A sweet and spicy Kale and Brussels sprout salad for Christmas

This post is sponsored by Kung Markatta and as always, photos and words by me.

A sweet and spicy Kale and Brussels sprout salad for Christmas :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

According to a survey made recently by Kung Markatta, the Swedes want more green dishes and more vegetarian options to choose from during the holidays. The survey also shows that Christmas food is very important to the Swedes, in fact even more important than the Christmas tree and the gifts, and that two out of three Swedes believe in a greener future when it comes to food traditions around Christmas. Yay – so do I!

With the campaign #framtidensjulbord Kung Markatta wants to inspire people to choose greener and more sustainable food during the holidays. So let’s create some new classics for the Christmas table! I hope that you’ll consider trying my super delicious kale and brussels sprout salad and do check out all the new recipes created by chef Paul Svensson for Kung Markatta for more inspiration and new ideas!

A sweet and spicy Kale and Brussels sprout salad for Christmas :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I created this recipe with simplicity and great flavor in mind. I believe that many of us (at least if you’re anything like me) want more time to sit down and chat with grandma, play with the kids or take a long walk on Christmas day rather than spending all the time in the kitchen. Don’t misunderstand me – I love to cook and I love to cook up a great Christmas “smörgåsbord” – but it doesn’t hurt if one or two of the dishes are really easy to throw together and at the same time super nutritious and delicious!

This salad features both kale, brussels sprouts and apples which are all seasonal and locally grown produce here in Sweden (thus more sustainable). I’ve paired it with a slightly sweet and spicy dressing, sweet juicy raisins, yummy beluga lentils, salty and chewy halloumi cheese and crunchy toasted almonds. Most of the ingredients are from Kung Markatta, which is always organic – do I have to tell you how much I love that?

Sweet and spicy. Chewy and crunchy. Nutritious and delicious. This is more than just another salad. It can serve as a vegetarian main dish along with a good bread and some olive oil. It can be a side on a Christmas buffé table and it can serve as a healthy “detox” salad the days after the holidays ;-). And you can, of course, swap the halloumi cheese for e.g. tofu for a completely vegan dish.

I hope you’ll like it! And – remember to always eat mindfully and in moderation. But that doesn’t count if you’re only eating salad anyway… Be back soon!

Find the recipe in Swedish here.

A sweet and spicy Kale and Brussels sprout salad for Christmas

serves 8 as a side or 4 as a main

8-10 Medium to large Curly Kale leaves, rinsed de-stemmed and rougly chopped
1/2 cup Brussels sprouts, leaves only (rinsed)
1/2 cup Kung Markatta Beluga lentils (rinsed) + 1 cup water + 1/2 Kung Markatta Umami stock cube
1-2 Red apples (preferably a firm and tart variety), sliced
200 g Halloumi cheese, torn or cut into smaller pieces
1/3 cup Kung Markatta Sultana raisins
1/2 cup Kung Markatta Almonds
Fresh Rosemary to finish

1 tsp Powdered ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tbsp Kung Markatta Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered)
1 tbsp Kung Markatta Maple Syrup
4 tbsp Kung Markatta Extra Virgin Olive Oil
pinch of sea salt

1) For the dressing whisk together the spices, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
2) Combine the beluga lentils with the water and 1/2 Umami stock cube in a small pot. Bring to the boil and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and let the lentils cool in their own liquid. Then drain.
3) Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned. Set aside, let cool and then chop roughly.
4) Toss the chopped kale with the brussels sprouts leaves in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss/lightly massage the leaves to absorb the flavors. This will also make them easier to digest. Add the raisins and toss again.
5) On a large salad plate or wooden board combine the kale, brussels sprouts, beluga lentils and apples.
6) Fry the halloumi cheese over medium heat until golden. Add it to the salad along with the chopped almonds and some fresh rosemary. Drizzle over some more dressing to finish it off and serve immediately.

TIP! Swap the halloumi cheese for Kung Markatta Tofu to make the dish vegan. And do keep in mind that halloumi cheese tastes best when served immediately. If you’re planning on making this for a buffé (and you won’t eat all of it immediately) you could use goat’s cheese or feta cheese instead.

A sweet and spicy Kale and Brussels sprout salad for Christmas :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

show hide 6 comments

Sarah | Well and Full - December 12, 2016 - 3:17 pm

That’s awesome that people in Sweden are opting for more vegetarian dishes for Christmas! I get so excited when I see the world becoming more eco-friendly :) Cheers!

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - December 12, 2016 - 3:37 pm

Yeah, I know! It is such exciting news. I am not a vegetarian, but the world definitely need to eat more plants. And less overall… Cheers!

Elisabet - December 16, 2016 - 8:52 am

Ser väldigt gott ut! Perfekt att fylla ut julbordet med.

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - December 19, 2016 - 10:32 am

Tack Elisabet! Ja, denna är superfräsch som tillbehör. Själv behöver jag inte mycket mer än denna + några silbitar ;-)

Ann - December 29, 2016 - 10:01 pm

Looks delicious! Beautiful colours also. A light dish is always welcome at the Christmas dinner :-)

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - January 11, 2017 - 10:23 am

Ann – thank you! Yes, this is a perfect light addition to any Holiday gathering. Cheers!