Grapefruit, Kale, and Avocado Salad

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Let’s talk about my new obsession: grapefruit.

It was a fruit I never used to give much attention-I found it too bitter and tart on its own and the whole idea of cutting it in half, slathering it with sugar, and eating it with a spoon for breakfast simply never appealed to me. And those grapefruit diets? Bizarre.

Until we were in Texas last weekend and I had the most amazing salad with grapefruit in it at a restaurant that changed my mind. So fresh, so juicy, the tart flavor combining perfectly with the other flavors, including kale and lemon.

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I started to notice the Texas grapefruit on display in the grocery stores everywhere, as they are in the height of their season right now, and ever since getting back, have had it on my mind to buy some and incorporate it in some way into a dish. Yesterday I had it with some Greek yogurt and a banana and it was delicious.

Today, I made a simple salad with just kale, avocado, and grapefruit, topped with some lemon olive oil dressing. So simple, fresh, and in season.

I’ve been loving bright citrus lately in these bitter cold winter days. Something about the bright, cheerful colors and juiciness….maybe it’s one of those biological signals that points to a Vitamin C deficiency? Who knows. A doctor I am not.

This kale salad is the perfect light lunch or side dish that only takes minutes to make, as only a handful of ingredients are required.  The avocado gives it a nice protein boost but feel free to make it heartier by adding nuts, sunflower seeds, or even a protein such as chicken or shrimp. Whatever you do, just make it soon. I’m craving it again already.

Grapefruit, Kale, and Avocado Kale Salad with Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

  • 1 cup Tuscan Kale, stems removed
  • ½ red grapefruit, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ avocado, cut into bite size pieces

For the Lemon Olive Oil Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add kale to a bowl, add dressing, mix, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add grapefruit and avocado and stir to combine. Eat!

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I hope this bright, colorful salad brings you some cheer during these bitter cold days.

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Mujadara

I’d been meaning to make this dish for awhile now.

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I’ve had a bag of lentils that hadn’t been touched since I bought them almost a year ago (!).

I think I know what part of the problem was. You see, while I do love my adorable, sweet, thoughtful, and caring husband….he does have some flaws. He doesn’t like beans (or cheese). Seriously-I think I found the only Mexican that does not like beans.

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Jose’s face after trying beans.

Actually, this is one of my favorite photos of him. And he didn’t try beans, he had just tried coffee, which he also doesn’t like, and is, of course, another one of my favorite things.

It’s not that I can’t make what I like every now and then, it’s just that usually when I cook dinner, I cook for both of us, and it’s not as often that I bother to cook a whole meal that only I would like.

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Maybe it should happen more though.

Mujadara is a traditional Lebanese dish which consists of lentils, rice, and onions. That’s pretty much it. I am told that my grandmother used to make this but unfortunately never tried hers. I have, however, tried both good and bad versions at restaurants. Yet I hadn’t made it myself until now.

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I topped my bowl with some crispy kale because I had one of those days where I realized I hadn’t eaten a single vegetable…and I highly recommend this because crispy kale is delicious and is a perfect complement to the dish. You can also top with Greek yogurt or hot sauce but I didn’t feel that it needed anything more. I am usually all about toppings but sometimes it is enough just to enjoy the flavors of a few simple ingredients together.

Mujadara (Lentils + Rice)

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • I cup dry, uncooked brown lentils
  • ½ cup dry, uncooked brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped/diced (does not have to be finely diced)
  • 3 ½-4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 cups kale, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, until browned.

Add rice and lentils and stir to mix with onions.

Add water, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper, and stir.

Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for about 1 hour or until water is absorbed. You may need to add more water while cooking; I need to add an additional ½ cup after cooking for 40 minutes.

Serve topped with crispy kale, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, hummus-or as is!

For crispy kale: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add kale to small mixing bowl and massage olive oil into kale. Add spices, mix again, and spread onto baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired crispiness.

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