Friday, December 30, 2011

Save Yourself from Yourself Post-Holiday Kale Salad

If you're like me, the last few weeks have been chock-full of deliciously terrible things, like fudge and toffee and cookies of every shape and size. Oh, it was glorious. However, by the end, I felt something like this:

So, I made this salad immediately upon arriving home from my holiday family visit, and have made 2 more batches this week already. I actually ate it so many times I googled what happens if you eat too much kale. (answer: people say you CAN eat too much raw kale and it'll give you hypothyroidism. I didn't verify that information anywhere legit, though so don't take my word for it). So, moderation in all things, even raw kale, apparently.

At any rate, this was super easy, extremely delicious, kept well until the next day, and is good for you. What else can you ask for?

The stuff:
-1 bunch curly kale
-1 lemon
-olive oil
-parmesan (optional)

What to do with it:
Take the kale and cut out the really thick bottom portion of the stems. Stack the leaves on top of each other, and cut it into thin ribbons (you might need to cut it once lengthwise down the middle if they are too long)*. Put them in a bowl and squeeze all of the juice from the lemon onto the kale. Use your (clean) hand to squeeze or massage the kale for a few minutes- it makes it just a bit softer and also gets the lemon well mixed in. If you can, let it sit there for a bit, if you can't just proceed onwards. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the leaves, add salt and pepper to taste, and toss with a fork. The, coarsely chop the craisins and walnuts and throw those in- these are the main source of calories so you can judge for yourself how much you want. I put in a lot of nuts because the dinner I was having was light and I wanted protein. If you'd like, you can grate in some good quality hard cheese (I used parmesan the first time and skipped it the other times). It does add a little something, but it is optional.

I ate mine with just a roasted sweet potato and it was delicious. The salad comes together extremely quickly, and if you microwave the sweet potato (roasted is better but microwaved actually is fine) you can have a very healthy dinner ready to eat in about 10 minutes. This may become a weeknight staple!

*note: for Christmas I got a very nice (VERY SHARP) chefs knife. I was really excited to use it, until about 30 seconds into my salad making experience I sustained an injury in the line of duty. Not to be thwarted, after taking important steps (like using half a box of bandaids and calling my Mom to tell her I got hurt) I took this picture with my left hand raised in the air above my head. I think it came out pretty well, all things considering. Lesson learned, when they say to curl your hands under while chopping, they're not kidding!

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