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Recipes Vegan

Kale & Lentil Salad With Cranberries & Coconut Bacon

February 9, 2016

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It is amazing how excited I can get about a kale salad. This Kale & Lentil Salad with Cranberries & Coconut Bacon is really delicious & reminds me of something you could order at an upscale vegetarian restaurant.

This kale salad is full of beautiful.  It has gorgeous color from the cranberries & the kale itself. The texture is great with curly kale, chewy dried cranberries & crunchy coconut bacon. The cranberries are a nice sweet touch while the coconut bacon adds amazing smokey & salty flavor.

Chopped Kale

Kale Tip

Kale is different from other salad greens as it is not as delicate.  I love this about kale because you can dress it and put it in the refrigerator to eat the next day, as the leaves will not get soggy like typical salad leaves.

I like kale chopped up small like in this salad, with the dressing “massaged” into the leaves to help soften them a bit. It is best to do this before adding the other toppings to your salad.

Lentil Kale Salad

Kale Nutrition

This salad is full of protein & fiber, phytonutrients & antioxidants. You can read more about the amazing nutrition of kale here. It is filling and can be a meal in itself or  makes a great side dish, too. It is a great recipe for potlucks, and can be enjoyed all year but is especially festive looking at Christmastime.

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Coconut Bacon

Did you read the post I wrote about coconut bacon? It is SO DELICIOUS & very easy to make. Most regular bacon has nitrates in it that are cancer causing and harmful to your health. This coconut bacon has a nice smokey flavor from smoked paprika & has a great salty flavor like bacon, thanks to the addition of soy sauce. The oven crisps the coconut flakes up just right for the perfect crunchy texture to top salads and soups.  Coconut bacon is great sprinkled on top of lentil soup or even just eaten straight from a jar!

Lentils

I use precooked lentils that you can get at Trader Joes in the refrigerator section.  If you don’t have a Trader Joes near you, lentils are super easy to make, or you can get canned lentils.  Want more ideas of what to make with lentils from New Nostalgia? Try Easy Taco Seasoned Lentils or Sloppy Joe Lentils.  Both make great Meatless Monday/ Vegetarian meals.

Coconut Bacon Kale Lentil Salad With Cranberries

This salad has a simple homemade dressing made with apple cider vinegar which gives it great flavor.  It is the perfect dressing for an amazing salad!

Kale & Lentil Salad with Cranberries & Coconut Bacon

{Serves: 6 small or 4 large servings}

1 medium head curly kale, stems removed, washed, dried and chopped (about 7-8 ounces after preparation)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (or one can of cooked lentils, rinsed & drained)

1 cup coconut bacon

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

Instructions:

Whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and shallots.  Set them aside.

Place the kale in a large mixing bowl.  Toss the dressing over it and massage thoroughly with your hands, until all of the leaves are coated with the dressing.  Add the cranberries, lentils, and coconut bacon, and toss everything to combine.  Pile the salad into serving bowls & serve.

Note: Leftover salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.  I love storing it in smaller mason jars for a quick, grab & go lunch.

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