We recently spent a fantastic week in beautiful Vermont for a much needed family vacation. We spent the first few days at the Smuggler’s Notch resort where we enjoyed an exhilarating/slightly terrifying day at the Arbor TrekTreetops Obstacle Course, swimming in the numerous pools, Evan’s first BIG waterslide, Evan bouncing and Skyler flipping on the Euro Bungy, Skyler flying through trees on the giant swing, and some time finally learning to paddle board on a thankfully smooth and calm lake – I don’t think I’m ready for the ocean waves yet, although I did try a few brief seconds in tree pose while barely balancing on the board!
tree climbing Skyler
Skyler challenging the treetops obstacle course
Survived the treetops obstacle course!
We didn’t even let the way too many rainy moments get us down…we watched family movies and ate our way through the offerings at Ben & Jerry’s, and ate decent meals. While our bellies never went empty and we were nourished well enough, we were left more than a little uninspired by the menu options at the fun family resort…Why is it that so many restaurants think if kids will be there the food needs to be ordinary and, dare I say it..boring?
Evan lounging in the pool
Moving on, we journeyed 30 minutes away to the town of Stowe, which I am ecstatic to tell you, is a Farm-to-Table, artisanal cheese loving foodie haven! We spent the next few nights at the beautiful Stoweflake Resort, with direct access to the Stowe recreational path and a multitude of amazing restaurants. A few of our favorites were Crop Bistro (the best strawberry shortcake and delicious cocktails), The Bench (perfect wood fired pizzas and wood fired s’mores in a tiny cast iron skillet!), PhoenixTable & Bar(chocolate mousse served in a mason jar, holy food coma), Café on Main(amazing scones and cookies) , and The Whip (fantastic local cheese plate and local honey).
Skyler and Evan on the beautiful trails of Vermont
Our first night in Stowe was raining, again, and we were a bit tired from the day at the pool and water slides, then packing up and driving through the gorgeous, narrow and windy Smuggs pass. So, we chose a restaurant that we could walk to in under 2 minutes, with menu offerings that appealed to my need for a really good salad, Colin’s desire for burritos, and Skyler’s want for a menu without too many choices. We were more than ecstatic with our choice – Phoenix Table & Bar. Colin had a trio of pork centric tacos, Skyler opted for the Baja Burrito filled with fried cod, black beans and pickled cabbage, and….I chose a perfect kale salad with avocados and a white remoulade dressing and to top that off, a side of warmed local goat cheese with an incredible pumpkin seed pesto, it was the perfect combination and exactly what I was craving! We were all very happy with our choices and just so you don’t think we left 6 year old Evan alone in the hotel room, he had a bowl of buttered pasta and complained about the shape.
Kale Salad with Avocado & Herb Dressing
When we returned home, one of the first meals I made was my version of the Phoenix Table & Bar Kale Salad. Instead of a remoulade, I decided to make the dressing out of smashed avocado with some lemon, lime and Dijon mustard for a bit of tang, and lots of fresh herbs. I incorporated my side dish, by crumbling some goat cheese we brought home from Vermont on top and of course some toasted green pumpkin seeds. I declared the salad a successful interpretation and definitely “blog worthy”. I hope you enjoy it.
Purple Cabbage and Green Kale with Avocado and Herb Dressing
Dressing: note, this makes enough dressing to lightly and to my taste perfectly dress the salad, if you prefer a more heavily dressed salad then you may wish to double the dressing and add just enough to the salad for your personal taste.
1 whole lemon – zest & juice
½ lime – zest & juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
Sea Salt & black pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bunch curly kale – about 8 leaves – washed & center rib removed
¼ cup fresh basil
About 3 cups purple cabbage
½ avocado – diced
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese or feta
¼ cup raw green pumpkin seeds/pepitas
In a small bowl – mash the ½ avocado and whisk in remaining dressing ingredients (be sure to zest the lemon & lime before juicing).
In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the raw pumpkin seeds until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad –
Chop kale into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Slice or tear the basil and shred the cabbage, add to the bowl with the kale. Layer in some of the dressing as you add the veggies to the bowl. Stir in most of the dressing and mix to combine with the kale, basil and cabbage. Top with diced avocado, cranberries, goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. Gently toss the salad, serve and Enjoy!
Green Kale and Purple Cabbage dressed with Avocado Fresh Herb Dressing, Cranberries, Basil, Avocado, Goat Cheese, yum!
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My name is Jen and I never met a recipe I didn’t want to change. I view recipes as inspirational guidelines, not rules to follow. I hope you find some delicious healthy recipes that inspire you to cook and eat and feel free to change at will. If you enjoy what you see, please feel free to subscribe, you’ll receive recipes as my life and time permits and I promise not to fill your inbox or your tummies with any junk. Enjoy!