My Very First Contest + a Recipe!

I have some very exciting news to share! A few weeks ago, the lovely folks over at Ethical Ocean contacted me and asked me to participate in their 2nd Annual Recipe Contest. If you aren’t familiar, Ethical Ocean is an online marketplace featuring eco-friendly apparel, body care, home products, and more. The contest features a selection of bloggers who offer up their very best vegan recipe. The winner is determined by the highest number of votes. You can vote every day, for as many recipes as you like. By voting, you have a chance to win some awesome prizes! The contest kicks off at 9am EST on Friday April 26 and ends at 11:59pm EST on May 17. Please vote for me, I would LOVE your support!!! Check out the details here.

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Once onboard, I immediately started formulating recipe ideas in my head. My initial instinct was to create a decadent dessert since my true love has always been sweets. But, I wanted a challenge. With springtime in full swing, it seemed fitting to represent not only seasonal foods, but also a few foods that are grown happily right here in beautiful Oregon! And that, my friends, is how the Kale Salad with Roasted Asparagus & Tarragon Vinaigrette was born!

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This salad has it all: vibrant green kale, roasted asparagus, crunchy hazelnuts, tart dried cranberries, crisp apples, shredded carrots, and a delicious tarragon vinaigrette. It’s filling, nourishing, and representative of spring.

Kale Salad with Roasted Asparagus & Tarragon Vinaigrette

Tarragon and asparagus are a natural pairing, especially when they are at their peak in early spring. Serve this vibrant, light salad as a side to your favorite meal, or turn it into something more substantial by adding a wholesome protein, such as quinoa, to the bowl. Slender stalks of asparagus work best, but use whatever you prefer.

DRESSING
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

SALAD
1/2 pound fresh asparagus
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 head curly kale
1/2 cup diced apple, any variety
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1) To make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and agave nectar until smooth. Add in garlic, tarragon, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk again until well combined. Set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 400°F. Snap off tough ends of the asparagus. Wash asparagus with cold water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Place asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 7-10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender-crisp (time will depend on how thick the asparagus is). Remove from oven and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside to cool while preparing the rest of the salad.

3) Remove stems from kale, wash leaves, and pat dry. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces and place in a large serving bowl. With clean hands, toss the kale with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and massage until kale wilts slightly and reduces in volume. Add in diced apple, hazelnuts, shredded carrot, and dried cranberries. Toss together to evenly incorporate.

4) Chop cooled asparagus into 1” pieces and add to salad. Toss to combine. Drizzle remaining dressing over salad and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

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Please don’t forget to vote for my recipe (I’ll send you virtual love). It’s not as important as presidential elections, but you know… It’s vegan food and that makes people extra happy. Plus, there’s prizes!! Woohoo! Thanks a bunch and Happy Spring!