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IMG_2838 My husband and I went on a date to the Cheesecake Factory because we had a gift card.  I was wild and ordered something I would never normally order, a kale salad.  I like to stick with what I know when I’m paying a ton for it!  But since a gift card feels like free money, I thought I’d live on the wild side.  I have to say that I should be wild and crazy more often because I cannot believe how delicious that salad was!  It had kale, apples, marcona almonds, green beans and cranberries.  As soon as I got home, I knew I needed to recreate it.  You can see from the pictures that I completely forgot about the last two items.  But I didn’t even miss them.  The almonds are salty, the apples are sweet, the dressing is cheesy and garlicky, everything is crunchy.  Seriously heaven.  You need to try it!!! IMG_2837

I began my search online to see if I could find a buttermilk black pepper dressing.  I stumbled upon this one and it was everything I was hoping for!  It even seemed a bit healthy, with it’s low fat buttermilk and greek dressing.  A far cry from ranch’s heaping helping of calories.  So here it is.

Buttermilk Black Pepper Parmesan Dressing

1c. buttermilk

1/2c. plain greek yogurt (I had regular plain yogurt on hand and I liked it for it’s pourability and it’s a bit less tart)

1/2c. freshly grated parmesan

1 1/2t. garlic powder

1 1/2t. onion powder

1t. pepper (I just use my pepper mill and add some.  I bet I don’t put a whole teaspoon in)

salt to taste

It’s really best if you help the flavors meld a bit by letting it sit for an hour or so.  It’s much better that way.

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For the salad, use any kind of kale your heart desires.  Remove the ribs and slice very thinly.  Toss with dressing to coat.  Serve it up and add toppings – apple slices or chunks, marcona almonds (totally worth the money!), and if you’d like, dried cranberries and diced fresh green or yellow beans.  There you have it!  An amazingly delicious salad.  Who knew kale could make me so happy?  Oh, by the way, doesn’t that rosemary foccacia look amazing?  My kids baked it today!  Yup, it’s that easy.  I’ll be sharing that recipe really soon!!  Keep an eye out for it.