The Pre-Vacation Fridge-Emptying Salad

We are going away for the holiday weekend. Yay! For me, part of vacation planning includes using up the food in my house that will go bad while we're gone. I hate wasted food, so finding great last minute uses for it makes me really pleased. 

The Fridge-Emptying Salad! So satisfying to know that food will not be wasted when we leave town. 

The Fridge-Emptying Salad! So satisfying to know that food will not be wasted when we leave town. 

As I looked inside my fridge last night, I saw a bunch of kale, some baby arugula, one lemon and some cilantro that had to get used plus the last third of my favorite whole wheat bread on the counter. Those ingredients, plus a couple of household staples created a delicious salad for last night's dinner. This salad hit the spot because it had earthiness from the kale, crunch from the croutons, tartness from lemon juice, bitterness from the arugula, salt from the olives and the special secret ingredient that added the needed sweetness – raisins from Peeled Snacks!
Check it out (complete recipe below the photos): 

Best wishes for a happy and healthy July 4th weekend!

First, I cut the whole wheat bread into crouton chunks and put them into a mixing bowl.

First, I cut the whole wheat bread into crouton chunks and put them into a mixing bowl.

Next, I drizzled the bread with my favorite Frankies 457 olive oil and tossed with a sliced shallot. 

Next, I drizzled the bread with my favorite Frankies 457 olive oil and tossed with a sliced shallot. 

I spread the croutons out on parchment paper and baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

I spread the croutons out on parchment paper and baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

At the same time, I sliced my bunch of kale, drizzled with olive oil and spread it onto parchment paper. I roasted it at 375 for 15 minutes. 

At the same time, I sliced my bunch of kale, drizzled with olive oil and spread it onto parchment paper. I roasted it at 375 for 15 minutes. 

I assembled the salad by tossing the kale with arugula, green olives (that I sliced), 1/4 cup of my favorite raisins from Peeled Snacks and fresh chopped cilantro. I squeezed fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with salt and pepper and tossed in the croutons and roasted shallots at the very end. YUM. 

I assembled the salad by tossing the kale with arugula, green olives (that I sliced), 1/4 cup of my favorite raisins from Peeled Snacks and fresh chopped cilantro. I squeezed fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with salt and pepper and tossed in the croutons and roasted shallots at the very end. YUM. 

The Fridge-Emptying Salad
1 bunch of kale, sliced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups baby arugula
8 green olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup raisins (My favorite are the Raisin Expectations from Peeled Snacks
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Juice from one lemon
Whole Wheat Croutons (recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste

Spread the sliced kale onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until edges are crispy. 
Toss roasted kale with baby arugula, olives, raisins and cilantro until all ingredients are nicely distributed. Add lemon juice and the remaining olive oil and toss once again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with homemade croutons and roasted shallot slices. 

Whole Wheat Croutons
Whole wheat bread cut into chunks (I love the Pain Complet from Eric Kayser)
2 tablespoons olive oil (I swear by Frankies 457
1 shallot, sliced

Place bread chunks into a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil. Add sliced shallot, toss again and let it sit for about 10 minutes so that the flavor of the shallot has a chance to penetrate the bread. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 for approximately 15 minutes.