If I had a philosophy for how I like to eat on a daily basis, it would be as follows: eat big, green, and stress free. I eat lots of greens and genuinely enjoy my salads because I build them big enough and full of enough nutrients that they are wholly satisfying. The darker the green the better, too; emerald green spinach and earthy kale varieties are great hearty choices to supply heaps of vitamins and minerals including magnesium (which so many individuals are deficient in), folate, iron, and calcium. These greens are the best choices for holding up rich dressings and salad topping additions. A side dish portion of pale lettuce and dry, hard vegetables isn’t going to make me happy.
I also believe that we better absorb the nutrients from our food and assist in the body’s digestion and healthful elimination when we greet our meals with pleasure and a calm state where time can be taken to chew and enjoy the food completely. With this comes developing the ability to listen to your body’s needs in regards to nutrients (we have cravings for a reason!) but also being mindful about what you feel like doing. If you are tired of making food and cooking for yourself, then going through the motions of putting something together is going to exacerbate that mood and you are not going to enjoy that meal. Rather, it might be better to recognize that you aren’t in the right mood for the whole process and perhaps a quick smoothie, soup, or bowl or fruit would be a better option.
In this salad, the dressing came first, inspired by Rawmazing’s recipe for the Maple Miso Vinaigrette. I quickly ran out of my peach supply so I couldn’t follow suit to make the peach, pecan and kale combination, so I did a 360 with this recipe inspiration and turned it totally savory. I love the texture of kale and it is well suited for interested pairings-soft fruit, crunchy nuts, crisp vegetables. I took a handful of crimini mushrooms and marinated them in some of the vinaigrette along with a touch of balsamic. I also had soaked almonds ready in the fridge and was also recently inspired to use more sea vegetables. I had some wakame and miso on reserve for making miso soup so this salad was a great opportunity to reinvent those ingredients. Kelp and seaweeds are a delicious, chewy, salty addition to a salad when rehydrated. Sea vegetables are a powerful source of magnesium, iodine, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and D. Phew!
Maple Miso Vinaigerette
2 tbs cold pressed olive oil
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs raw apple cider vinegar
2 tsp light miso paste
himalyan sea salt & black pepper
1/ Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk, or in a jar and shake!
1 large bunch curly kale
2 tbs dry wakame, rehydrated and drained
1 cup marinated crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup soaked almonds, chopped
1 small sweet orange pepper, sliced
1/ Tear kale into pieces and massage with some of the maple miso dressing. Toss with wakame and then continue to top greens with the rest of the ingredients as you see fit. Top with more vinaigrette if desired.