California Dreamin’ – January 13, 2016

Now that the half birthday has been celebrated, we can focus all of our energy on our next vacation to Cali for a visit with my sister.  My son has a few surprises (like a Chewbacca sleeping bag!) waiting for him, and plus we get to enjoy some sun – a much needed escape after the past few weeks of cold!  In the past when we visited we traveled around Cali a bit, but this time I think we’ll stay local and enjoy time with my sister, the beaches and my favorite green juice mixed with banana, almonds and almond milk (YUM!).  One other thing I’m looking forward to is a visit to the Orange County TJ Maxx – last year yielded a pair of Joe’s jeans and some Jimmy Choo wedge sandals!

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In getting through the coming weeks, I have decided to switch up my normal weekday salad for something with a bit more jazz; I usually have some form of chicken over romaine and spinach with balsamic vinegar and oil.  This week I’m having kale salads with steak for my weekday lunches, and it’s been a welcome change.

Kale and Steak Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch kale (I tend to go with curly kale)
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond slices
  • 1/2 lb. steak (I used hangar steak this time)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper (or several twists of a pepper grinder)

To prepare the kale, cut all of the ribs from the kale and chop into bit-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Shake just a dash of salt and olive oil to the kale and rub all through the kale.  The massaging of the kale is an important step in getting the kale softer and less bitter.

Place the sliced almonds on low heat in a frying pan.  Cook for several minutes on each side until golden brown.  Slice 3 – 4 radishes thinly and then cut in half.  Add the parmesan and radishes to the salad and refrigerate while making the steak and dressing.  Leave the almonds to the side for adding when serving.

To prepare the steak, I always choose grilling if I can, even if it means using a Cuisinart indoor griddle!  Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper and cook on a grill / griddle until desired temperature (I aim for medium rare).

While the steak is cooking, mix all of the dressing ingredients together.  I add to a mason jar and shake to combine.

Slice the steak and add to salad along with the almonds and dressing.  Enjoy!

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