Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad - Juggling with JuliaI’d like to keep a big bowl of this in my fridge to eat every day.

That’s a direct quote, which got an enthusiastic nod of agreement from around the room. That makes Kale and Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad hands-down the biggest foodie hit I’ve ever had with the book club pals. And that’s saying something, since book club is where I debuted Salted Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels Stuffed with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting .
Pretzels Stuffed with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting -- Juggling With Juliaohmygoodness…drool…swallow…

C’mon, girl! Focus!

Ahem.
Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad - Juggling with JuliaThis salad is for REALZ, my friends.  Adapted from Once Upon a Chef,  I believe the secret to its success is the light and lemony dressing. It pulls together the greens, walnuts and Parmesan perfectly, and tenders the shaved Brussel sprouts just enough that no one will believe they are eating raw Brussel sprouts. My friends were flabbergasted. Flummoxed. Floored.
Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad - Juggling with JuliaNot one for making your own salad dressing? You needn’t be intimidated as it’s as simple as could be. Squeeze a lemon, mince a bit of onion and garlic, and measure some olive oil and Dijon mustard. Add the salt and pepper, shake it up, and you’re in business. It’s a gorgeous color, tasty as all get out, and, aside from being a top-notch dressing, would dress up salmon or chicken perfectly as a marinade as well.

Shopping Tips to cut your prep time…

  • Buy shaved Brussel sprouts, if they’re available. My Stop and Shop sold them in 12 oz packages (the perfect size for this salad).
  • Buy chopped walnuts, instead of shelled walnuts which you would then chop
  • Keep your lemon at room temperature, which will allow you to juice it more quickly. If you forget, and refrigerate it, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm it up.
  • Buy fresh Parmesan that is pre-grated. This recipe calls for a coarsely grated Parmesan, but you could use crumbled or a finer grate if that’s what you can get.

Now you know all my secrets. Off to it. This salad ain’t gonna make itself (though it almost could.)

(OK, one more secret: While the mavens of book club adored this salad,  my 14-year-old  had a contrary assessment. His critique? “I don’t like it – tastes like dirt.” I can only assume he was offended by the Parmesan cheese, which provides significant flavor. It’s not for everyone! He loves the dressing, though, and drizzled some on his turkey sandwich this morning before school. Forgiven :) )
Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad - Juggling with Julia Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad - Juggling with JuliaShaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
Serves 8

Prep time: 15-25 minutes (depends on convenience items)    Rest time: 30 minutes

Salad:
12 ounces (2 1/2 – 3 cups packed) Brussel sprouts, sliced thinly
2 cups (packed) baby kale, chopped
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (one lemon should do it)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely minced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Start by toasting the walnuts. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and spread out into a single layer. Stir occasionally, toasting them just until they begin to smell nutty (4-5 minutes). Remove from the hot pan to a plate to cool while you put together the rest of the salad. (You don’t want your hot nuts cooking the greens, do you?)

To make the dressing, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Brussel sprouts, baby kale, walnuts, and Parmesan. If you like, save a small amount of Parmesan and walnuts to garnish the top of the finished salad.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the dressing to thoroughly settle in and soften the Brussel sprouts. Garnish with remaining walnuts and Parmesan if desired.

Serve at room temperature. Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in refrigerator.

 Enjoy!

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IMG_0853Sharing with you today my go-to meal when I am craving something quick, veggie-filled and nutritious.

Which begs the question, is there ever a time when I’m craving the opposite?? Of course – yes! – which explains this and most definitely this.

Today, though, it’s about a tantalizing Warm Spinach Salad, a simple meal for one that is so packed with veggies, it’ll right any food ‘wrongs’ you feel you may have committed recently.

Did I mention it’s super quick to make? I spent maybe a whole 10 minutes pulling out and prepping the ingredients, and barely half that at the stove. Thankfully it took me slightly longer to eat it, what with all that was going on. (There was an ice pack on my knee, a persnickety Siamese on my lap, and an episode of Madame Secretary to queue up on Netflix…an indulgence I’m allowed here and there).

Here’s what you’ll need:

Warm Spinach Salad - Juggling with JuliaFirst, you heat the olive oil and butter (I love the butter for flavor, but acknowledge the better nutrient profile and superior sauteing ability of olive oil)… IMG_0848Second, you toss in the onions and mushrooms, and saute them for 3-4 minutes.
IMG_0849Next, you add the walnuts, and continue with the saute for 2 minutes more.
IMG_0850Finally, you remove the pan from heat, and add the spinach, tossing it with the hot veggie mixture just long enough to wilt and brighten the greens.
IMG_0851Add some Parmesan cheese crumbles if you like, or keep it vegan and just finish with some ground black pepper.
IMG_0852

Then, relax and enjoy :)

Warm Spinach Salad with Walnuts
Serves 1 lucky person

Prep time: 8-10 minutes     Cook time: 5-6 minutes

2 cups (loosely packed) greens of your choice – spinach, baby kale, chard, arugula
1/2 large Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salted butter
Parmesan cheese crumbles, optional
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium skillet or non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute for 3-minutes. Add walnuts and saute for 2 additional minutes. Remove from heat.

Add greens and toss with hot vegetable mixture just until the greens brighten in color and wilt slightly. If using Parmesan cheese, add and toss to combine. Transfer mixture to plate, and finish with freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy :)

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Mini Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

January 18, 2016 Dessert
Mini Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes - Juggling with Julia

Desserts in miniature are some of my favorite treats. These mini lemon poppyseed cupcakes, here modeled by Georgia, were 100% her call. Much inspired by her love of Cupcake Wars and The Great British Baking Show, she was just dying to bake something. She researched flavor combinations and recipes before settling on lemon, one of her […]

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My Fake Restaurant Menu

January 10, 2016 Healthy Lifestyle
My Fake Restaurant Menu - Juggling with Julia

“Mum, you should open a restaurant. You could serve all the things you like to make.” This sweet comment from my 10-year-old came as I pulled out the ingredients for a very simple, but healthy, dinner. Me? Open a restaurant? While it is laughable from the viewpoint of my organizational abilities, I contemplated this thought […]

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Kale, Quinoa, and Pomegranate Salad

December 21, 2015 Appetizers & Snacks
Kale Quinoa Pomegranate Salad -- Juggling with Julia

Happy holidays, friends! Been busy wrapping, baking, shopping, and cooking? Same here. And drinking more iced coffee than is recommended by 4 out of 5 sleepologists. It was quite a productive week in the kitchen. I baked oodles of cookies (with help from my elves – Grumpy, Sneezy, and Sporty), and I even made a […]

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Skillet Candy Bar Cookies

December 8, 2015 Cookies
Skillet Candy Bar Cookies -- Juggling With Julia

We are still swimming in Halloween candy here.  You too? I created these Skillet Candy Bar Cookies  solely in defense. Despite the fact that we have just the one kid still young enough to get away with candy panhandling (is that candypandling?) , we’ve no shortage of chocolate, chewies, and gummies a full five weeks […]

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Spanish Brown Rice and Beans

November 4, 2015 Main Meals
Spanish Brown Rice and Beans with Sausage - Juggling With Julia

Looking for some warm comfort food to snuggle your insides? I got you, babe. Here comes Spanish Brown Rice and Beans.  It’s exactly the kind of one-pot dish you need to kick off your week. Zippy and filling, it’s an absolute cinch to make. Better yet, it got the double-thumbs up from the boys and […]

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My Daily Coffee Habit Really Is For the Greater Good

October 22, 2015 Beverages
Simple Cold-Brewed Coffee for Summer -- Juggling with Julia

Let’s talk about coffee, shall we? Specifically, how my ‘here and there’ caffeine habit – delivered nowadays via homemade cold-brewed iced coffee – has transformed into a daily necessity. I do it for you, really. And for my family, and the cat, and anyone else who depends on me to be coherent, alert, reliable, or […]

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Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Dark Chocolate

October 18, 2015 Appetizers & Snacks
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Dark Chocolate -- Juggling With Julia

It’s hard to know what to say about these Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Dark Chocolate. It’s hard to say because they were gone in a flash. I did manage to get my mouth around one of them, the notorious and ornery cookie known as Grumpy Pumpy: All I remember is a drive-by assault of cinnamon, […]

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Apple Cabbage Slaw with Greek Yogurt Dressing

September 30, 2015 Salads/Sides
Apple Cabbage Slaw with Greek Yogurt Dressing -- Juggling With Julia

Howdy, friends! Hasn’t this been one killer September? Cool mornings, warm and sunny days, and a gorgeous blue sky – I just can’t get enough. Just to clear, I’m still a HUGE fan of the lazy days of summer. I’m certainly not putting my flip flops away until I have to. But, there is no […]

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