Tag Archives: california salad

Recipe – Obsessed! Kale and Parmesan Salad

If you recall, back in the spring I was totally obsessed with California Salads (read post here). I just couldn’t seem to get enough of the tuna/avocado yumminess! My obsession lasted for weeks until I got to the point I couldn’t look another avocado in the eye – unless of course, we’re talking about guacamole!

I had several non-committal weeks, then suddenly as fall temperatures started to descend upon our fair desert city, I had found a new obsession: Kale and Parmesan salad!

Doesn't this look yummy!

Doesn’t this look yummy!

I know, I know, kale is the new hip vegetable. Well, it’s almost so readily expected to be part of everyone’s diet that one forgets there are more ways to consume the veggie than in a morning green beverage.

I personally put a bit of chopped kale or spinach into nearly everything I make. There are so many nutrients in them a little bit never hurts. My Mom, who lives with me, hates raw kale. She says it tastes like paper but she eats it when I sneak it into one of my recipes.

I honestly don’t recall how my new salad concoction came about. I think I was just cleaning through the refrigerator and this assortment of goodies wound up on the counter. Regardless, I’m so glad they did because I eat this salad nearly every day. Sure, I’ll get sick of it in due time, but for now, I love it!

I just place some freshly washed kale on a plate, then add cherry tomatoes, black olives (i can never get enough olives!), shredded Parmesan cheese, a heavy dose of coarse ground black pepper and just a hint of your favorite ranch dressing, from vegan to all-out Marie’s. Mix it all together and it is absolutely delish!

I’ve used different types of kale in the salad, and they are all good. Sometimes I’ll buy a large bag of chopped organic kale. Other times, I want the baby kale leaves. Occasionally, I can find the small leaf Italian Lacinato kale in the organic section at Von’s. It’s positively fabulous, probably my favorite kale to use.

I told some friends of mine about my recipe and they chimed in with their own versions. One adds just a dash of balsamic vinegar to the salad as I make it, including the ranch dressing. He says it’s a whole new level of awesome!

Another friend switched out a couple of ingredients. Instead of kale she used spinach and replaced the shredded Parmesan with shredded mozzarella. She also added chopped roasted red peppers. I haven’t tried that version but she says her taste buds go wild!

I’ve always been a salad lover, so I’m sure I’ll have more cravings in the future. In the meantime, give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think!






Recipe – Obsessed! California Salad

California Salad

California Salad

Growing up in Detroit back in the twentieth century, I had limited exposure to both avocados and artichokes. In fact, I don’t think I ate an artichoke until I moved to California. However, once I ate them, I fell in love. I mean, really in love.

I tend to eat mostly Mediterranean style, with lots of olive oil, capers and plain old olives. Veggies are a big deal as are chicken and turkey. But, I do love tuna fish as well. So, lately I’ve been craving what I call a California salad. We do meatless Fridays around here, and this meal fits the bill.

In an Internet search, if I prepared this salad properly, it would be called something like the California Stuffed Avocado Salad. However, i like to do things my way, so I switched it up a bit and skipped the stuffing. It’s very simple yet very delish!

I start out by preparing a version of my sister’s tuna fish recipe. Basically, once you’ve drained the water from the tuna (using coffee filters rather than paper towels), you add frozen peas, chopped radishes and chopped artichoke hearts. Occasionally, I mix in a few chopped green olives.

For seasoning, I add Old Bay, pink Himalayan salt, Lawry’s seasoned pepper and onion powder. You can add fresh onions if you prefer. Add a dash of Miracle Whip (for the veggies) and Trader Joe’s organic mayo (for the protein), mix it all together and let it sit overnight.

The next day, I take half a Hass avocado, cut it into chunks, and form a circle around the plate. I season it with some chunky pink HImalayan salt and coarse ground pepper, then add the tuna salad. That’s it!

If done properly, instead of taking the avocado out of the shell, I would simply have topped the avocado with the tuna, but that just gets too messy. Plus, I’d rather not have the avocado shell to deal with on my plate.

You can prepare the tuna any way you like. I have a friend who uses tarragon and maple sugar pecans. And i absolutely love the cranberry tuna from Whole Foods. Pretty much any sort of protein salad can be used, including chicken, shrimp and crab.

If you insist on eating some carbs alongside the salad, Sun Chips are a good addition, as are whole grain Wheat Thins.

So, there you have it! This summer’s food obsession for meatless Fridays. It’s a refreshing, quick and affordable meal that anyone should love. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Here are some avocado cookbooks to keep you happy all year long!