Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Pecans

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

Two co-workers were talking about the best kale salad ever at this fancy restaurant downtown — Oak. They both noted that it was most memorable part of their meal. The salad. Can you believe that?!

That conversation got my mind going, and somehow I invented a story in my head about that salad. In my mind, it had pecans, dates, and even bacon. It wasn’t just kale, there were other greens to lighten it up. And the dressing was tangy and sweet but not overpowering. I thought about that salad so much that I went ahead and made it (because why not?).

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale
Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

It wasn’t until I went to write this post that I remembered the original inspiration (Oak’s famous salad), and figured I should probably look up what their kale salad actually contains. Boy was I off the mark!

Shaved Apple & Kale Salad. Grana Padano, togarashi, candied almonds.

Say what??! Kale, apples, cheese, candied nuts, you have me on the edge of my seat! But then, Togarashi?!

I guess I have to just go try the original. Until then, I’m going to pretend my own kale salad is just as famous.

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Pecans

Published October 4, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:


For the Salad:
  • 4 kale leaves, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup radicchio, shredded
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, cooled and chopped in bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Place kale in a salad bowl. Drizzle lightly with oil and a sprinkle of salt. Using your hands, “massage” the kale, rubbing the leaves with your hands until they are bright green and tender. This will make them easier to eat.
    2. Add shredded romaine and radicchio to the bowl, and toss to combine. Add bacon, dates, and pecans.
    3. Combine first four ingredients for vinaigrette in a small jar and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad to your tastes and toss. Serve.

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    Mocha Almond Energy Bites

    Mocha Almond Energy Bites

    The idea for these Mocha Almond Energy Bites started when my good friend, Brian, the author of Climbing Nutrition, reached out. Brian is the kind of guy that just knows things: friendly botanist, guy with the killer butternut squash pie recipe, latte art consultant, board game extraordinaire, and handstand master. The list goes on. But what people know him best for is his expertise in nutrition: he's a a Certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition. So, when I want to know what kind of nutrients I’ll need in order to stay fueled on a climbing trip, Brian is the guy I ask. 

    He's known for bringing along some odd (but delicious) snacks when we go climbing—including a 1-gallon bag of cooked sweet potatoes- but don’t hold that against him. It’s usually because those snacks are really good for you. Which brings me to the point (finally!): Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be working on a series called Trail Snacks, recipes for food you can take with you on your adventures, inspired by some of Brian’s insights (bag of sweet potatoes not included). The goal is to bring "yum" and science together to give you on-the-go bites that work! 

    Mocha Almond Energy Bites
    Mocha Almond Energy Bites

    These Mocha Almond Energy Bites are first. They are easy to make, and easy to transport (and a whole lot lighter in your backpack than a gallon of sweet potatoes). But they’re also functional: made with dates, they’ll provide your body with easily, snackable, and accessible energy while you are on the go (read Brian's research on carbohydrate timing if you're an athlete!). These little bites have just a touch of coffee, which has my inner coffee-addict cheering. You’re not going to feel wired or get the shakes just from eating a few. But a bit of caffeine in your system might just do you good! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out climbing and I’ve said, “I could really go for an espresso right around now.”

    No cook, real food, easy to pack, tastes like chocolate and good for you. What more could you ask for? 

    These are some of the first pictures I took with my new camera! I have 1,000,000 things to learn about how to use it, but am so excited to be creating again!

    These are some of the first pictures I took with my new camera! I have 1,000,000 things to learn about how to use it, but am so excited to be creating again!

    Mocha Almond Energy Bites

    Published March 13, 2018 by
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    Yields: 20   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
    • 1/2 cup almonds
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 cup shredded desiccated coconut
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa
    • 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I used Starbucks Via)
    • 1/16 teaspoon salt 
    • For dusting: 1/2 cup cocoa powder or finely shredded desiccated coconut

    Directions:

    1. Place first seven ingredients in a food processor (I an old version of this one (affiliate link!), and love it!) Lock lid on food processor.
    2. Run food processor. Every minute or so, pause to unlock the lid and scrape down the sides with a spatula.
    3. Repeat step 2 until the mixture begins to clump together — this is how you know it’s almost done! Repeat step 2 one or two more times to ensure everything is evenly chopped and the mixture is quite sticky.
    4. Now, use your hands to roll the mixture by the tablespoonful into spheres. Set spheres on a plate or cookie sheet.
    5. Put the 1/2 cup cocoa or finely shredded coconut in a bowl. Two at a time, toss energy bites in the cocoa/coconut to coat. Set aside, and repeat until all are coated.
    6. Store in an airtight container.

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    Raw Gingerbread Energy Bites

    Raw Gingerbread Energy Bites

    When I first started thinking about all of the holiday goodies in the world and which ones I wanted to make (and share) this season, I jumped to gingerbread pretty much from the start. Even though I already have this recipe for grain-free gingerbread men on the site, I wanted to share another recipe because the cozy combination of spices is just quintessential wintertime for me. 

    What I hadn't thought through yet, was how many sweets come with the holiday season, and how every year I wish for those classic holiday flavors in a healthier form. It was right around the time that I began researching for a chewy gingerbread cookie that my friends over at Made in Nature asked me if I would help them with some holiday recipes. Ding! It was as if the stars had aligned and everything came together. Of course. Why not make a chewy gingerbread bite using Made In Nature's Dates

    I went to the Made In Nature test kitchen this morning... The end result is delicious.

    Raw Gingerbread Energy Bites
    Raw Gingerbread Energy Bites

    These raw gingerbread cookies are something I would take climbing or skiing, but I also just grab one out of the fridge when I need a little something sweet. Heck, I'd even take a batch to a holiday cookie swamp-- it's always so nice to have something a little healthier in the mix. 

    Made in Nature provided me with product and compensation for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! Made In Nature helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

    Raw Gingerbread Energy Bites

    Raw Gingerbread Energy Bites

    Published December 15, 2016 by
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    Yield: 12   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 6-ounces pitted Deglet Noor dates
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated on microplane
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

  • Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and run until the a sticky crumb forms. Everything should stay together when pinched between two fingers.
    2. Roll mixture together by the tablespoonful to make a single bite. Place on a plate and repeat until all of the mixture is used.
    3. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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