It’s that time again! Our fourth CWD Contributor, Lauren Brennan, is stopping by today. Lauren is a master in the kitchen and an expert at all things delicious yet simple (right up our alley!) On her blog Lauren’s Latest, she excels at creating dishes that are family friendly and healthy. Did we mention she has her own cook book? We’re so thrilled to have her on board to share a few secrets – just in time for all those holiday parties!
“Hi friends! I’m Lauren and I blog at laurenslatest.com. I started my food blog on a whim in 2009 originally as a favor to my husband. As my blog grew and morphed itself into a business, my hobby turned into the perfect job for a stay-at-home mother of two. I’m a Family-and-Food-Network-taught home cook who takes everyday common ingredients and turns them into simple and easy meals that look fancy, taste great and are totally do-able even for the novice kitchen-goer. “
Today, I’m happy to share with you all one of my new favorite salads: Kale, Pomegranate and Toasted Almond Salad with Warm Maple Bacon Dressing. It makes a relatively healthy lunch and would be a perfect addiction to any holiday table. Let’s get started:
The hardest, most labor intensive part of this recipe is cooking the bacon. I know. SO HARD.
But, babysitting bacon in a pan is always worth it, in my opinion. Plus, you need to cook the bacon to get some grease to make the dressing. If you’ve never tried adding bacon grease to salad dressings, you are missing out! So much flavor is in there, plus adding a hint of maple syrup adds a lovely extra level of deliciousness I can’t quite describe.
For this recipe specifically, I like using prewashed baby kale. It makes my life easier, plus it’s a lot more tender than full grown mama-kale. If you don’t have kale on hand, spinach or butter lettuce is a great substitute.
The rest of the goodies in this salad include pomegranate arils, toasted almonds and sliced mushrooms. If you’re a mushroom hater, just leave them out. No big deal.
Once you have your salad ready to go, toss with a little dressing and dig in! I love all the different flavors and textures this salad has, plus it’s pretty too. Hope you enjoy!
yield: 1 SERVING
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 10 MINUTES
total time: 20 MINUTES
3 cups baby kale
2 tablespoons toasted almonds
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
3 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
for the dressing-
3 Tablespoons warm bacon grease (reserved From Cooking The Bacon)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients for the salad into a large bowl. Whisk all ingredients together for dressing and toss over desired with salad. Serve immediately. Store extra dressing in refrigerator. Enjoy!
A little more about Lauren: Her recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, FineCooking.com, Yummly.com, Glamour Magazine Health & Fitness blog, and many other online venues. Recently, her work was featured in Good Housekeeping, Bon Appetit and Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine. Lauren is also a contributor to the KitchenAid food blog The Kitchenthusiast. Lauren recently self-published her eCookbook “Everyday Ingredients Extraordinary Meals” for her readers wanting more of her recipes.