The Superfood Vegan Salad at Nature’s Table Bistro in Concourse E at the Atlanta airport is the best thing I have ever eaten. They run out because all the flight attendants buy it. Could you get the recipe for it or at least the dressing? I would be forever grateful. — Pat Contino, Smyrna
The Superfood Kale Salad is a creation of Dan Parsons, vice president of operations at MBC Concessions. He told us this recipe “was inspired by kale’s rise into fame over the years. This salad delivers what travelers are looking for nowadays, a ‘Feel Great, Taste Great’ option, that is nutrient-dense and craveable.”
As he was creating the recipe, he thought roasted cubes of butternut squash would make a great addition, but then considered and felt that made it too seasonal for sales at the Bistro. “With that being said, I think it would be amazing with some roasted, caramelized butternut squash. So for some extra holiday cheer, try adding some when you try this recipe.”
Parsons adapted the restaurant’s recipe to make it work for home cooks. If you like, you can purchase packaged couscous such as Near East’s Original Plain Couscous 10-ounce box and use half of it for this recipe. Or bulk couscous is available at many markets these days. You can purchase whole kale leaves or buy a package of pre-cut kale. If using the pre-cut variety, you’ll want to chop the leaves a little finer to make them salad-sized.
Nature’s Table Bistro Superfood Vegan Salad
1 cup water
3/4 cup dry couscous
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup Agave Greek Dressing (see recipe)
6 cups shredded kale with stems removed (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts (about 1/4 pound)
1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded carrots (about 1/4 pound)
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage (about 2 ounces)
In a medium saucepan, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in couscous and olive oil. Remove from heat and cover pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Then spread out on a sheet pan to cool, fluffing with a fork to separate grains. Set aside.
In a very large bowl, combine cranberries and dressing. Top with kale, sprouts, garbanzo beans, carrots and cabbage. Top with cooled couscous. Toss everything together and chill for one hour before serving. Serves: 8
Per serving: 305 calories (percent of calories from fat, 45), 7 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 16 grams fat (2 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 641 milligrams sodium.
Agave Greek Dressing
You’ll use one cup of this dressing for the Superfood Vegan Salad. The remaining cup can be refrigerated, but the salad is so good, you’ll soon be using the rest when you make it a second time.
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, canola oil, agave, salt, garlic, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, mustard and pepper. Use immediately or refrigerate covered for up to 3 days. Makes: 2 cups
Per 1-tablespoon serving: 68 calories (percent of calories from fat, 94), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 212 milligrams sodium.
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