Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm in a love affair with kale.


We eat a lot of kale around here. Tonight we sauteed it using more or less this method, then put it over rice and pinto beans with a bit of sour cream, and, friends, it was an awesome meal.

Lately, about once a week, I make an enormous kale salad, and, miraculously, it lasts and lasts. The salad I make is inspired by this one. I stay pretty true to it, but I'll walk you through what I do, because, seriously, if you want masses of veggies to get inside of your body, this is a salad worth making.

Let me back up to say I recently went through a phase of thinking I didn't like salad at all. I was perpetually disappointed when ordering them at restaurants, and though there were some salads that other folks made that had me heaping my plate high, I couldn't seem to figure out what the common denominator was, and I was getting discouraged. And you know what I think? I think I love salad, but I'm extremely picky. And one thing that will kill it for me faster than anything else is anything (and I mean anything) remotely slimy. You know spring mix? It has to be beyond fresh for me to like it, and let's face it: spring mix is usually a little slimy, right?

That's why this salad turned out to be the answer, I think. It's all about crunchy.

Oh, and another reason I wasn't eating salad at home? Takes too long. I didn't have the patience (or the time) to cut up a ton of veggies every time I wanted a salad. This salad answers that, too, since I do it all in one go, and then I have a heaping bowl of it for days, and it takes me ten seconds to pull it out and put dressing on it. It's beauty, is what it is.

Okay, so here's what I do:

1. Procure the following: a head of kale, 4-5 good-sized carrots, 4-5 celery stalks, 8 or so radishes, 1/2 a fennel/anise bulb.

2. Wash everything real good.

3. Cut up the kale. Cut it up really small. If you click on that link above for the salad, she shows you how small, but it's like dime-sized. This is the key, here, I think. You don't want big pieces of kale or they'll be way too scratchy in your mouth. Scratchy in your mouth is no good, am I right?

4. Cut up all of your other veggies really small, too. The gal on the other blog says to imagine you're cutting everything up for a salsa, but listen, that takes too long, and aside from the kale, the veggies don't need to be that small. I give them some preliminary slicing--like I cut the carrots in half length-wise and slice them down the center, same for the celery. I cut the radishes in halves or fourths, depending on how big they are, and I cut the fennel/anise however I can (it's an awkward shape). Then I push everything through my food processor, and that's plenty small.  

5. Mix it all up, but only dress the bit you plan to eat. The original recipe calls for a light dressing of lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. But I've also had to face the fact that I'm not a simple dressing type. I like a lot of flavor, and I like it a bit sweet, frankly, though I usually use stevia to sweeten it. I always make my own, as it's about a billion times better than store-bought, once you know the formula. (Shall I do a post on how to make a good at-home dressing?) I made a pear vinaigrette, and that paired (ha!) nicely with this salad, but I think I love this Cumin Cinnamon Vinaigrette the best. So good on there.

Sometimes I throw on some goat cheese, but honestly, this salad is just crunchy and wonderful as-is. It takes some work prepping everything, but good grief, it's worth it to have salad in an instant for days to come. So far, it's lasted four days in pristine condition. It would probably last longer, but I've eaten to fast to know.

6 comments:

ginger said...

What's not to love about kale. I'm working on replicating those kale chips that Whole Foods sells now. The super overpriced ones with nutritional yeast and lemon juice on them. I'll post the recipe if I ever get it right, but for now, I'm just enjoying eating my mistakes.

Deja said...

Oh! Do share when you master it. Trader Joe's has them, too, but they are pricey. And this is nuts because kale is cheap!

belann said...

Still haven't made this salad, but I plan to. Just my kind of salad.

Stacy said...

I made the sauteed kale with pinto beans and rice. It was yummy and simple and healthy--the very best kind of recipe. Thanks!

Deja said...

wahoo, stacy! spreading the good kale word.

Meeshab said...

I made it! I used all of my lettuce up at a dinner last night so I made this for my fam. Scott kinda looked at me funny, I said "trust me" and we all loved it. Sadly I made a huge bowl but I ate a huge portion for my veggies. I will have to double and triple it I think. I was worried it would mess with my tummy but I think kale is magical because it feels great!