I remember the first time I ingested kale.
It was 2012, and I had gotten a boatload of this earthy vegetable in my very first CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) share. I was a newbie to the greens game, and if I’m being totally honest, I was pretty intimidated. It’s shocking I know, but I was not always the veggie goddess you see before you today. Thankfully, I’ve evolved over the past six years.
Back then though, when it came to leafy greens, I hadn’t really ventured out of the lettuce stage so consuming kale was like jumping off the highest of high dives after previously wading in the kiddie pool. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I was freaked out, but I had signed up for a CSA share specifically to push myself out of my culinary comfort zone, and I wasn’t backing down now. The bill was paid, the food had arrived, so with vigor, I tore off one whole leaf and added it a blender bursting with fruit. My kale to berry ration was 0.00000001 to 10. Basically, I was trying to start small and masquerade the flavor.
With trepidation, I poured my slightly lumpy smoothie into a tall clear glass, a rookie mistake if I ever did see one, and I was horrified by the scene before me. The color was reminiscent of camouflage, and I don’t mean the trendy patterns you see in stores today. I mean the roll in the ground, half-faded, murky greens and greys worn by soldiers on their last day of training camp, after they’ve frolicked in the mud one too many times. It wasn’t a good look, but it was too late to turn back.
I grabbed my noxious cocktail, my morning list, and headed out to our three seasons room. I was going to make a moment out of this smoothie, much like my morning cup of coffee. With my pen poised in one hand, ready to write out my daily To Do’s, I took my first tentative sip.
Chunky. Hmm, perhaps I should have blended it longer.
Another taste. It’s kinda warm. Next time, I’ll add ice.
More tidbits on the tongue. Very fruity, but a pint of strawberries will do that.
A fourth swig now. Definite hints of kale. Yeah, kale.
I took a great big swallow and relished in my new-found healthy ways. Had my hair been long, I’m sure I would have shaken out my mane, while a sunbeam captured me in my nutritionally ramped up glory. I could practically feel my cheeks glowing, my skin rehydrating, and my intestines fortifying.
I was on a new path to personal growth and wellness and kale, this bold, brassy, green, was the first step of my spiritual journey.
I felt inspired, invigorated and ready to conquer the world.
Until my gut roared with urgency, and I was forced to catapult myself to the nearest bathroom until every sip of kale I had swallowed exited stage left (or really rear).
I learned lots of things that day, but mostly kale has a lot of fiber.
Thankfully, I and my digestive system, have come a long way since then.
Hence this simple salad complete with massaged kale, sweet cherries, tangy feta cheese and candied walnuts. It’s healthy, it’s easy, and it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth. As for the other end, well that depends on how regularly you consume kale.
- 1 bunch of Kale, washed
- 1 cup of cherries, washed, pits removed and cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup Candied Walnuts
- 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- Wash your kale and tear it into salad sized pieces. Put it into a large bowl and drizzle 1 Tbsp. of EVOO over the kale. Massage the oil into the kale and let sit for at least one hour.
- After letting your kale sit, add the cherries, feta cheese and walnuts. Top with remaining olive oil and vinegar. Enjoy.
- *Cook time is wait time.
- You can add more dressing if you like. Keep the the oil to vinegar ratio at 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.