LOADED KALE SALAD: my healthy additions #1.

Yesterday it snowed all day long, and I was in absolute heaven. I love snow so much that I actually woke up depressed this morning, knowing the snow would be over for a while.

The hub and I were basically snowed in because the hill we live on was, and still is, an ice rink. Fine by me! I really needed a break after a December of performances, countless rehearsals, voice lessons, meetings, e-mails, admin, and on and on.

Oh, and I’m training to be a real estate agent on top of all that. So fun, but it’s just all too much.

Anyway, I had the whole day to do what really keeps me going when the going gets tough: I cooked healthy food and froze it for later, busier days!!  YAHOO!!!

Stay tuned for those recipes ~ lots of beans were cooked and frozen yesterday…

Here’s what else happened yesterday in Santa’s, I mean Pixy’s, Workshop, I mean Kitchen:

(And this really goes along with My Healthy Additions…)

LOADED KALE SALAD

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This salad matches up beautifully with My Healthy Addition #1: EAT THE RAINBOW.

It’s a salad loaded with as many healing and superfoody ingredients as possible. Whatever you have in your possession, add it and enjoy it. And so what if you add a little bit of blue cheese? No eliminations, no mo!

A few words of advice:

Kale needs to be massaged. Strange but true. It makes all the difference. More details below.

If you add citrus to your salad, squeeze out what’s left of the orange or grapefruit and add it to your dressing.

The dressing you use is the dressing you will use to massage/marinate the kale. It’s all mixed in already when you’re done, and can sit in the fridge for a couple days. It only gets better with time, actually.

Please don’t use bottled dressing. It’s loaded with preservatives, sugar, and that gross soy bean oil that just never tastes right. I’m sorry, but please consider making homemade dressing ~ it is so easy and so worth it. You can even just put olive oil, Dijon mustard, and agave nectar or honey in the bottom of a salad bowl and that will do. Anything you can use that’s not bottled is so much better and tastier. I promise.

If you add onions, macerate or pickle them. Raw onions are just too much for most people, especially if you like to kiss or breathe or sing around other people.  Ha ha ha

Here’s how to macerate onions: There are lots of ways to do this, but here’s what I did today and it was so good: chop up a large red onion and drop into a sauce pan, with equal parts water, vinegar and sugar, (around 1/4 cup of each). Then add some salt and dried dill or dill seed. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for a few minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to cool. Store in the fridge for a week and use as you’d like.

Secret Hack: The macerated onion juice itself is the base of most of my homemade dressings!

Here’s the formula for all my favorite salads:

(This isn’t some kind of genius rocket science. I’m sure you’re already doing these things. But just in case…)

1. Dark, hearty, leafy greens. Forget any other kind, in my opinion. Baby spinach, kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, even hearty cabbage. So much flavor ~ so many nutrients.

2. Citrus and other fruits. I added a grapefruit and every last bit of its juice and it was glorious. I also added fresh blueberries. I’ve been skimping on fruit for the longest time, and I’m ready to really step up my fruit game.

3. Homemade dressing or vinaigrette. Not difficult and so worth it. Recipe below.

4. Nuts and seeds. For crunch, salt, great flavor, and healthy fat. Raw, salted, roasted, or even candied for a special occasion, like MONDAY.

5.  Add a showstopper. Something that takes the cake. Blue cheese, grilled salmon, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers ~ just something you love that is insanely tasty. It’s okay if it’s on the “naughty” list. We’re only adding healthy things ~ not taking unhealthy things away.

Here’s how I made my Loaded Kale Salad yesterday:

  • Remove the stems from a head or bunch of kale. Cut into small pieces and clean in a salad spinner (or lay on paper towels to dry).
  • Once the kale is washed and dried, put into a large ziplock and add the dressing.
  • Here’s the dressing I made yesterday: olive oil, Dijon mustard, some of the juice from the macerated onions, seasoned rice wine vinegar, agave nectar, salt and pepper, and the leftover juice from the grapefruit I used. NOTE: The measurements are up to you, but I use only a few tablespoons olive oil in my dressings, and that always seems to work for me. I don’t like super olive-oily dressings. I added chia seeds and poppy seeds this time, and it was so amazing.
  • MASSAGE. Massage the kale and dressing in the ziplock and don’t stop until the kale seems very relaxed, happy, and not so tree-like.
  • Dish out the kale into your bowls and add pistachios, grapefruits segments, blueberries, macerated red onions, and top with blue cheese crumbles. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

I’ve gone too long without a picture!

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Such a happy little salad!

There was a time when I would have chided myself for using blue cheese. But now that I only focus on the positive, I feel great about what I just ate! And my body is SINGING!

Eating it again today for lunch. Boom.

 

 

 

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