Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

 

Happy Monday friends!

Is it just me, or are these fall weekends FLYING by?!? And they’re not feeling so much like fall anymore. I spent some of this weekend visiting my college roommates up in Pittsburgh for homecoming and it was 80 DEGREES. Did it magically become June again or something?!?

On a side note, #1 on the list of ways to feel really old, go to your alma mater’s homecoming at age 28. That gets real RUL fast. Ahhh to be a young, crazy, spontaneous 19-year-old again.

Actually, I’m going to be honest, I’m liking this whole late-twenties thing a little bit better, so I’ll stay right here where I am.

 

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

 

Anyways, back to quick weekends. I mentioned in one of my recent Instagram posts that I started a new job last week— which has also had an impact on making these weekends fly by. I forgot how crazy those first few weeks on the job are, learning all the new faces, the new routines, the new procedures. So much change!

That being said, I’m kind of taking life day-by-day right now. Trying to stay calm and grounded through all the changes. Especially when it feels like there’s not enough time in the day for everything I need to do. My type-A side tends to feel overwhelmed in seasons like this. Like I need to accomplish everything, like it all needs to be perfect— which is just not humanly possible when everything is so new and busy.

So, like I said, I’m taking it day-by-day. And if that means I have to let a few things go or put some things aside, that’s ok. I may be a little quieter around here on the blog and my social media accounts as I settle into these changes. And that’s also ok (I’m totally talking to myself right now… I know you guys totally understand). Life just gets in the way sometimes!

 

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

 

But in the meantime, let’s pretend it’s still fall outside and whip up this Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear + Avocado!

I’ve decided my new favorite salad toppings are pears and dates. They add this beautiful, bright sweetness to sharp, bitter greens, without totally overpowering the salad. And they get me to eat kale, which we all know is not my ideal choice for a vegetable.

But I did something else to spice up this salad. And I’m taking absolutely no credit for it. Way back in June, when we were in Chicago for a long wedding weekend, I ate one of the best kale salads of my life. The secret weapon: they mixed massaged kale with CRISPY kale. Like baby kale chips! It was genius!

So that’s what we’re doing here today.

 

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

 

All you do it roast up half of your kale in the oven while you massage the other half with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then you toss it all up together with a luscious basil apple cider vinaigrette, top it all with lots of fall goodies, and dig on in.

This salad would make the perfect side dish for an autumn dinner party, or even Thanksgiving (because it’s going to be here before we know it!) We also enjoyed ours as a main dish, just throw some crispy chickpeas or grilled chicken on top for extra protein. It’s seriously the BEST way to eat a kale salad!

 

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

Crispy Kale Salad with Dates, Pear, + Avocado

Serves 2-4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Large bunch of kale, leaves torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1-2 pears, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

for the basil apple cider vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss half of the kale leaves with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread across a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
Step 2
While kale is baking, massage the other half of the kale leaves in 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Use your fingers to massage the kale for 8-10 minutes, or until kale is tender and turns a brighter shade of green.
Step 3
Place all the vinaigrette ingredients into a high speed blender: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, basil, mustard, salt, and pepper. Puree until ingredients are combined.
Step 4
Place both forms of kale into a large bowl. Pour on dressing and toss to coat. Top your greens with sliced avocado, sliced pear, chopped dates, and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

pumpkinandpb

Hi, Iā€™m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

11 Comments

  1. Taking it one step at a time is the right thing to do! I can totally relate. And massaging kale is always a good choice šŸ™‚ Love this beautiful fall-inspired salad, Liz! Happy to have found your blog.

    • Thank you so much Alison! I’m so glad you found your way here šŸ™‚

  2. I have the same type-A “problem” …wanting to do it all and do it all perfectly! Glad you’re just taking it day-by-day and know it’s ok to take time for yourself now and again! Hope the new job is going well even through all the learning! This salad looks amazing, too, which I’m sure helps on those busy nights!

    • Girl, I’m so glad you feel me. It really is— the kids are wonderful, and that’s what matters most!

  3. Mmm, mmm, Liz! This salad looks and sounds delish! I just love fruit in my salads too, so needless to say, I need to make this asap! Yes, the weekends are totally flying by for me too! It does feel more like summer than fall…I haven’t even been able to break out my sweaters and boots yet, which is one of my favorite things about this time of year šŸ™ Glad you’re settling into your new job! I’ve taken a step back from social media too and it’s been awesome!

  4. Mmm, mmm, Liz! This salad looks and sounds delish! I just love fruit in my salads too, so needless to say, I need to make this asap! Yes, the weekends are totally flying by for me too! It does feel more like summer than fall…I haven’t even been able to break out my sweaters and boots yet, which is one of my favorite things about this time of year šŸ™ Glad you’re settling into your new job! I’ve taken a step back from social media too and it’s been awesome!

  5. Oh man, starting a new job can be so overwhelming! Especially while trying to keep up with blogging. I used to blink and my weekends would be over after making and shooting recipes non-stop. Hopefully things calm down for you soon!

    On a separate note, I love kale so much it’s stupid and I think the idea to roast it for a salad is genius. Plus those toppings are just perfect for fall. Yum!

    • You’re so right! I’m hoping things we calm down soon! Ohh and you will LOVE it!

    • So crazy right?!? Thanks Ashley— I know you’ll love it!

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