It’s time to talk about seasons again since we’ve swapped months from January to Februare. I hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to the new year! Personally I’ve had a fast and slow start as my motivations have fluctuated with the weather that mainly seems stuck in grey mode. I’m longing for sunny skies and warmer breezes. At the same time I’m trying to apply myself to the tasks I’ve given myself and stay present in the now. A lot going on there really and let’s just say I’ve had mixed result in my ambitions so far. And that’s okay! Now let’s talk about the cheesy kale salad because that’s were the money’s at as far as this post goes.
Here in the North of Europe we are now in the spell where we are living off the few things that survive winter and waiting patiently for that sun and warm breeze I was talking about to bring us some fresh goods. It’s a period of a little less local choice and a time to get a little more creative with what we got. You might not think this kale salad is doing that? But I’ll tell you why I think it is.
When produce get scarce I always look to my pantry; to dried, cartoned/canned and pickled foods. Basically the long lasting foods or foods that have been packaged to be just that. In this recipe I’m using both chickpeas and tofu which is also made from dried beans as well as the delicious cashew nut. They’re all items that last a long time. Except for the tofu which has a shorter shelf but that happens to be made from a dried food. And! There’s some made right here in Sweden which is awesome. Then there’s the cashew nuts, and that goes for nuts and seeds in general, that are happy for months if sealed in an air tight container. If you feel precious about their freshness you can even keep them in the fridge, just make sure no moisture gets in there.
Finally there’s the kale which is our trusted green friend here in the Swedish winter, along with cabbage and brussels sprouts. I love kale and I think it is especially delicious covered in this creamy and cheesy dressing. It really is important to keep eating those dark leafy greens even though there might not be the most abundant choice around. That’s when we need to get creative and dress it up in something new. So; cheesy dressing.
Before we go any further into chopping I thought I’d list the foods that are available to us here in Sweden all year around, these will be listed in each and everyone of these posts in case one of you out there missed the last one. And hopefully this will inspire you to do the same for where you live. If you’re living in Sweden – lucky you! Here it is:
Nordic foods in season year round:
With that said I will continue below with foods in season at this very moment here in the more Northern parts of Europe. If you want to know more specifically what’s in season where you live I found love british food for those of you residing in the UK and sustainable table for those of you in the US where you can actually search by state. Which makes perfect sense of course in such a big country. If you live anywhere else I recommend simply googling ‘foods in season’ followed by your home country/state/province/city to find a suitable site. Now let’s get into more seasonal goodness with my list and of course what we’ve all been waiting for; the recipe.
NORDIC FOODS IN SEASON
In season the whole winter:
cabbage; white red and savoy
polka and yellow beets
pomegranate (always imported)
CHEESY KALE SALAD AND CHICKPEA CROUTONS
YIELDS: 2-4 bowls / TIME: 50-65 min
For the kale salad:
200 g curly kale, destemmed and chopped
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
A pinch of sea salt
For the cheesy dressing:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked over night or in hot water for 30 min
1/2 lemon, juice
1/8 cup water
1 heaped tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
A generous pinch of sea salt
For the chickpea crutons:
1can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
A pinch of chilli powder, size depending on your preference
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Place your chickpeas on a clean kitchen towel and use another kitchen towel to rub them dry. After removing the top towel you will see that some skins are peeling off the chickpeas, pick all of them away. If you want the roasting time low on the croutons you’ll want to continue picking skins off the chickpeas until most of them are bare.
Place your dry chickpeas on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add the spices and mix to ensure full coverage of the chickpeas. Spread them out on the sheet and roast for roughly 45-55 minutes or until very golden and crispy.
Place your chopped kale along with vinegar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Massage the kale for 5 minutes or so to soften it. Set aside.
Add all the cheesy dressing toppings to a high speed blender and process until completely smooth. If your mixture seems too dry for some reason add another small splash of water.
Pour the dressing over the kale and mix well to coat evenly.
Top the kale salad with your chickpea crutons and if you wish some tofu bacon bits, this is in my opinion the best combo evah!