Guest Blogger: In Her Grace

1 Feb

All at once everyone was talking kale. Yes. Kale. It’s a superfood of epic awesomeness. It’s the penultimate green. If you’re only going to eat one green vegetable eat Kale. Why? Well, “Because I said so!” (Siri replies “I don’t know what you mean by ‘Because I said so’…”  hmph!)

Kale: low in calories, high in nutrition. Have a quick glance at this page on the Health Benefits of Kale.

Why do we massage the kale? Well, that was the exact question I wanted to know! Why indeed?

Kale comes in many varieties, mainly Russian (curly) and Scottish (curly). Both are fairly dense, brittle, and need to be handled gently as you would your most precious gems. Kale keeps better in the fridge. It can be cooked in just about anything you make. (Makes cooking easy right?) We all know though that raw foods contain the best nutrition, and for vegetables, what better than a salad. Yay, a salad for a vegan!! Thought you’d never ask!

So I asked my peeps how they massaged their kale. Yes it’s a personal question, but most weren’t squeamish in sharing their intimate replies. In short, they used oil. (Although it’s best to use cooking oils that are good for you such as olive oil. For intimate massages use as desired.) In the salad I made I didn’t use any oil. I used half of an avocado cut into small cubes and squished them between my hands thus using the natural oil of the avocado to coat the kale. It worked like a charm. Wish I could claim this was my brilliant idea but it was suggested via the recipe I used in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau‘s Vegans Daily Companion. P.15

It was a lovely messy process. You simply add the ingredients and then add the cubed avocado and gently start rubbing the kale leaves with the slightly squashed mess. The leaves turn from being curly and a dull dark green to being shiny, unrolled, and a much lighter colour with a stronger texture. It was awesome to see and the more the avocado became oil, and the kale became coated, the salad came to life. Since I was using an entire bunch of kale there was a lot to coat, but still only half an avocado did the job.

This salad looked spectacular and my husband, who is crap at eating his greens, sat down and couldn’t wait to dive in. Through a mouthful of kale he mumbled something that I took to mean “This is lovely darling thank you so much.” I’m glad he liked it as I took one bite and spat it on the plate. It was at this time we discovered I hate vinegar. Passionately. (Except for salt and vinegar potato chips which I haven’t eaten in years so perhaps I hate them too but I’m reserving judgement.)

The smell of the apple cider vinegar that went into the salad turned my nose away, but I thought the other ingredients would right the wrong of that stench. After all, vegans use vinegar for weird things like cakes. It works awesomely in baking. But on it’s own, pickled, ciders, salad dressings, whatever – if it’s vinegar get it away from me yesterday.

My husband, the I’ll have vinegar on anything on my plate man, loved the salad. He ate half the bowl. Seriously. That was two servings. It was a BIG bowl. Half a bunch of kale is a lot. He ate the rest the next day. He consequently spent a little time in the bathroom as his body thanked him for eating correctly with lots of healthy nutrition & fibre. Don’t let that put you off. (Although it probably is enough to.)

My next massaged kale salad will not contain vinegar, but I will definitely be making more massaged kale in the future. I’ve been told it’s excellent washed, with lemon (or citrus of your choice) nutritional yeast & salt. That sounds pretty simple! And of course if you’re making a casserole, throw some in. It’s perfect. We have it all the time in Isa Chandra’s Quinoa, White Bean & Kale Stew.

It really was a very pretty and extremely good for you salad. Without the evils of vinegar I’m sure it would be delicious! The 30 Summers of Salad tally is now up to 4/30. Oh yes, doing well. And it’s pouring with rain outside! Who stole summer?

Bon appétit!

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