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do it for love

Recipe: shredded brussels sprouts and kale salad

The Colorado snowpack has been running below average (88%) with a string of sunny days for much of the first three weeks of January. But as my favorite meteorologist-skier, Joel Gratz, has said, if we’re going to get dissed on snowfall, January is a good time for it. That’s because the sun angle in January is quite low (and the days are still pretty short) which means less melt. As we move into February and March, that sun climbs higher in the sky each day and it can take a toll on the snow if Mother Nature doesn’t grace us with some of the fluffy stuff. On our last day in Crested Butte it began to snow in the late afternoon. It was just a little, but enough to feel the flakes falling on my cheeks as we skate skied back to the car. We could see the snow clouds moving in from all directions.


non-skiing activities included hugging on my favorite neighborhood wookie dog, wyatt



The next morning, we woke early to get on the road back home. Overnight, it had snowed far more than anyone (Joel, NOAA, all of the weather people) had been expecting. It was less in Crested Butte and more as we neared the I-70 corridor. Typical of Colorado weather, the storm gave way to sunshine and blue skies. Icy and snowy roads became snow-packed roads became slushy roads became wet roads became dry roads. We drive past a number of ski resorts on our route from Crested Butte to Nederland and happen to have passes for some of them. Copper Mountain reported 7 inches of powder that morning, so we “justified” stopping for a few runs by saying the freeway could melt out a little more while we sampled the snow.

jeremy thought it was pretty darn good

the view south, looking out of bounds



It’s feeling less like Spring and more like Winter – as it should! The snow came down all day Wednesday here in the Front Range, which puts me back in the mood for hot soups. But winter also makes me crave salads and fruits. I know some folks try to get their vegetables in the form of a smoothie. It seems to be rampant along with January-sudden-onset-exercise. Whatever works, I suppose. Me? I personally dislike smoothies – and I say “dislike” because I don’t want to use the word “hate” even though that is what I mean. I actually enjoy eating vegetables (and fruit) in solid form. The textures and flavors are precisely what I like about eating them. It’s so much easier to get your vegetables and your exercise when it’s something you love, don’t you think?

In the past few months, I’ve become hooked on a shredded Brussels sprouts and kale salad. Last spring, a Whole Foods Market opened in Frisco which is on the road between Nederland and Crested Butte. It used to be that our only quick food options right off the freeway were fast food, so this was a welcome addition to our choices. Jeremy usually gets soup or something hot, but I load up on salad. I make a point of sampling some of the salad bar’s prepared salads. Most of them don’t get sampled a second time, but I kept returning to this one salad because it was so crunchy and refreshing. The salad bar (or anything) at Whole Foods ain’t cheap, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out a recipe to make at home.


kale, brussels sprouts, pecorino, black pepper, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, garlic, shallot, lemon, olive oil, dijon mustard

strip the kale from the ribs

roll the leaves up

chiffonade the kale



This recipe is modified from Bon Appétit. I think it’s the closest thing I could find to what I had gotten at Whole Foods. I increased the ratio of the Brussels sprouts to kale. My version also uses curly kale instead of lacinato or Tuscan kale because I prefer the texture. And while I am fond of almonds, lately I have been sprinkling toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and toasted sunflower seeds on my salads for that added crunchy chewiness and nutty flavor. Feel free to add whatever crunchy nut or seed you like most.

trim the brussels sprouts

remove any wilted or browned outer leaves

slice thin



Slice the greens as thin or as thick as you like. Slicing them thin will get you closer to that whole “shredded” concept, but it’s really about what you want. Preparation of the kale and Brussels sprouts are going to be the bulk of your time unless you buy those bags of pre-shredded kale and Brussels sprouts from the grocery store. Hey, if it saves you time and gets you to eat your greens, go for it! The dressing is super quick to whip up – and as I’ve stressed in the past – homemade dressings taste a million times better than the stuff from a jar.

mince the shallots

grate the garlic

ingredients measured and prepped



This salad is also easy to make ahead if you are entertaining or just won’t have time on a weeknight to do all of the prep before dinner. Shred the greens and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll. Toast the seeds ahead of time and you can decide if you’d rather mix the dressing and refrigerate or mix it up right before serving. Tossing it all together takes a minute.

place the kale and brussels sprouts in a large bowl

combine the lemon juice, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, dijon mustard

whisk the olive oil into the dressing



A single batch of the salad serves eight, which means it lasts the two of us two to three days if we eat it with lunches and dinners. After the three days, the Brussels sprouts start a slow decline in quality and the seeds are more chewy than crunchy, so I would try not to let the salad go that long. If you prefer to keep the seeds crunchy, keep them separate and sprinkle them in as you eat the salad. It’s nice having the salad in the refrigerator for those nights when you’re too tired to put much effort into dinner and you still want something fresh and green. Or scoop some up to take for lunch at the office.

pour the dressing over the greens

sprinkle the pecorino on top

toss to combine

add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds



If you look at the recipe links at the bottom of this post, you’ll see that I am a fan of shredded Brussels sprouts and shredded kale salads. But the combination of the two is a nice balance of the heavier Brussels sprouts with the lighter kale. I like the zip and zing the dressing and cheese lend to the salad. Not only is it an especially tasty salad, but the shades of green are nice to look at when all you see outside is white snow.

great as a side salad or a meal

love your greens



Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
[print recipe]
slightly modified from Bon Appétit

8 oz. fresh kale, washed (original recipe calls for Lacinato or Tuscan kale, but I like curly kale)
16 oz. Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
1 tbsp shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
1/2 tsp kosher salt
black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup Pecorino, finely grated
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted

Using a sharp paring knife, strip the leaves of the kale from the center stem. Shake off any excess water from the leaves and roll several into tight wad. Chiffonade the kale (slice into thin ribbons). Continue in batches until all of the kale is shredded. Place the kale in a large bowl. Trim the Brussels sprouts as needed. I like to trim the base and then peel away any wilted or browned outside leaves. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the sprouts and add them to the kale. Combine the lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk a thin stream of the olive oil into the dressing until it is incorporated. Toss the dressing with the shredded kale and Brussels sprouts. Add the Pecorino, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds to the salad and toss together. Serves 8.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

shredded brussels sprouts salad shredded kale salad crunchy kale salad kale pepita cranberry salad

14 nibbles at “do it for love”

  1. KalynsKitchen says:

    I love everything about this salad. Seems like a brilliant idea to combine these two.

  2. Kristin says:

    I will be going to a super bowl party where I introduced your crunch kale salad two years ago. I might have to take this one this year! One of the teenagers has a nut allergy, so this would be a good one for him.

  3. farmerpam says:

    Yum, yum, yum! Loving those brussel sprouts! This one looks like a winner, looking forward to making it. Had to laugh at being “dissed on snowfall”, yeah, we get that a lot. Been a wishin’ and a hoping here. There’s always hope, just not this week according to NOAA.

  4. Tana Butler says:

    I have been on a soapbox for months since I found out that every single California almond takes one precious gallon of water to grow. I’m delighted to see you’ve got replacements.

    I cannot wait to make this! Thank you!!!

  5. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    Oh my! Exactly what I need to perk up my salad collection.

  6. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This salad looks fabulous! Love that homemade dressing!

  7. TAMARA says:

    THIS SOUNDS YUMMY. I LOVE TO PUT SUNFLOWER SEEDS ON MY COTTAGE CHEESE. I NEVER THOUGHT TO PUT THEM IN A SALAD. THANK’S FOR SHARING.

  8. Lisa says:

    I love kale in any shape or form. This is an additional kale salad that you have posted. I love all of them.

  9. Claudia says:

    This is what’s for dinner tonight! Thanks Jen. Let’s hope we all get a lot more snow.

  10. Sherry says:

    Here, it’s going to be 61 degrees tomorrow — 61 degrees! This is not typical winter weather and it feels like our winter never really got started before it decided to switch over to Spring. I haven’t even seen snow since early November… It’s been a bit depressing and I’m not even a skier…

  11. Allie says:

    Looks absolutely great. Have you heard about the new hybrid kale-brussel sprout food? I read about it on Dianne Jacob’s blog and it seems… maybe good? Haha. http://modernfarmer.com/2014/05/make-worlds-trendiest-vegetable/

  12. jenyu says:

    Kalyn – right?! You and I like a lot of the same foods :) xo

    Kristin – Yes, for anyone who likes nuts, they can easily sub them in. However, I actually prefer the seeds to the nuts :)

    farmerpam – you guys are in the NE, right? Did you get your snow fix? And yes, it’s a great salad!

    Tana – wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the heads up!

    Rocky Mountain Woman – :)

    Katrina – thank you!

    Tamara – Oh, sunflower seeds are GREAT in salads!

    Lisa – xxoo

    Claudia – yes, fingers crossed! Hope you guys enjoyed the salad xo

    Sherry – :( I feel for you, sweetie.

    Allie – I have seen the hybrid at Trader Joe’s. While it may be great on its own, I still prefer a salad like this for the two different flavors and textures that each vegetables brings to the dish. But that article was an interesting read!

  13. Paige says:

    I’ve made this a couple of times now with some variations. First time I used golden raisins and pepitas, but no sunflower seeds (didn’t have any). Second time I again used raisins but also added pomegranate arils, and again the pepitas. Forgot the sunflower seeds! The pomegranate made a nice color. I think dried cranberries would be good in this as well.

  14. Vegan Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Sunflower Seeds {Gluten-Free} says:

    […] Recipe adapted from Use Real Butter 3.2.2925 […]

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