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Kale Mango Pasta Salad

Fresh and festive this salad is one of the best ways to get more kale into your diet! Kale leaves can be somewhat tough, so they require tenderizing. The best way to do that is with a citrus dressing. I used my classic Mango vinaigrette recipe for this but upgraded it with a sweet Cara Navel Orange and the zest for extra fresh sweetness. I prefer Cara Navel oranges because they are sweeter than regular Navels. Remember to wash the orange thoroughly before zesting, to ensure you remove any pesticides that may have been used. The zest adds a depth and sparkle to the dressing that the juice of the orange alone does not have.  To keep the colorful theme of this salad going I selected a pasta in mixed shapes and colors, Ronzoni Garden Delight Trio Italiano offers carrot, tomato and spinach pasta in shell, penne and rotini shapes. For added color and crunch I topped it off with rainbow carrot coins. Rainbow carrots come in yellow, orange, purple and white and each type has a slightly different flavor but all are sweet carroty goodness, with some extra antioxidants to boot! The carrots add great texture and look like party confetti.

Start by mixing up a double dose of the mango vinaigrette in a Nutribullet or processor bowl, this vinaigrette is sweet and tart and has just the right amount of acid to break down the tough kale leaves. Prepare the tricolor pasta according to package directions then strain and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow it to cool entirely before stirring in the thinly sliced rainbow carrots. I used a mandolin to slice mine, but a knife will do as well. If you cannot find them in baby carrot form, use big carrots but you will need to peel them. Wash and remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Stir it all up with the dressing and chill it in a covered dish for at least an hour or longer before serving, it is best if stored overnight. Gorgeous colors and fresh, Caribbean flavors make this salad a winner for any occasion.

  • 1 Bunch Kale, stems removed
  • 1 pouch Baby Rainbow carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 lb box Garden Delight Pasta
  • 2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Ripe Cara Navel Orange with Zest
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 T white vinegar
  • 2 T honey or agave nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ C olive oil
  1. Make up the dressing first and allow it to chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (Peel and dice the mangoes, zest the orange and peel it. Place the mangoes, orange and orange zest in a processor bowl with garlic, cilantro. vinegar. honey, oil and salt and pepper. Process smooth, cover and chill.)
  2. Prepare the pasta according to package directions, drain and allow to cool.
  3. Slice the carrots thin.
  4. Remove the stems from the kale and tear into small bite sized pieces.
  5. Toss the pasta, kale and carrots together with the dressing.
  6. Cover and chill for at least an hour, preferably longer before serving.

Enjoy!

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