As I made this fantastic recipe I realized, without a doubt, I had enough to feed a small army. It was for my sweet nephews 2nd birthday party. (Side note: I cannot believe he is already 2 years old, time sure does fly and now he truly is our little man!) Yes, it may sound weird because I choose to make this type of recipe for a kids party, but I couldn’t forget all the adults. At such a young age it is mostly adults anyways and this party was a big one. Plus, we can never forget Brantley loves these types of foods anyways. It worked out perfectly, he ate his nutritious fruit/kale salad and chicken for lunch then quickly transitioned into a sugar coma after stuffing his fondant cake into his cute tiny mouth. I was surprised and thankful at the same time for having so much salad because typically kale shrinks when cooked, massaged, or whatever else you choose to do to it. Not this time, I overestimated and there was plenty of massaged kale to go around. Yes, it shrank a bit, but the end quantity was still more than enough.
I typically make my own dressings, but this time I did use a pre-made one. I bought it from Dominicks the last day it was open during the big sale blowout and never opened it so I thought this sounded like the perfect dressing to fit exactly what I was trying to achieve. I’m not to sure where else it is sold, but if you are down right determined to find it just google it, I am sure it can be ordered online. The brand is Open Nature® Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. It has no artificial preservatives, low sodium, low cholesterol, low saturated fat content. Plus it obviously tastes amazing. After looking at the ingredients, I debated wether I wanted to make my own version of this dressing, but decided not to due to the lack of time. It is pretty simple, if you want to do it yourself, replace the store bought dressing with:
Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, olive oil, raspberries, walnuts (soaked overnight), dash of sea salt, fresh garlic, onion powder, organic honey, lime, and spices of your choice.
Note, this is not the same exact ingredient list as on the store bought vinaigrette, but this is my version of how I would replicate it.
For this recipe I decided to add millet as a healthy gluten-free alternative for a grain. It was cheaper than quinoa and that is enough of a reason right there. Fruit salad, you do not normally think of grains being involved at all right? Well, it’s a staple for me.
1. I add the grains to yield a larger quantity, hence the 40+ people I was making this for.
2. It adds extra fiber and other beneficial nutrients.
3. In this case, it helped to soak up the flavors. (aka the juices from the fruits and the dressing) This contributes to the amazing taste ;).
Millet is contains heart protective properties due to its magnesium content, helps develop and repair body tissue because of its phosphorus levels, and has been linked to protect against diabetes, atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, insulin resistance, and obesity.
Raspberry Walnut Salad w/ Massaged Kale
Preparation time: 40 minutes
(Since I made a large quantity it took me much longer)
- 1 pineapple
- 1 cantaloupe
- 2 pints of raspberries
- 2 bunches kale
- 2 cups millet, uncooked
- 2 Tbsp crushed nuts
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 cup raspberry walnut vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 7 sprigs fresh thyme
- sea salt to taste
1. Cook millet according to packet. Bring water to a boil, place millet in. Continue to boil for another 10 minutes or until water dissipates. Cover and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Water: grain ratio is 2:1.
2. Meanwhile, prep your raw fruits and veggies. Since I had so much to prepare this is want took me the longest. Cut the pineapple and cantaloupe then set aside. I used a melon baller to make the ball shaped cantaloupe pieces. Juice the lime, set aside. Rinse kale and separate from stem.
3. Wash hands thoroughly, place kale into a large salad or mixing bowl and pour vinaigrette, honey, lime, thyme, and salt. Massage dressing into kale for 5-7 minutes. Next, place all other ingredients into bowl with kale and mix thoroughly. Top with nuts and enjoy.
If you do not like your salad grain heavy, do not use all the millet that was cooked. I only used about half and stored the rest to use as left overs for the week. That still allow my salad to have a lot of millet in it too.
If you want to make this salad for a family dinner or party, you could cut down on time in many different ways. Pre-cut the fruit the night before, separate the kale from its stem the night before, and cook the millet the night before. That is the great thing about this salad, with the exception of the millet, no cooking is involved and so many steps to make this can be done ahead of time. I hope you all try out my recipe and if you do please don’t forget to #brnutritionvision, tag me, or share me on facebook with friends and family! Thanks guys and have a fantastic Sunday!
Per serving (2 cups): Calories: 84; Total Fat: 1.7 g (Saturated Fat: 0.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 46.5 mg; Potassium: 185.9 mg; Total Carbs: 14.9 g; Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g; Protein: 2 g; Calcium: 0.6%.