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Balancing Act

Dec 17, 2020

How many of you have been baking your hearts out? Have you made homemade caramels and fudge and pressed together popcorn balls? Do your friends and neighbors love the surprise platters of cookies that show up on their doorsteps? If so, you are ahead of me. I haven’t baked a single thing this holiday season. No flour, sugar or chocolate have been elevated in my kitchen.

I love cookies and candies and fudge. I crave sweets and dream of decadent desserts. However, honestly, I don’t really enjoy baking. At some point, I will give in and create some holiday confections. Don’t worry; there will eventually be some cookies. It isn’t Christmas without something from the oven.

In the meantime, I am focusing on balance in our meals. Winter has hit, and we are relying heavily on comfort food main dishes. I am rounding out the menus with vegetable sides that pack a punch of flavor and bring some freshness to the table. Winter Kale Salad with Goddess Tahini Dressing hits all of those qualifications.

Kale, red onions, apples and toasted pecans are massaged with a creamy and herb-packed tahini dressing. The salad is fresh and healthy and balances the multitude of cookies that I hope to be able to devour this holiday season.


Winter Kale Salad is a light reprieve from a holiday diet that is not short on sweets.

Winter Kale Salad with Goddess Tahini Dressing

(adapted from Milk Street)


1 1/4 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoon honey

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/3 cup water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 bunches kale, stemmed and chopped

1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

2 apples (Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or your favorite), cored and chopped

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


In a blender combine parsley, cilantro, tahini, lime juice, oil, honey, garlic, water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the kale and onions. Drizzle dressing over the salad. Massage lightly and toss to coat the greens. Let stand for about 15 minutes to allow acid in the dressing to tenderize the kale.

Add apples and toasted pecans to the salad; toss to coat with dressing and serve. (Serves 6)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


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