These days it’s all about fad foods. In 2012 it was quinoa, in 2013 it was kale. This year it is cauliflower (at least according to my own observations.) Apparently, carbs are making everyone fat so people are now replacing carbs with various forms of cauliflower. Cauliflower mashed potatoes. Cauliflower Kraft Dinner. I recall John and I seeing a `cauliflower ricer` somewhere. I am far too lazy to rice cauliflower, and I am sure John would wither away if I started replacing carbs with vegetables. As an alternative to carb replacement, I prefer to practice portion control!
As usual, I am behind the trends, so this email will be all about kale!
According to my research ie Wikipedia, kale is high in vitamin K, vitamin C, beta cerotene (whatever that is) and “rich” in calcium. Not sure what the difference between rich in calcium and high in calcium is, but Wikipedia says rich. It is apparently a source of two carotenoids, lutein (at least I know what lutein is, good for your eyes!) and zeaxathin. Like broccoli, kale is a brassica, which contains sulforaphan, a chimical with anti-cancer properties. My appologies to Nellie, a recipient of this email and registered dietician who is probably cringing at this paragraph.
Ok, now that I am done plagiarizing Wikipedia, let’s contine.
So despite the fact that you may be starting to crave this carotenoid high, calcium rich, zeacathin loaded, sulforaphan heavy brassica, there is something that is plainly obvious about kale, but no one really wants to admit it. The problem with kale is that it actually tastes terrible. Cat’s out of the bag. Go chow down on a raw piece, and I’m certain your dining experience will be rather unpleasant. As a result, the key is to mask the flavour. Steamed kale is not bad, and always a good option. I’ve juiced kale, and just a little bit always ruins the taste of the entire juice. But as many of us are in pursuit good health, we are willing to try and test ways to make kale palletable, myself included. I enjoy making kale chips. Try tossing your kale in olive oil with salt and pepper, roast your kale in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or more. The salt covers up the taste of the kale marvelously. John even ate some the other day!
So I never even considered putting kale raw in a salad, until one day Jackie brought a kale salad over to my place with a strong mustard based dressing. As I couldn`t taste the kale due to the strong dressing, it was actually quite delicious! Shortly after, my Grandma (who has been bucking processed food trends since the 1950`s) discovered Costco’s critically acclaimed (at least it should be) kale salad, featuring all kinds of weird things I would never eat on their own … kale, chickory (is that how you spell it?) and raw brussel sprouts among other things. But this salad is delicious (thanks to a wonderful, sweet creamy dressing.) My family has enjoyed this salad at many gatherings at the lake. So my eureka moment: if you can’t taste the kale, then kale tastes good!
– The attached recipe is good to serve one person as a lunch salad. If you are a light eater, this should get you through the afternoon, but for me I usually supplement it with a side of chicken or cottage cheese. Will serve 2-3 as a dinner salad.
– Try using any grain you like. My personal preferance is to use barley, but rice, quinoa, anything will do (you can even try ricing cauliflower, which will render this recipe fad-foodalicious! Kale + Quinoa + Cauliflower = So healthy I can`t even stand it anymore!)
– I`ve made various alterations: with and without the mint, adding seeds or nuts, with or without green onion, with or without parsley, with or without the red cabbage etc. I added cucumber to the one I made featured in the picture.
Ingredient I CAN live without:
Like I said, it`s not that good. Just really healthy.
Spice/herb of the week:
Love it in salads, also often a key ingredient when John and I do carrots or potatoes in foil.
John and I purchased and have nearly polished off a 1kg package of Cadbury Mini Eggs from Costco, coupled with more chocolate from various egg hunts over the weekend. As you can probably imagine, this has been delicious but disastrous. I thought the time had come to offer up a really healthy salad. Maybe it can undo some of the damage I have inflicted on my pancreas this week. As you recover from a weekend of chocolate and Easter meals, I hope this will help you too!
P.S. If you own a cauliflower ricer, I’m sorry if I offended you.
Click here to view printable Word version of recipe:
Kale Barley-Quinoa Salad
Kale Barley/Quinoa Salad
Serves 1 for a meal, 2 as a side
1/2 cup quinoa or barley
2 leafs Kale, finely chopped
2 leafs Lettuce, chopped in strips – leafy green or romaine
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/2 a tomato finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
Less than 1 tbsp fresh Mint, minced (optional)
Garnish with green onions
Sprinkle with sunflower seeds
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Soya Sauce