Kale and Cranberry Salad.

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Need a quick, healthy meal option? I swear this takes only 15 minutes. I also promise your kids will like it. Just don’t tell ’em it’s healthy. Put it in a McDonalds bag and they’ll gobble it up.

Ingredients:
4 cups pre-washed, hand-torn kale, stems removed
3 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled. Unless you eat all before you can put it in the salad like I always do.
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup red onion slices (big enough for the picky eaters to pull out)
1/8 cup your favorite nuts, optional

Dressing:
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Mix dressing ingredients and set aside.
2. Wash and dry kale, add all other ingredients.
3. Toss.
4. Enjoy.

Alternatives, switch out your favorite cheese. Add fresh blueberries or blackberries. Kale can be tart so be sure to compensate changes that balance the tart with sweetness.

How to Cook Bacon.

Step ONE: Grooming. As soon as your toddlers begin to toddle, groom them to develop an aversion to the kitchen. Whenever they are in the vicinity of the kitchen, ask them to do something: take out trash, wash dishes, fill up your wine glass, sweep & mop the floor, clean the fridge, organize the pantry. I think you get the point. This method also works on husbands, roommates & house guests. Once you have established your clear domain in the kitchen, you are ready for Step TWO.

SIDE NOTE: If you are worried that grooming will cause tantrums when it is actual chore time in the kitchen, simply ransom cellphones, laptops, beer bottle openers and the remote control on Football Sunday, until the chore is complete. DO NOT GIVE IN until the chore is properly done. It will be tough the first 2 or 3 times, but they will soon learn that you are the Queen of the house and are NOT to be challenged.

Step TWO: Purchase your bacon. Buy however many packs you need for your meal. My family requires only 1 pack of bacon. Now that you have decided the number of pack(s) of bacon you need, purchase 1 more pack. Before you put the extra pack of bacon in your cart, will anyone notice? I’m blessed that my children have no frickin’ clue what I put in the grocery cart because they know it will be something they don’t like: kale, spinach, quinoa, leeks, shoe polish. You too can obtain this level of oblivion. Refer to Step ONE. However, if you are shopping with your significant other or children who may need distraction from what you toss in the cart, you can divert their attention by asking them to pick out their favorite cereal or pudding pops or beer.  This allows you the opportunity to sneak this extra pack of bacon into the cart without their knowledge.

Step THREE: Now it’s time to cook the bacon. Make sure all other humans are not in the kitchen. Open all of the packs of bacon. I cook 4 strips of bacon at a time but you should cook however many strips will fit in your pan. Once they are cooked, place them on a plate covered in 2 paper towels to catch the grease. The next 4 strips go into the pan. Once the 1st set of 4 strips have cooled, I eat one. No one saw it, therefore, it did not happen. I know no one saw it because my children are properly groomed by Step ONE. However, if someone should happen in the kitchen to fix themselves some chocolate milk, bark at them to take out recycle because its too full and you can’t believe that you have to constantly harp on them to take out recycle! I mean, you have eyes! Why can’t you see it for yourself? Why do you insist on making me ask you to do it?!? Just do it! They quickly scuttle away and you’re left alone with your bacon. Continue to cook your bacon, several strips at a time. As each set of strips cools, eat one or 2 pieces of bacon. Once all of the bacon is cooked, you should end up with enough strips of cooked bacon that would have been in the original pack IF you maintained the proper cooking-cooling-eating ratio.

Step FOUR: Now it’s time to sit down and eat as a family. Everyone fights for bacon, so it’s up to you to evenly dole out the bacon. Don’t forget to plate some bacon for yourself. Everyone must get his/her equal share.

Step FIVE: Sit back and enjoy your bacon. You brought the bacon home after all.

Yum. Bacon.