Ginger Sesame Almond Kale Salad

There is nothing like a fresh, homemade salad dressing!  As a person who did not grow up with it, I can truly appreciate homemade dressing and all its wonderful uses.  I can also appreciate something that so delightfully masks the bitter and mostly unenjoyable flavor of kale!  Lets be serious, it does’t taste too good if you only wash it, chop, and throw it into your bowl with a typical bottled salad dressing- not the way to go folks! Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat kale, but there are many things we can do to spice up that flavor.  I hope everyone is feeling more relieved that the Dietitian agrees that kale tastes horrible and simply needs a little TLC, nbd.  Please enjoy your next kale salad as follows!

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Ginger Sesame Almond Kale Salad

Serves: 2 (with leftovers)

Makes approximately 1 cup of dressing, Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups washed and chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 heaping tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries

Directions:

1.  Place chopped kale in a large bowl and keep to the side.

2. Place the next 8 ingredients in a blender, blend on high for 10-15 seconds until dressing is completely combined. Please note you can also make this in a bowl with a whisk!

3. Once dressing is complete, mix in the sesame seeds.

4. Dress the kale salad to your liking and mix in the cranberries and slivered almonds.  This salad tastes best if you let it sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving!

Blending the dressing!

Blending the dressing!

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Ginger Thai Basil Noodle Bowl

Heaven is:  having a wide variety of Asian infused sauces to choose from at arms length. You’re lying if you don’t agree. Savory, sweet, spicy, umami, and all that good stuff that always hits the spot.  It’s all about fresh crunchy ingredients,  a little spice, and soothing ginger broth. It’s quick and easy to make and just requires some stocking up on Asian sauces, but hey, someone had to make you do it! Don’t worry, plenty more use for them will come, we have many more recipes like these up our sleeves!

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Ginger Thai Basil Noodle Bowl

Serves: 2

  Ingredients

  • Rice noodles of choice ( I used 1/2 package of Mai Fun), cooked to package directions, this was more than enough with some extra
  • 32 oz chicken or vegetable stock (important to use “stock” and not broth, broth tends to have seasonings added to it, likely causing your dish to be confused as to whether it is French or Asian)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 6 green onions plus more for garnish, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated/diced
  • 3 leaves fresh basil plus 6 more for garnish, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoons sesame or grapeseed oil
  • 1 10 oz package mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Chili- garlic sauce of choice
  • Siracha

Directions:

1. Heat up the chicken stock, water, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, 6 green onions, ginger, and basil.  Allow broth to simmer for 20-25 minutes to infuse flavor.

2. While broth is simmering, heat butter and oil together in a sauté pan.  Sauté mushrooms for 3-4 minutes and then add 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar and the Hoisin sauce.  Stir frequently to cover all mushrooms and allow sauce to thicken for another 2 minutes.

3. Gather 2 bowls and fill each one with the 3/4 cup  of the cooked rice noodles and 1 cup each of the bean sprouts.  Then add mushrooms to each bowl and pour the ginger broth to just cover the ingredients.  Top each bowl with  the fresh cilantro, basil, green onion, chili garlic sauce, and siracha.  Serve and enjoy!

* Please note you can easily add chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp to this for added protein! A fried egg on top would also be delectable! 

Ingredients!

6 thinly sliced green onions

6 thinly sliced green onions

Mushrooms going into the sauté pan!

Hoisen sauce being added to sautéed mushrooms

Hoisen sauce being added to sautéed mushrooms

Hoisen sauce coated mushrooms.  I hope your mouth is watering at this picture.  If you've never tasted hoisen sauce, you are truly missing out! NOM

Hoisen sauce coated mushrooms. I hope your mouth is watering at this picture. If you’ve never tasted hoisen sauce, you are truly missing out! NOM

Rice noodles, mushrooms, and bean sprouts for serving.

Rice noodles, mushrooms, and bean sprouts for serving.

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Fresh basil and cilantro – the perfect amount for each serving! Fresh herbs add distinct and refreshing flavor to a dish like this, the more the better!

Chopped basil, cilantro, and more green onion for each bowl!

Chopped basil, cilantro, and more green onion for each bowl!

Served with chili garlic sauce, siracha, and a lime!

Served with chili garlic sauce, siracha, and a lime!

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Roasted Pork Loin with Christmas Cranberry Chutney

Few condiments in this world offer the complimentary culinary delightfulness that a chutney can provide. The best part about it is that making one is extremely simple, can be done in about 20 minutes, and is equally as tasty when served hot or cold.  Creating and serving a chutney will spruce up any generic baked meat and turn it into an exquisite fine dining entrée. In this particular chutney I used seasonal ingredients meaning they will have the strongest flavor, contain more nutrients, and are more easily obtained as a locally produced ingredient.  Below I served it with a delicious herb encrusted pork-loin where you will learn how to get an aw-dropping sear!

The Healthy Bachelorette Porkloin and Chutney

Roasted Pork Loin with Christmas Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 oranges, zested, peeled, supremed, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • pork tenderloin
  • 2 teaspoons herbs de provence
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Juice from one small lemon

Directions:

1. Rinse your cranberries and place them in a pot with the 1/4 cup water on medium-low heat.  Meanwhile, gather your fresh ginger, peel and dice into very fine pieces and add to pot of cranberries.  Continue to zest the outside of the oranges over the pot, being careful to avoid the lighter color peel that is very bitter. Then, peel the oranges and discard.  Next step is to supreme the orange, this allows you to gather the delicious fruit while avoiding the pith, chop into small pieces and add to cranberries. Lastly squeeze the oranges over the pot with the cranberries and add the sugar, stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat until consistency is thick, similar to jam. This can be served hot or cold and stored in the refrigerator for 5 days.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place a skillet or sauté pan on medium heat with the butter.  Place your pork loin on a flat surface and season with herbs de provence, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and fresh ground pepper.  When searing, it is important to ensure the pan is the perfect temperature. To high will cause a lot of smoke and burning while too low will create a very unappetizing color in your meat.  So, leaving the pan on medium heat for a few minutes allows it to heat thoroughly and evenly while you do prep work. When placing the pork in the pan it should sizzle without smoking, if it smokes, just pull the pan off the burner (keeping the pork in) until it cools off a bit.

3. Once your pan is heated and ready, place the pork loin in and allow it to sear on each side for approximately 3 minutes.  Once you have a nice toasty crust, squeeze the lemon juice on top of the pork and into the pan to de-glaze the flavor that is stuck to the bottom.  Continue to place the entire skillet into the oven to continue cooking for about 30 minutes, if you are using a teflon pan, make sure to transfer the pork into an oven safe dish.  Cook the pork until the temperature reaches 145 degrees or the juices run clear.

4. I served this with some leftover brown rice and fresh spinach – enjoy!

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Fresh chopped ginger and orange zest

Fresh chopped ginger and orange zest

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Supreme your orange!

Supreme your orange!

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