Meatless Tuscan Kale Salad
Cornmeal Crusted Vegetables:
- 1 small eggplant, sliced into thin half-circles
- 1 large yellow squash, sliced into thin circles
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 10 oz tuscan kale, chopped (also known as lacinato kale)
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey (sub coconut nectar or agave nectar)
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 Italian veggie sausage links, sliced into 1/2" rounds
- 2 cups heirloom tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Toss your eggplant and squash with 4 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the cornmeal, flaxseed meal, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
- Take your oiled vegetables and gently press each side into the cornmeal mixture, coating it well.
- Transfer the veggies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all the veggies are coated, bake for 20-25 min.
- During that time, blend together your vegan mayo, lemon juice, garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar. Once well mixed, pour over a large bowl filled with your kale. Massage until the kale is slightly softened and well coated.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, spray with cooking spray or olive oil, add on your veggie sausage and cook for 3-5 minutes, until browned and heated.
- When your veggies are done baking, assemble your salad by dividing the kale between 3-5 bowls, topping with cornmeal crusted veggies, veggie sausage, chopped heirloom tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts.
- EAT UP.
* I served my salad with cashew cheese crostinis, made simply by toasting a sliced baguette and smearing on a layer of Laura Miller's Vegan Cheese. I highly suggest you do the same.
This weekend I went to see Alton Brown’s new live tour with my mom and grandma. And before you say, “aww that’s sweet” as if I went out of guilt, you should know that this was totally and completely my idea. I LOVE Alton Brown. Slightly neurotic men with glasses and a passion for film and food are kinda my thing. So, needless to say, I was STOKED. And holy wowza, he lived up to my expectations. So so so much fun. The show is so enjoyable, and smart, and funny, and well thought through. It was like watching one big social/science experiment. I love that feeling that watching that sort of performance gives you: the feeling of taking a risk – diving into the unknown, and trusting that the results will be delightful. So appropriately enough, that’s also the strategy I took when preparing this meal for my mom and grandma pre-show.
I knew I wanted to make an Italian themed salad, and I knew I wanted to use my Garlicky Kale salad dressing recipe, but the rest was a sort of guess and check process. Can you make a cornmeal crust with only olive oil as the “sticky” part? Does Italian veggie sausage even taste good? Will the combo of flavors come together in a harmonious way? Will it please the crowds? Will it fill us up and leave us feeling energized? The answer to all of the above is an emphatic YES! This salad just works. Seriously. I’m kinda in love with it. And I really feel like Alton would be proud. So basically, I’ve done my job. K BYEEE.