Garlicky Kale Salad with Parmesan

One thing I love about my job as a dietitian in a grocery store setting is how I get to help people discover that vegetables can taste good. And not just good, but actually craveable.

Kale salad with parmesan, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and a garlicky lemon dressing. Kale never tasted so good!

My coworker from out East shared a great analogy with me that I use all the time now. She says “We don’t cook chicken by boiling the heck out of it and expect it to taste good, so why do so many of us give up on vegetables when they don’t taste good cooked this way?”

It’s so true!!!

Luckily my parents did a pretty good job of making vegetables taste good when I was a kid. Broccoli with cheese sauce, green beans with toasted almonds and brown butter, and Provencal tomatoes with herb butter breadcrumbs are just a few of the amazing vegetable dishes I grew up with and that I now make myself.

But I don’t always have time to whip up fancy vegetable dishes for weeknight dinners, so to add flavour in a pinch I rely on three ingredients: garlic plus salt plus fat.

Those three ingredients come to play in this kale salad to help tone down its bitterness and turn it into a delicious salad. To kick it up a notch I also throw in Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds (pine nuts are also good!), and dried cranberries for some sweetness. Vegetables never tasted so good!

Kale salad with parmesan, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and a garlicky lemon dressing. Kale never tasted so good!

Garlicky Kale Salad with Parmesan
Prep time
Total time
Kale salad with parmesan, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and a garlicky lemon dressing.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 1 bunch of kale (~10-12 cups)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Heaping ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup sliced toasted almonds
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  1. Chop, wash, and dry your kale.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dressing and kale. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for 3-4 minutes until the leaves start to darken and wilt.
  4. Sprinkle on the salt and toss to mix. Taste and adjust flavours as needed.
  5. Add the Parmesan, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries and toss to mix again.

Kale salad with parmesan, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and a garlicky lemon dressing. Kale never tasted so good!


Filed under recipe

2017 Cook My Books Challenge: June

Can anyone believe I’m still going strong with my challenge? I sure as heck can’t. I never stick with anything this long! When I was 5 my parents signed me up for violin lessons, but I gave up after only a few months because I said that holding up the violin made my arms sore! Then when I was 14 I told my parents I was becoming vegetarian… which lasted all of two weeks. Even just last month I embarked on a quest to clean out my closet… which I gave up on after 1 hour. Needless to say I’m not good at toughing things out – I’m amazed I’m still blogging after 5 years, let alone still doing this challenge after 6 months.

But here I am, another delicious month later! Here’s what I cooked from my books in June:

Greens and Fontina Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Words cannot even express how amazing this recipe is. Like omg. The combination of garlic, cheese, and brown butter is just utter perfection. It’s also incredibly easy to make, so it would be a great brunch recipe for guests. I know I’ll make this one again and again.


Spinach and Ricotta Pappardelle from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

I had to improvise with this one because my grocery store doesn’t sell pappardelle noodles, so I used a tip from my friend Patrick and cut some fresh lasagna sheets into strips. I think lasagna sheets are thicker than pappardelle though, and this pasta dish needed a more delicate noodle to go with the simple sauce. With real pappardelle and a heavy hand with the salt, this would be a nice easy weeknight dinner.


Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger

I switched up this one slightly and used 1 part buckwheat flour to 2 parts whole wheat pastry flour instead of half of each because John doesn’t like an overpowering buckwheat taste. The 1:2 ratio was perfect. Buckwheat pancakes I’ve made in the past have been hit or miss, but these were a hit.

Incredible Smashed Peas and Broad Beans on Toast from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver

To be honest I’m not sure how I felt about this recipe. I like sweet peas in risotto and salads, and even in spring pea soup, but the mashed pea mixture was just a little too much pea flavour for my liking. Not even the parmesan and mint balanced it out for me, although the buffalo mozzarella helped – it better have for $3.50 worth of cheese per toast!


Magical “Ice Cream” Smoothie Bowl from Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

This was so good and it actually did kind of taste like ice cream! Smoothies don’t always satisfy me, but this one was packed with good stuff like avocado and almond butter. I also use cow’s milk at home, so that’s what I used in this recipe instead of almond milk.  I always need something to chew with my smoothies though, so I topped it with some homemade granola and shredded coconut.


What cookbook recipes did you make this month?

Missed my previous Cook My Books Challenge posts? Check them out below!



Filed under cookbook

2017 Cook My Books Challenge: May

Still going strong with my Cook My Books Challenge for 2017! Here’s what I cooked from my books in May:

Apple Pie Oatmeal from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast (hello banana almond butter oatmeal or mango coconut overnight oats), but this was a nice departure from my usual. It was not only delicious, but also very filling! Angela suggests topping with walnuts, hemp seeds, and coconut but I went with raisins and a scoop of almond butter instead.


Chickpea Deli Salad from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sarah Forte

Such a simple recipe to throw together! I loved this for weekday lunches stuffed into a pita or just eaten on its own with some side dishes. I do a lot of heart health classes at work focused on cooking with beans and often make salads like this one – it’s such an easy way to eat more beans and boost your fibre intake!


Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus from Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

The only thing better than these three foods on their own is these three ingredients in combination. The roasted garlic adds such great flavour (note: I definitely recommend adding two heads of roasted garlic). Next time I might actually add more sun dried tomatoes though.

Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver

At first bite I thought this recipe needed more sauce, but I ended up really enjoying its simplicity. I used shrimp with their shells on and doubled the garlic, both of which really help to add more flavour to the dish. I wouldn’t use 455 grams of spaghetti like the recipe calls for though – I used only 375 grams and that was the perfect amount. If you don’t have this cookbook, you can get the recipe on Jamie’s website here.


Roasted Shrimp and Orzo from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

I’ve made this recipe several times before and it’s one of my all-time favourites! So when my mom asked me to come up with  a menu for my birthday lunch with the family, I knew I wanted to make this one. It has the perfect combination of herbs, lemon juice, and feta cheese that hits all the right notes. I’ve also made this vegetarian with chickpeas in place of shrimp and it’s just as good. The recipe is available on The Food Network website here – I highly recommend you make it!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

So I might have messed these guys up a little. After forming the rolls and letting them rise for 30 minutes, I realized they were not going to fit in the baking dish I’d selected. I moved a few to another dish and rearranged the other rolls, but while handling them I made them all deflate. So I probably should have let them rise for another half hour, but I didn’t have time for that. Instead I just baked them as is, which I think is why they came out a bit on the harder side. They weren’t too bad on the first day, but the leftovers the next day were as crunchy as croutons!


What cookbook recipes did you make this month?

Missed my previous Cook My Books Challenge posts? Check them out below!



Filed under cookbook