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Month: April 2016

What I Love This Week: Kale, Date, and Avocado Salad

I loooooove salads. I think they are a really wonderful platform to test the intermingling of flavor profiles. They can be light and refreshing, or rich and filling. They allow you to mix together every segment on the food pyramid in one go.

They can also be really boring and cost you $15 on your lunch break only to leave you hungry an hour later.

Not the case for this glorious salad.

On Saturday evening, PIF and I planned to cook some fish and since I’m the Salad Queen, I was in charge of whipping something up in that department. I had a ton of kale, avocados, and dates in my fridge (you know, all the necessities), so I searched the internet for an interesting combination of the three. I found this salad, which took maybe 10 minutes to make and was so delicious I brought it in for lunch today at work. Therefore, I’m including here both the original recipe and my method for packing it for lunch that will waste next to none of your time in the morning.

Kale, Date, and Avocado Salad
Adapted from

Total Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 2

4 handfuls of kale, preferably Tuscan, roughly cut into ribbons*
1/8 cup pine nuts, lightly roasted**
1 avocado
1.5 T lemon juice, preferably from a fresh lemon
3 T olive oil
4 dates, chopped into little chunks
1 ounce shaved Parmesan***

1. In a large bowl, toss together kale, pine nuts, oil, and lemon juice.
2. Add avocados, cheese, and dates, and toss gently
3. Season generously with salt and pepper
4. Serve

* To do this, fold a piece of kale in half hot dog-style, cut vertically along the spine, and then cut approximately inch strips horizontally.
** To do this, heat a skillet for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, add pine nuts, and toss around til they’re roasted to a light brown on each side.
*** I highly recommend shelling out for a nice hunk of Parmesan and then grating yourself. I haven’t yet discussed this much, but pre-shredded cheese freaks me out, Parmesan especially. Why? Read more here.

Seriously, it’s that easy.

Okay, now you’re addicted and looking at how you can eat this every day for lunch at work. You could make it before, but salad can sometimes get droopy (though Tuscan kale holds up pretty well, avocado not so much.)

Here’s how I did it. I put the kale & pine nuts together in a rather large container. A gallon plastic bag works too. I then put the grated cheese, chopped dates, and olive oil in separate little containers. Then I brought an avocado along. I also toted along my salt & pepper shakers cause I am emotionally attached to them. Note: Half the recipe if you’re making it for yourself. Unless you’re super hungry. Then more power to ya!

Once it’s lunch time, just add all the ingredients to the kale-and-pine-nuts container and shake it up. If you’re only using half the avocado, cut it around the pit, leaving the pit in the half you’re not using. That’ll help it last much, much longer. Then store the half with the pit for tomorrow.

Note: Half the recipe if you’re making it for yourself. Unless you’re super hungry. Then more power to ya!

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Madison & Rayne Promo Code!

Hey, everyone! It’s no secret that I love Madison & Rayne, a Chicago-based business that does the meal prep for you and delivers the ingredients right to your door. I first fell in love when I won a food photo contest and got to try a week of free meals, which you can read all about here. I’ve been using it ever since and am consistently impressed by the quality of the ingredients and creativity and variety of the dishes.

As a total food snob who works a lot but loves to cook, Madison & Rayne has allowed me to eat out less, but get higher quality, home-cooked meals. In fact, I attribute learning how to select better cuts of fish and cook them perfect entirely to M & R. I cannot rave about it enough.

You don’t have to take my word for it, because now you can try it yourself at a reduced cost! Use promo code RN30 at check out and get $30 off! 

Disclaimer: I pride myself on recommending only what I find to be truly the best — this is not a paid advertisement. PIF & I get three meals delivered each week, which we pay for in their entirety. 

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