So Christmas has come and gone and the January blues are settling in. It can be difficult to maintain a positive mindset when you haven't seen the sun in what feels like eternity and the excitement of the festive season is over.
But alas! We have much to be thankful for and to look forward to. The first buds of Spring, the days growing ever so slightly longer with each one that passes and new beginnings! The start of the new year is always a good time to revaluate what's going on in your life, set fresh goals & aspirations and to wipe the slate clean.
I have a bunch of things I have to get on with this year, admittedly many of which are left over resolutions from 2017, but don't let that hold you back.
A more steadfast commitment to blogging sits among my 2018 goals and in particular, including some of my go-to recipes I have concocted.
So I thought I would kick off 2018 with a fresh and yummy salad I knocked up last week using some rather melancholy looking veggies all but forgotten in the depths of my in-laws fridge. The star of the show is my all-time favourite veg- Kale.
I regard this wondrous superfood with an almost religious fervour since it has such a limited shelf life here in Germany. For the most part, we can only find it in stores between October and February, so this is the time to celebrate it and make the most of the time we have together.
The salad is super easy, super healthy and perfect for this time of year after all the indulgence and hours slaving over the stove.
New Year Kale Salad- serves 2-4 depending on your appetite
- Kale, a nice, healthy bunch to fill a salad bowl
- 1 small butternut squash (pumpkin or sweet potato will work but butternut is my favourite)
- pomegranate molasses
- 1 medium beetroot, fresh and raw
- 1 avocado
- alfalfa sprouts (any fresh sprouted seeds or cress will do)
- 3 medium tomatoes
- quinoa cooked to cooking instructions (freekeh/couscous would work too)
- toasted & chopped almonds (walnuts/pine nuts would work too)
- Cut in half & de-seed your butternut squash. Chop into slices or cubs (as you wish) and pop into a baking tray. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika, cumin & salt. Roast in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for 25 mins or until golden and soft.
- While this is happening, wash your tomatoes and chop into cubes including the seeds etc.
- Peel the beetroot, cut in half and chop into cubes.
- Clean your kale & roughly chop into bite size pieces if necessary (some come in bags pre-chopped) and pop it all into a large salad bowl.
- Drizzle roughly 1tbsp of olive oil over the kale, a little onto your hands and start massaging your kale. Yep that's right- massage your kale, every little bit of it and this will help encourage the sweetness within. I'm sure there is scientific explanation behind why this happens but just trust me :)
- Once the kale is feeling chilled and zen after its rub down, throw in the chopped toms & beets.
- Peel and de-stone your avocado and cut into cubes, douse with a little lemon juice and chuck this in with the other veg.
- To make the dressing: in a bowl, pour in a liberal amount of tahini paste. Roughly 6 tbsp. Gradually add water, just a little at a time and mix until you have a smooth, creamy and pale consistency. At first it will appear that something has gone wrong and the tahini has curdled but have faith and keep on watering & mixing. You want it to be pourable but not too thin. Add the juice of 1 lemon. salt & pepper and a good drizzle of pomegranate molasses for sweetness. Roughly a tbsp of pomegranate but check the taste and adjust accordingly.
- Add the cooked quinoa into the salad and mix.
- Pour over enough of your dressing to comfortably coat each part of the salad , mix well.
- Lastly add your roasted butternut squash, sprouts and toasted nuts, give it a quick stir and serve with any of the remaining dressing. I always like a little extra on the side to dip my squash in.
Frohes neues Jahr!
My New Years Day on colourful Brighton beach: