Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kale Salad for Kale Haters

I feel like it's a sin in the healthy living blogger world to admit that I don't like kale. But I need to just come out with it: I never got on the kale bandwagon. Kale chips are only okay, and only when smothered in an accompanying dipping sauce. Wilted kale looks and tastes too much like seaweed for me to be convinced that it did not, in fact, come from the ocean. And kale salads just haven't hit the spot for me.

Was I doomed to hate kale forever? It was THE healthy food to eat the last few years, and I felt so left out. I remember an episode of Modern Family where Mitch comes home from the farmer's market with the shocking news that "kale is the new spinach." I was so sad. Spinach is one of the only leafy greens I genuinely enjoy eating, and now it was out?

But my relationship with kale took a turn recently and may even end happily. I read a chapter in Bringing Up Bebe that discussed a food critic who set out on a mission to find a way to like all the foods he hated. He tried them all sorts of ways and eventually found that he was able to enjoy them. For me, it turns out that I was eating kale all wrong. Roasting it, wilting it--no need. A simple salad was the way to kale for this girl. 

All you need: A lemon or two, some olive oil, a pinch or two of salt, a package of kale, and Parmesan cheese.

First, zest one lemon into a small bowl. 


Then juice that lemon. You can juice two lemons if you want (I did, because I'm crazy like that).


Whisk in your olive oil. For two lemons, I used about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. You can adjust to your preference, but I'd say approximately equal parts is ideal.


Next, prep your kale. I got the pre-washed, ready-to-use organic kale in a package from Trader Joe's. I hate washing and drying lettuce (what a strange thing to hate), but I won't dictate your kale buying. You'll notice I separate the stems. I'm trying to like kale, but let's not go too far here.


Throw the kale in a bowl, sprinkle a pinch or two of salt into the bowl, and pour in the amount of dressing you desire. I only ended up using about 3/4 of my dressing.



Next up, massage the dressing into the kale. I know, it sounds weird. But kale is weird. So you can just toss the salad, and I'm sure it'll be fine, but it seems to help the kale soften a bit if you get in there with your hands.


Finally, plate up the amount of kale you plan to eat and grate on some Parmesan. Or a lot of Parmesan.


I served mine with whole wheat toast and burrata.


Honestly, I'm still convinced I'll never love kale in all its forms. But this salad tastes awesome and could easily accompany almost any meal. Try it with cereal. Why not? And you can be creative with additions, too:

  • toasted pine nuts
  • minced garlic
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
The point is this: If you, like me, can't understand the whole kale craze, maybe this salad will convince you that this green vegetable isn't the worst thing you've ever felt compelled to eat for health reasons. And if you already liked kale, well, congratulations, but I still think you should try this salad. 

What food trends are you against? 
I also don't totally understand flavored peanut butter. Why on earth would you ruin such a glorious food? 

15 comments:

  1. OH HECK YES - Minus the cheese and this salad is CALLING TO ME!! I'd probably add some sauteed shallots too! Don't forget to massage ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooohh, shallots make everything better!

      Delete
  2. oooh and I already love kale.
    as does my new puppy!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOVE the pictures of your new puppy! You just need one of him eating kale while playing soccer. :-)

      Delete
  3. lol kale salad for kale haters - that really cracked me up!

    ReplyDelete
  4. YES! I've also been feeling left out of the whole kale craze. I'm going to try this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome. I'm not alone! Thank goodness.

      Delete
  5. I buy the same kale from TJ's and take a few minutes to remove the large stems. I swear they are getting bigger! This looks delicious to this kale lover! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously! Those kale stems are so gross.

      Delete
  6. I've never made Kale, but I've had Kale Chips. I do enjoy making Collard Greens. Massaging Kale, it makes me laugh every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband loves collard greens. I'm still not on board with those either, but I am willing to keep trying.

      Delete
  7. He, he. I love that you "spoke up" about kale. It definitely is the trendy thing. Well, I hear that cauliflower is next, so how are you feeling about that? ; )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boy...well, I guess the texture is slightly better than kale, so I can at least start there. I've heard of cauliflower pizza crust...I could get on board with that.

      Delete
  8. It took me a few different tries to find a recipe where I really loved kale. I do use it in my smoothies, but found the massaged kale really did make me happy. No cheese for me either, but I'm sure that helps :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm starting to wonder if it's the taste of massaged kale or the act of massaging it that people like. I'm on the latter side. :-)

      Delete