Do you have a Whole Foods near you? Like.. dangerously close? Walking distance?
Because if you do, you probably spend approximately $50 a week on their prepared foods. O and I can pretty much always agree on their buffet bar as a quick and relatively healthy lunch or weeknight dinner out, and O has this impressive obsession with their chicken-fried tofu nuggets… oh, and we may or may not have bought our house based on its proximity to Whole Foods (leaning towards “may not”, but it was certainly a draw..)
One of the dishes we always, always load up on is their raw kale salad with cranberries. It’s light and bright but packed nutritionally, and the sweet, tart cranberries balance the bitter, earthy kale beautifully.
So this year, planning Thanksgiving and knowing I can stray a bit from the typical menu without a total revolt from my family, I had planned on making a creamed kale. You might remember this from my Thanksgiving menu! I wasn’t totally sure how I’d make yet another hot dish on the big day, but figured it’d be a nice, actual vegetable option for the more balanced of my guests. And then it hit me.. the Whole Foods kale salad with cranberries!
This kale salad is perfect for Thanksgiving because you can make it one or two days in advance and keep it in the frigo, just waiting to be set out on the table when it comes time. The raw kale is such a glorious treat next to the super heavy key players on Thanksgiving, and the cranberries are not only a beautifully vibrant pop of color and flavor, but a sweet seasonal addition that echoes your traditional cranberry sauce (with rosemary!) perfectly.
Even my dear mother asked, a few weeks ago, what my menu would be, and I mentioned the cream kale. “Oh,” she added. “…”, she concluded. But when I told her I was making the switch to the raw kale salad with cranberries, she was far more enthused. “I’ll actually eat that!”, she said. Good to know, ma. Good to know.
So make this for Thanksgiving, make it for Christmas Eve, make it for Christmas Day. It’s so easy, it’s make-ahead, and it’s the perfect side dish at these feasts, both gustatorily and nutritionally!
Kale Salad with Cranberries
- 1 bunch organic curly kale
- juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 2 teaspoons raw local honey
- salt , to taste
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- pine nuts or chopped walnuts , optional, to taste
Rip the leaves of the kale from the stems and tear into bite-sized pieces, Place in a large bowl.
Make your dressing: whisk together the juice of one lemon, 3 tablespoons good olive oil, 2 teaspoons raw local honey, and salt, to taste. Pour about half over your kale and, with your hands, massage into the leaves until they're a bit wilted (they will look a little less curly but will taste a lot better and will be easier to digest). Add a bit more dressing at a time, to taste, then toss cranberries and nuts, if using. Refrigerate until ready to serve.