Kale Salad with Red Cabbage, Carrots, and Pine Nuts

Did you know that you can get tennis elbow without being a tennis player?  I certainly didn’t, but now I have it and I know all about it.  It has forced me to slow down and appreciate all that I use my arms and hands for.  How true it is that it’s easy to take things for granted until those things are taken away.  As I struggled to chop this kale, I felt so thankful for simple things like being able to use a knife to cut fresh vegetables.  Doing things slowly help me to appreciate simple things in life.

Olive oil and lemon juice make up the dressing for this salad.  It may not sound like much, but the lemon truly brightens up the kale and cuts through any bitterness.  It’s simple, but goes along so well with the kale, cabbage, and carrots.  The wonderful thing about kale salads is that they store well as leftovers, although sometimes it’s necessary to add some extra dressing and seasoning to the salad if it’s eaten the next day.

Kale Salad with Red Cabbage, Carrots, and Pine Nuts
Serves: 4-6
  • For the salad:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1½ cups thinly chopped red cabbage
  • 1½ cups grated carrots (about 3 medium carrots)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  1. Toast pine nuts in a single layer in a 350 oven for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully because the pine nuts burn easily.
  2. Remove kale leaves from the tough stalks and roughly chop kale. Toss with the chopped cabbage and grated carrots.
  3. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad, tossing together until salad is evenly coated. Top with the toasted pine nuts. Allow salad to marinate in dressing for 15 minutes or so before serving.


Chorizo and Red Beans Rice

Chorizo and Red Beans Rice is a flavorful one pot dish with a variety of textures coming from the chorizo, red beans, and vegetables.  The star of this dish is the spanish chorizo which is a cured meat and can come mild or spicy, so choose accordingly.  Be sure not to confuse it with mexican chorizo, which is a fresh ground meat.    Sautéing the cured  meat with the vegetables releases the flavors of the the meat and distributes them throughout the dish.  This is a great dish for using up leftover rice, which we always seem to have a lot of around here.  Hooray for quick meals with hardly any dishes to clean afterwards!

Chorizo and Red Beans Rice
Serves: 4
  • 1½ cups brown rice, uncooked
  • 4 ounces spanish chorizo, diced
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • parsley or cilantro for garnish
  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
  2. Saute the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic until golden. Add the chorizo, beans, and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, salt, pepper, and paprika and stir together thoroughly until heated through. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.
inspired by a Whole Foods recipe


Chocolate Oat Chip Crispie Bars

Spring soccer season has finally begun around here.  I made a double batch of these Chocolate Chip Oat Crispie Bars for the boys to enjoy after their game.  They played their hearts out and lost their game, but I like to think that these treats helped to cheer them up a little.  They are loaded with whole grains and sweetened with coconut sugar and honey.  I think substituting raisins for the chocolate chips would also be a tasty alternative.

Chocolate Oat Chip Crispie Bars

Chocolate Chip Oat Crispie Bars
Serves: makes 20-24 bars
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1¼ cups brown rice crisps cereal
  • ¾ cups chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With a stand mixer, cream together the butter and coconut sugar. Add the honey, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Mix in the oats, and then the brown rice crisps. Do not overmix. Add the chocolate chips last.
  5. Press mixture into the greased baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.