Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

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When I lived in LA, I loved going to M Café for their Peanut Kale Deli Salad. It’s one of my top 10 favorite kale salads (yes I love that many kale salads). It’s super rich, flavorful, and even better with a side of brown rice!

The salad at M Café de Chaya is served with blanched/wilted curly kale, which is how I prepared my salad in this recipe. If you are more of a tuscan kale (dinosaur kale) fan, I have also prepped the salad with it for you! With the dinosaur kale, I left it cold and unbalanced, rinsed it, chopped it, warmed the dressing over the stove, and then massaged it in and let the kale wilt a bit! I loved the salad both ways, but I think the dino kale might be my new fav!

Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Adapted from Linda LaRue

Salad
1 large bunch curly kale
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped for garnish
1/4 red onion, halved and sliced for garnish

Spicy Peanut Dressing
makes about 1/2 cup of dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter [for more macro version use tahini instead]
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp hot water

Remove the kale from the stems. Add a pinch of salt to a pot of boiling water, then blanch the kale for 3 minutes. Remove the kale from the boiling water and shock it in a container of ice water. Finally, squeeze the excess water out of the cooled kale. For the dressing, place all dressing ingredients into a blender. Blend until mixture turns into a smooth consistency. Add 1 Tbsp of dressing per 1 cup of kale and mix until kale is evenly coated. Garnish with sliced red onions and chopped peanuts.

Seattle Christmas Visit

Happy new year everybunny! I’ve been traveling traveling traveling — and I want to keep you posted on my latest adventures, so here we go! After Matt finished the Jingle Ball tour, he flew straight to Seattle to his sister’s house for Christmas with his family. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family and then flew up to Seattle later in the afternoon on Christmas eve and had Christmas dinner with Matt, his parents, his sister & husband, and their two little boys!

DAY 1 //
Seattle-December-44I have come to realize that every time I visit Seattle, I drink copious amounts of coffee! The day after Christmas Matt’s family and I went shopping and grabbed some lunch and then Nana and Papa took the kiddos home for their naps so we could go out for some java. Matt, Olivia, Michael, and I met up with my friend Lynae who lives in Seattle and had big plans to go to the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, but by the time we arrived, the line wrapped around the building! Sooooo we cheated on Starbucks and went to Stumptown and Gas Works Park!
Seattle-December-22 Matt and I at Gas Works Park. The view is so beautiful. Space Needle to the right!
Seattle-December-24Lynae and I at Gas Works Park!
Seattle-December-23Matt, his sister Olivia, and I.

Seattle-December-42After visiting Gas Works Park, we found the Freemont Troll. Super creepy!

DAY 2 //
Seattle-December-1Above is Matt’s youngest nephew Maddox pretending to be Uncle Matt. We started calling him “Tiny TM” for Tiny Tour Manager! So stinkin’ cute with the Jingle Ball beanie, backstage pass, and radio!

Seattle-December-43On Me:  Beanie: Ebay (black)  |  Sunnies: Celine  |  Jacket:  Element (Matt’s, old) Similar Here and Here (on sale!)  |  Leggings: Zella

We all decided to go on a walk with the boys so they could run off some energy while Olivia was at work. Seattle has some of the prettiest trails. I love this photo of little Maddox running full blast towards me!

Seattle-December-3
Seattle-December-4Found a baby bear in the woods! These awesome two-toned booties are from Forever 21, but unfortunately I couldn’t find them online for you guys!

Seattle-December-5And he’s the cutest bear you’ve ever seen!

Seattle-December-6Uncle Matt and his nephews.

Seattle-December-7Strong nuggets!

Seattle-December-8I can’t get enough of these two!

Seattle-December-9So on our walk Matt thought it would be fun to teach the boys “hard styles” (take a knee, grab a hand, make a mean face), and this is what we got from a 5 year old and a 2 year old.
Seattle-December-10SO HARD! Check out that squat! DGAF!

Seattle-December-14And then we tried to get all of the boys to do “hard styles.” I’m really liking those #raresquats going on in the front. So good. So hard.

Seattle-December-13Baby bear Maddox and poppa bear Michael.

Seattle-December-11On Matt: Beanie: Beanie  |  Sunnies: RetroSUPERfuture  |  Jacket: The North Face (TNF Black)

Uncle Matthew and Nixon walking with their suh-weeeet new sticks they found.
Seattle-December-12Seattle-December-15Cuties. Their dimples are too much, I can’t handle it!
Seattle-December-17Seattle-December-16Matt’s mom Linda and dad Carlos and their grandsons!

Seattle-December-19Boys will be boys!

Seattle-December-20On Me:  Beanie: Ebay (black)  |  Sunnies: Celine  |  Jacket:  Element (Matt’s, old) Similar Here and Here (on sale!)

On Matt: Beanie: Beanie  |  Sunnies: RetroSUPERfuture  |  Jacket: The North Face (TNF Black)

Seattle-December-18Seattle-December-21

DAY 3 //
Seattle-December-26Maddox helping Matt tie his shoes before we left for Gas Works Park.

Seattle-December-27Hat: Brixton (Light Heather Gray)  |  Jacket: Glamour Kills (also available in girls!)  |  Shoes: Jack Purcell

We decided to go back to Gas Works Park and take the boys to run around and play !
Seattle-December-28 Seattle-December-29 Seattle-December-31Uncle Matthew at his finest!

Seattle-December-32There was this random platform out in the water, so Matt insisted on walking out to it for a photo.
Seattle-December-33Surprisingly he made it, and didn’t fall in!

Seattle-December-38Seattle-December-34Seattle-December-35 Seattle-December-37Hat: Brixton (Light Heather Gray)  |  Jacket: Glamour Kills (also available in girls!)  |  Shoes: Jack Purcell

Seattle-December-36Maddox is obsessed with Matt, and every other second he would yell “I WANT HIM!!!!!” and would only hold Matt’s hand or let Matt pick him up haha. You can imagine what he’s saying in this photo!

Seattle-December-41Hat: Brixton (Light Heather Gray)  |  Jacket: Glamour Kills (also available in girls!)  |  Shoes: Jack Purcell

During my trip I established that Matt is my new assistant. He is an excellent purse, coffee,and camera holder!

Seattle-December-39Beanie: Anthropologie  |  Jacket: Nasty Gal  |  Leggings: Zella  |  Boots: Stuart Wizeman (also here)

Soooo, this is a great little story… the boys LOVE being swung, and they get serious air. As seen above, Michael and I are safely swinging Maddox. Below is what happens when someone’s hand slips…
Seattle-December-40On Me: Beanie: Anthropologie  |  Jacket: Nasty Gal  |  Leggings: Zella  |  Boots: Stuart Wizeman (also here)

On Matt: Hat: Brixton (Light Heather Gray)  |  Jacket: Glamour Kills (also available in girls!)  |  Shoes: Jack Purcell

It’s ok, I caught him with my motherly instinct and ninja like reflex/grip! He literally had no idea what happened and yelled “DO IT AGAINNNNNN!!!” I cannot believe Michael caught this moment on camera! If anyone is looking for babysitters, Matt and I are totally available! Hahahahaha. Just kidding!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
I can’t wait to share my photos from Canada & Niagara Falls next!
xo-Catherine

Chicago

chicago-20Healthy eating while traveling is easy as pie when you have Larabar! These are my go-to portable travel snacks because they are a gluten-free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices – made from whole foods. Each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients, is minimally processed, and are as close to their natural state as possible. Their “Pie” flavors come in Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Apple, PieCoconut Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, and Cherry Pie!
chicago-1I went to visit Matt for a few days while he was on the Jingle Ball tour in Chicago.
chicago-7Beanie: Ebay (color: navy)   |  Jacket: Nasty Gal  |   Leggings: Zella  |  Boots: Stuart Wizeman (also here)
Had to take a photo at The Bean in Millennium Park!
chicago-4Jacket: Nasty Gal  |  Mittens: H&M  Bag: Goyard GM Tote 

I’ve heard about DAVID’s Tea for years and I finally got to visit a store while I was in Chicago. t did not disappoint at all. I seriously spent an hour in there, bought Christmas gifts for all of my friends, and made Matt walk back two days in a row so I could get a “Forever Nuts” tea latte each day! Their branding and stores are soon cute! Love the bright teal color of the cups!
chicago-2Matt holding all of my DAVID’s Tea! haha.
chicago-5Matt and I were walking down the street and did a full on double take when we saw a sign in front of Starbucks that said “BEER.” Say what? Beer? At Starbucks? We walking in to check it out…
chicago-6Lo and behold they serve wine & cheese, and bacon wrapped dates at this Starbucks location after 2pm! We definitely don’t have this at any of the Starbucks locations in Southern California by my house!
chicago-13We stopped by Whole Foods to pick up Sandwiches for lunch, and I was pleasantly surprised to see nutritional yeast at the salad bar! I love putting nutritional yeast on my salads for a vegan “cheese” option, but not all Whole Foods have nutritional Yeast at their salad bars. It’s the little things!
chicago-8One night we met up with our friends Kevin & Ali, and Josiah, and went to a blues bar! The following is what happens when I say “lets take a photo!”
chicago-9 chicago-10 chicago-11 chicago-14chicago-22On the last night of my trip was The Jingle Ball show. Love getting to hangout with my little nugget Shawn!
chicago-17chicago-18Iggy is seriously too cute, and that booty is insane. I need to start doing more squats.
chicago-19chicago-15Snow in Chicago!
chicago-21Beanie: Ebay (color: mustard)   |  Jacket: Nasty Gal

Health & Happiness
xo-CatherineI am currently in Seattle and on my way to Toronto, Seattle photos coming up next!

Vegan Eggnog

Vegan-Eggnog-5Copper Mule Mug:  Sur La Table

Vegan-Eggnog-1Vitamix 750: Sur La Table (on sale)

Vegan-Eggnog-2 Vegan-Eggnog-3 Vegan-Eggnog-4Copper Mule Mug:  Sur La Table

December has been FLYING by. I cannot believe that 2014 is coming to an end. I just arrived home on Friday from visiting Matt while he was on tour in Chicago, and hosted my annual Ugly Sweater party the next night (Saturday). Photos to come : )

I am I am so so so so so excited because (drumroll please) today I finished my Christmas shopping! I started off overly eager online holiday shopping before Thanksgiving this year and then as soon as mid December rolled around I was more behind than anyone I knew! How the heck does that even happen?! Today I conquered Target (twice) and Ikea. It was no easy feat, but I took the furthest parking spots away and “hoofed it” as my mom would say, battled the crowds, survived the lengthy lines, and conquered Christmas shopping! WOHOO!!!

One of my favorite things in the world is giving gifts. I never ask my friends of family for lists – not because I want to get them random things, but because I listen to them all year long and compile a little secret list and surprise them when Christmas comes around. Gift giving is kind of my thing. I will do anything to get the perfect gift for someone, a la Arnold Schwarzenegger looking for TurboMan in “Jingle All the Way” (such a good movie)! It gives me so much joy to see my friends and family excited and surprised when they open gifts. There’s nothing like it!
Anyone else finish their Christmas shopping already?!

Now that the shopping talk is done, it’s time to cozy up by the fire, watch christmas movies, and sip on some vegan egg-less nog!

Traditional eggnog is filled with sugar, heavy cream, and egg yolk, which equals tons of saturated fat and cholesterol – yikes! Of course you can buy vegan eggnog in stores, but most of them contain loads of refined sugar. This eggnog recipe is made from whole plant based foods (with the exception of rum extract!) and natural sugars from Medjool dates!

You might ask, isn’t this recipe a little heavy on the fat (nuts)? Yes, it’s definitely a treat, but the fats from nuts are healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

Why are MUFAs good for you?
Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Research also shows that these good-for-you fats may even target body fat where it’s hardest to lose – in your belly! Eat fat to lose fat! Good fat, that is!

Vegan Eggnog
By Chef AJ
Serves 4

3 cups almond milk
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp rum extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Ground nutmeg & cinnamon sticks for garnish

Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy. Best when served cold.

Healthy Happy Holidays,
xo-Catherine

Dole Spinach Hummus & Pita Christmas Trees + Giveaway

Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-10Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-1 Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-4Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-2 Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-3Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-5 Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-6 Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-8 Dole-Christmas-Tree-Spinach-Hummus-Pita-9Seasons green-ings little bunnies! Christmas is approaching and it’s time to think outside of the box, I mean bowl (salad bowl, that is!) for creative healthy holiday appetizers! I created these adorable Christmas tree appetizers out of pita bread, pretzel sticks, homemade spinach hummus (made with Dole Baby Spinach), and red bell peppers as decorations. There is no cooking required, which makes it a win in my book, plus they’re great for kids and adults. These adorable little appies will be the talk of any holiday party! Lettuce celebrate! ha ha ha!

Dole Spinach Hummus & Pita Christmas Trees
Makes about 1 1/4 cup of hummus
Each pita round makes 8 “trees”

Dole Spinach Hummus
2 cups Dole Baby Spinach, packed
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp tahini
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 – 1 whole clove garlic
pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until evenly mixed. Scrape down the sides of food processor with a spatula occasionally if needed.

Christmas Trees
whole grain pita bread
pretzel sticks
1 red bell pepper

Cut each round of pita bread into 8 triangles. Gently poke a pretzel stick into the bottom end of each pita using a twisting motion. Spread a thin layer of spinach hummus on each piece of pita. Thinly slice and chop the bell pepper into small pieces and decorate the pita trees (like tinsel or garland).

For more healthy holiday recipes, try Dole’s Laurel RougeWinter Citrus SaladButternut Hummus Tartine with Parmesan, and Green Pancakes with Pear-Lime Relish!

Health & Happiness
xo-Catherine

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Must use a valid email address to enter. Must be a US resident to enter. Giveaway ends on Sunday, December 21st at 11:59 PM (PST).
1 winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, December 22nd.

This post has been sponsored by Dole. I received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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