Monday, April 4, 2011

Kale According To My Sister!


I hail from a tribe of sink-eaters. We put our names on pieces of pie to increase the likelihood that it will still be there in the morning. We believe that (non-dairy) ice cream is best eaten right from the carton. We play tricks on each other to snatch the last morsel of deliciousness off someone else's plate without them looking. We have no qualms about eating things with our fingers (while standing at the kitchen counter) that most people would otherwise eat with a fork. When I'm not with my family I try to eat consciously- slowly, deliberately, enjoyably- but get us together and its a sink-eating scarf down. Every man, woman, and child for themselves. Sure, we have organized sit-down dinners too, but what fun is that?

In my family, food is the foundation of love, celebrations, and homecomings....namely mine, as I'm am the lone child that moved a 7 hour car ride away. Luckily, I'm not the only health-minded eater in my tribe.

This week I spent a few days at home, visiting my family. I arrived to fresh made gluten-free, yeast-free, corn-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, rice-free bread baking in the oven. Yes, my mom loves me. Not surprisingly, the rest of my gluten and dairy eating family members don't hesitate to lather up a toasted slice with Trader Joe's almond butter... drool. (This is particularly note-worthy as we have neither a Trader Joe's nor a mother who bakes bread upon your arrival where I live).

 I also went to my sister's house.... a place where there is always a pot of black beans simmering on the stove, and fresh eggs straight from the chicken coop in the back yard. I was just in time to eat the kale salad she had made. As my mom, sister, and I hoovered over the counter eating kale salad out of the bowl with our fingers, I almost forgot to take a picture before we finished the whole bowl! Any meal that is both delish and healthy makes me (and my 100 trillion cells) smile.

Kale, kale, kale!
How I love thee, let me count the ways....

1. Manganese
2. Iron
3. Copper
4. Calcium
(Leafy Greens are the BEST source of calcium)
5. Fiber
6. Vitamin C
7. Vitamin B1
8. Vitamin B2
9. Vitamin B6
10. Vitamin C
11. Anti-oxidants
12. Anti-inflammatory nutrients

 Kale is an awesome source of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Without sufficient intake of antioxidants, our oxygen metabolism can become compromised, and we can experience a metabolic problem called "oxidative stress." Without sufficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised, and we can experience the problem of chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation - and the combination of these metabolic problems-are risk factors for development of cancer. We've seen research studies on 5 specific types of cancer-including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer-and intake of cruciferous vegetables (specifically including kale). As a group, these studies definitely show cancer preventive benefits from kale intake, and in some cases, treatment benefits as well. (source: Whole Foods)
For more on the history and endless benefits of kale (and other leafy greens), go here.
Raw Kale Salad According To My Sister

1 bunch kale- washed, stems removed, chopped.
1TBL olive oil
dash of salt, to taste
1tsp vinegar (a mix of apple, balsamic, red wine, etc.)
handful raw nuts (cashews, almonds), etc)
1 small scoop of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1 small scoop of sunflower seeds
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped zucchini
2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
1 Tbsp za'atar. 

This is the secret ingredient. Za'atar is a middle eastern spice blend. Most have salt included, so adjust how much extra salt you add accordingly. Unless you live in the U.P., you can probably find this in the middle eastern section of your grocery store. Otherwise, you can order it online.

Add everything together. Massage the kale. Let sit for AT LEAST 20 minutes to allow the kale to tenderize. I like to let it sit a little longer.

This salad is the perfect blend of salty, crunchy, chewy HEATHINESS! My 100 trillion cells are smiling just thinking about eating it again! 

This recipe was included in Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


  1. I'm sad that it's all gone :(
    Let's make more!

  2. Make more, make more! I am bottling my first batch of kombucha today. Pray for me.

  3. Love it! Made it tonight and it's fantastic! I had to make up my own Za-atar, which was actually pretty simple. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Awesome! I would love to hear how you made it yourself!

  5. Sorry, never saw your post asking how to make the Za'atar. I just google it and this is the recipe I made...
    2 Tbsp Thyme
    1 Tbsp roasted/toasted sesame seeds (i mixed white and black and tosted them myself.)
    2 Tbsp Majoram
    2 Tbsp Oregano
    1 tsp Coarse Salt
    Grind sesame seeds with mortar and pestle (or food processor) and mix in other ingredients.
    (The first time I made it I ground everything in my mortar and pestle just to give it a finer texture. The second time I was in a rush and ground the sesame seeds with mortar and pestle and then threw it all in the little "bullet" food processor I have. Both ways worked fine.)

    Would love to know how this compares to what you buy already mixed! :)

  6. Thanks! I'm going to have to try this one again soon! I'll let you know how it goes!