Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad

Kalen' it with this Chopped salad.

Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad - Low Carb, Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes - www.letsregale.com

Sheets of hand-torn pasta woven through luscious bolognese and the perfection of a scoop of nutella gelato dripping down your chin as you sit on the Spanish Steps contemplating runaway to this moment. This is my Italy.

I've been lucky enough to have travelled quite a bit. And yet, I know that it is barely scratching the surface. The yearning and the itch to travel, got me searching for flights, daydreaming of frolicking the cobblestone streets of some charming Italian town. Then it got me thinking about a salad I once enjoyed in the Tuscan countryside. This Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad is an ode to it.

Italian cooking is all about using the best, freshest and local ingredients. The blend of that philosophy, ingredients sourced locally here in the Pacific Northwest and the basil vinaigrette tie it all together.

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Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad

Makes 2 servings

What You’ll Need

Salad

4-5 Tuscan kale leaves, washed and chopped

1 Medium Zucchini, spiralized

1 cup Brussel sprouts, sliced and steamed

1/4 cup kalamata olives

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (I used this brand - Skout Backcountry)

1/2 cup italian salami (I used Olympia Provisions Cacciatore)

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

Basil Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic clove

1/2 shallot

6 large basil leaves, very finely diced

Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste

Tools

Spiralizer

What You’ll Need To Know

Basil Lemon Vinaigrette

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 15 seconds bowl and add to a mason jar or air tight container If using a mason jar, you can simply put the lid on and shake the jar until well combined.

This dressing will stay good in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 1 week.

Salad

Steam brussel sprouts.

Spiralize zucchini with a spiralizer into noodles and slice into 3” and add to a bowl along with the rest of the salad ingredients.

Add in 4 tbsp of the Basil Lemon Vinaigrette and toss together.

Plate, garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and enjoy!


Avocado Quesadilla (Keto-Friendly Recipe)

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I'll be very honest, I was stumped at what to call this recipe.

Tortilla-free quesadilla?

Keto-dilla?

Low Carb Dilla?

Tortilla or not, quesadillas are the perfect quick hot lunch at home – and they make great appetizers, too!

According to Wikipedia, a quesadilla is: A quesadilla is a flour or corn tortilla filled with a savory mixture containing cheese, other ingredients, and/or vegetables, then folded in half to form a half-moon shape. It is usually cooked on a griddle – although I use a frying pan – until the tortillas are crispy but not burnt.

There is no denying that they are darn delicious. A perfect, quick and easy meal to grab-n-go. Growing up in a Mexican household, quesadilla's were something that popped up throughout the week... filled with cheese, potatoes, beans, or avocado and queso cotija. The combinations were endless.

So, the other day while I was thinking of what to make for lunch, I had a craving for one. More specifically the ooey-gooey cheese in a slightly greasy flour tortilla. After searching Pinterest for a gluten-free version, no luck. But, I did come across plenty of low-crab versions. Which lead me to this. It was inspired by Officially Gluten-Free's Keto Chicken Quesadilla recipe. In my lacking of parchment paper, and pure laziness of making my way a few blocks down to the grocery store, I opted for a non-stick. I know, not the best. I improvised with what I had, and the ingredients in my fridge. The result? Pure deliciousness.

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Avocado Quesadilla (Keto-Friendly Recipe)

Recipe Makes 2 Servings


What You'll Need

½ Cup Mozzarella Cheese

½ Cups Cheddar Cheese

1 tbs Taco Seasoning (see recipe below)

1 small avocado, sliced

Ranch or sour cream (I used this brand)

Optional: hot sauce for dipping

What You'll Need To Know

In a bowl, mix together the two cheeses.

On a stovetop, heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of cheese mixture evenly into a circle, season with Taco Seasoning, and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. The cheese should be crispy on the bottom and melted on top.

Add in the Just Mayo Ranch, Ranch, or sour cream on one side and top with avocado. With a spatula, fold over the other half, press it firmly and plate.

If desired, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.


Taco Seasoning

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What You'll Need

1 tsp chili powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp paprika

1½ tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper flake

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

What You'll Need To Know

Mix together in a mixing bowl, and store in an airtight container.



 Pepita Avocado-Lime Sauce

It was several years ago when I found myself first enjoying a fully raw, plant-based meal at Café Gratitude in San Francisco, a plant-based restaurant specializing in gourmet cuisines that later closed in 2011. You can still find CG all over Southern California or in your home through their cookbook, I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude.

I remember taking the first bite of a Sundried Tomato Pizza with an olive tapenade and cashew cream sauce. I was blown away at the flavors and how satisfying this all plant-based meal was. And, so began my love affair with this soul-satisfying lifestyle. Yes, of course, I had eaten vegetables in my life – but not like this. This was on another level. The warmth of a bite of flavor-packed forkfuls, layered with a comforting richness, did it for me. This Pepita Avocado-Lime Sauce salad dressing sauce is incredible and takes me back to that first experience.

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Pepita Avocado-Lime Sauce

(Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo, Keto)

What You'll Need

1/2 medium avocado
2 cloves of garlic
2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil*
1/4 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds (I used this brand)
1 tsp cumin
1 lime, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup water
1 tsp White Truffled Sea Salt (I used this brand)**

What You'll Need To Know

Place all ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender, and pulse until smooth (about 30-45 seconds).

This dressing will be thick and can be used as a dip. Add more water for a runnier consistency (another 1/4 cup).

Keep in an airtight container for at least a week, but 3 to 4 days is best.

* I recommend using California olive oil for it's bright and green with a rich, buttery mouthfeel.

** Optional. You can also use plan sea salt.