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In my kitchen, recipes are often based on improvisation. Although I’m getting better at creating recipes beforehand, I most often “wing it” (where food preparation and combination are concerned) in the moment based on the ingredients I have on hand. On some level there’s a method to my madness, as I shop with dishes and/or meals in mind, but my lack of method is readily noticeable as well. If it’s in my refrigerator or on my shelf, well, it will likely end up in some dish I’m creating for better or worse (I like to believe it’s always for better, but I’d be fooling myself–and you–to say it always is).

Less yadda, yadda, and more to this post’s point, I find that some recipes are harder to alter than others–if only because some ingredients are repetitively paired. With that point and the simplest of pairings in mind, I have to say that it can be hard for me to make a salad without adding tomatoes. This is especially the case because I love tomatoes! Fortunately, I also love many other fruits and vegetables so I usually have a replacement on hand if tomatoes aren’t. The recipe that follows is a simple, tasty salad sans tomatoes.

Recipe numero quattordici:

ROMAINE AND KALE SALAD II

Ingredients (makes one of the pictured salads): 3/4-1 head romaine lettuce, 1 large kale leaf, 1/2 can of sliced beets (without added sodium), 1/2 large Gala apple

Preparation: Chop romaine lettuce (I sliced across the lettuce head at ~1/2 inch intervals), wash thoroughly (tip: salad spinners rock!), and place in desired bowl. Wash, remove spine, and chop kale leaf into small pieces. Add to bowl. Wash then halve the Gala apple. Halve (the half) again, remove the stem and core, and slice both quarters of the apple. Place into bowl. Finally, open the can of beets, drain liquid, and halve each of the slices into the bowl using ~1/2 of the can (tip: if you’re averse to canned beets, prepare and use fresh beets). [makes ~2 servings]

OPTIONAL: For added flavor, slice and/or dice ~1/8 fresh onion onto the salad. Also, here’s a salad dressing recipe that compliments this salad. Enjoy!

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