Well, since my back is still a bit sore, I’m opting for a “flash in the pan” today. Hmm: sore back. . flash. . .does that make this a “flash-back”? (Ouch. Sorry–that one hurt even more than the back injury!).
We ate this salad the other night along with my newfound amore, nutroast (don’t tell the HH). This is one of my favorite salads ever, and even The Girls love it (without the onion, of course). Oh, and there’s no strain whatsoever on your back when you mix this together.
(“Yes, Mum, this is definitely a keeper. But what do you mean, nutroast is your new amore? What about US? Aren’t WE at the top of the list???”)
My only experience with green leafy vegetables prior to my year at nutrition school was the archetypal (and, oddly, newly resurrected) iceberg lettuce. In fact, my dad still eats a salad of torn, waterlogged iceberg, chopped woody tomato, and sliced, wizened cucumber pretty much every day for lunch. Is there any wonder I never thought to branch out?
Then, throughout that same year, I kept hearing rumblings about these mythological creatures called “green leafy vegetables.” Armed with mighty stems; dressed with undulating green fronds; festooned with ruffly, bi-colored leaves, these creatures seemed like a veggie version of fabled videogame heroes. I’d read paragraphs in our textbooks and stare, entranced, at the photos, but couldn’t remember ever having tasted any.
But wait; I did remember coming close, as a teenager when I’d visit my best friend, Sterlin. As nerdy adolescents, we bonded over the fact that neither of us had a boyfriend throughout high school. We’d regularly spend weekend sleepovers at each other’s houses, blabbing and gossiping and avoiding homework (and cursing the fact that neither of us had a boyfriend), until the wee hours of the morning.
Since my mother, my sisters and I were always baking something or other, sleepovers at my house involved chocolate chip cookies, brownies, apple cake, my mom’s famous chiffon cake or my then-favorite cookie, Chocolate Shadows (a monstronsity of chocolate, peanut butter and mint, from the Pillsbury Bake-Off Cookbook). When we bunked at Sterlin’s house, however, our 2:00 AM munchie raids inevitably led us to her parents’ near-empty freezer, where we’d find. . .boxes of frozen spinach. I have no idea why they were always so well stocked on spinach, but since that was all we could find, that’s what we ate. Sterlin would pull out a box, heat it up in the microwave (hers was the first family I knew to have one), and we’d munch on soggy, unevenly heated, spinach.
Needless to say, the highschool freezer exploits didn’t exactly increase my desire to sample kale, collards, chard, or the like. But once I did discover leafy greens, years later, I was instantly smitten. I ended up trying every green-leafy recipe I could find, and seemed to love them all. And I daresay, this is one of the best.
But kale? Nope. Not bitter.
This dish is well-known in the ”living foods” community–so much so, that I’m not even sure to whom I should attribute it. But a couple of years ago, I attended the Vegetarian Awakening conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan (what a fabulous experience! Imagine my elation: three entire days, knowing I could eat every single thing available all weekend!), and one of the chefs there, Chad Sarno, demonstrated this salad, so I’m going to credit him. There are multiple variations floating around on the Internet as well.
This salad is so quick and easy, you will not believe how delicious it is. It contains only 5 major ingredients (with optional add-ins). And because it’s so green and healthy, chock full of antioxidants, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, I’m submitting this recipe to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event, originated by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and this week hosted by Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook.
Raw Kale and Avocado Salad
Kale, with its frivolous ruffles, is like a perky vegetable tutu. It’s often referred to as the “Queen of Vegetables” for its amazing nutritional profile.
1 large bunch green kale, washed, stems removed, finely diced (about 1/2 inch or 1 cm. squares)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated (optional)
1 green onion, sliced thinly (optional)
1 large ripe avocado
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or use 1 Tbsp. each olive and hemp or olive and flax oils)
juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
salt, to taste
Place the kale in a large bowl and top with remaining ingredients. Now comes the fun part: first, wash your hands. Next, squish the kale and everything else repeatedly between your hands and fingers, ”massaging” the kale to help it soften and to blend all the ingredients to create a smooth and creamy dressing over the kale. Eat immediately. I adore this salad! Make 4-6 servings. Will keep one day in the fridge (but is a bit less perky the second day).
["We adore this this salad, too, Mum--it's OUR new amore! Thanks for sharing."]