Mandarin and Kale Salad with Ginger Sunshine Sauce



As a young girl I was given full freedom to experiment and have fun in the kitchen. I remember once combining raw rice, strawberry jello powder and flour resulting in a horrid red goo and a nightmarish dish to clean. My best friend growing up would always join in and together our cooking antics messed both our mothers kitchens daily. Our most memorable kitchen nightmare were the famous salsa sandwiches, we thought they were genius at the age of 9. Pitas stuffed with tortilla chips, salsa and cheddar. We’ve both come a long way, she’s an amazing chef at an accomplished Edmonton eatery and I write about my creations on this wee little blog. We all start somewhere, you can’t expect to not make mistakes in the kitchen. The key to finding your cooking mojo is to just have fun. Cooking is an art form and this quote rings true for me, you don’t hold back when you’re in love. You can’t. You can’t hold back when you make art of any type, or it will lack the essence of expression which has no boundaries or rules. So open your fridge, rip apart your cupboards, forget the rules, blend,mash,chop, throw together what inspires you. Okay there are basic boundaries an artist stands by, you want your paint to stay on the canvas, you want your food to taste amazing. Here’s my equation for creative success in the kitchen… Balance the sweet, salty, bitter, spicy, umami aspects and the rest is cake. If I’m making a salad for example this mandarin (sweet) kale (bitter) ginger (spicy) sunshine sauce (umami) lime roasted cashews (salty) I can use whatever I have on hand and create something delicious by following this simple guideline. Look closely at your favourite recipes and you will likely see this pattern.


mandarin kale salad with ginger sunshine sauce


Mandarin Kale Salad with Ginger Sunshine Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch kale, finely chopped
  • 1-2 mandarin oranges
  • ¼ of a red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ a red chile, finely sliced (optional)
  • handful thai lime and chile cashews
  • ¼ C roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar
  1. Combine kale, mandarins and onion in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a blender combine the sunflower seeds, lime, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, garlic, salt and coconut sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Coat the kale with ginger sunshine sauce and toss with cashews or additional sunflower seeds and sliced red chile (optional)



mandarin and kale salad with ginger sunshine sauce

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