26 September 2009

my new favorite meal

I know this has pretty much turned into a complete food blog over the past week...well, I hope you're all okay with this because I have a few more yummy posts coming your way. Since I've pretty much been spending the majority of my time in the kitchen lately, that's kind of all I've got to report here! Though I'm hoping that once I get through all the food-related posts I want to share, I might have something crafty finished and ready to show off!

I wanted to tell you all about our new favorite meal around here. A few weekends ago, some of my dearest friends came to visit me for a few days. Our time together was deep, and full, and far too short. We were going to cook ourselves a big dinner one night, but ended up snuggling on the couch and snacking on popcorn instead. However, one of the things we were going to make was, at my friend Leah's suggestion, massaged kale salad. I had never heard of a massaged kale salad before and was intrigued. Since we didn't get around to making it that night, but had bought two bunches of kale, I was determined to try it even after they had both left. Let me tell you, it was amazing (so ama
zing, that we've had it twice since then and will probably have it again tonight). I've never been the world's biggest kale fan- I like it in soups, and sometimes in stir frys or other dishes like that, but I could never get over the bitterness. Apparently, all I've needed to do this whole time was give it a little massage and it would go ahead and taste better.

Since my friend had left and I wasn't sure exactly how to make a massaged kale salad (can you tell how much fun I'm having just saying "massaged kale salad"?), I just googled it and came across this website. Even more kale dishes I've been missing out on! Believe me, I bookmarked this one. Anyways, what I made was a variation on this recipe (I really want to try this one too!). The process of massaging the kale was not only so easy, it was also surprisingly satisfying. Really, all you have to do is give it a little massage, and those leaves go from tough and crunchy and bitter, to wilted and soft and full of non-bitter flavor. Just give it a try.

Massaged Kale Salad (adapted from "I Heart Kale")
One bunch raw kale (I'm pretty sure any variety would work fine- we've used both curly and dino)
One good sized carrot, grated
One avocado, cut in small pieces
One or Two tbl fresh grated ginger
One bunch of chives, minced
2 tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Sesame seeds

For the dressing: (sorry, I never measure out my dressings...just go by taste!)
Chive vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Teeny bit of honey

To assemble: Wash, destem and chop up the kale into strips. Put the kale in a large bowl and add the olive oil and salt. Massage until just tender. Add the carrot, avocado, chives, ginger, and sesame seeds and toss well. Add in dressing. Voila! It's just that easy.

Meanwhile, you're going to need something to go with that massaged kale salad. Might I recommend some delicious crispy tofu? My other friend who came to visit a few weeks ago, Mollie, told me about a yummy new way she's been cooking her tofu lately and I knew I had to try it. This, too, is extremely simple. So simple, that I'm not even going to write it out like a real recipe. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take some extra firm tofu (don't bother pressing the water out it's not necessary) and cut it up into pieces (any shape is fine). Toss the tofu in a bowl with soy sauce, just to get the tofu coated. Dip each piece of tofu in nutritional yeast (you might know this as brewers yeast) and throw the pieces in a pan. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping every now and then so all sides get good and crispy.

Honestly, people, this is our new favorite meal. It's easy, healthy, delicious, and best of all, not the same old, same old (well, at least not yet!). Not to mention, I love that this meal makes me feel like my two girls are still here with me. Now, what are your new favorite meals?


  1. Really, this looks super yummy! I am ready for a new favorite during this fall season!

  2. i love all of your food posts!
    & just to let you know- this afternoon i grated a TON of zucchini & froze it in freezer bags. i separated it into 2 cup portions.
    thank you for the inspiration!