What I love most about this recipe is the contrast of the hot Gardein brand beef-less tips and the cold crisp salad, not unlike an autumn day in Southern California that starts of cold and crisp, then turns warm and toasty as the day progresses. In other words, the best of both worlds.
To me, the term “almost homemade” means purchasing a quality prepared ingredient, then making it my own with fresh produce, herbs and spices. You can easily customize this Gardein product by using any seasonings you choose and because it’s a top quality product, you don’t have to “mask” the flavor in any way. By simply adding salt, pepper, garlic and green onions, you can make this a perfectly seasoned protein, perfectly matched to the kale, one of the more hearty salad greens. The texture is perfect. The cranberry vinaigrette adds a surprising fresh flavor and acidity.
Another dressing I’ve tried with this salad is so simple. I take leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and add cranberry juice. Blend it with a blender or food processor until it is the consistency of dressing – it’s so delicious with little or no fat depending on how you make your cranberry dressing.
These ingredients work together beautifully in terms of taste, color and texture. It’s the perfect salad for an autumn day. Enjoy.