I’ve been craving salad lately, and since I had the steamers for lunch yesterday, I thought a perfect dinner would be a nice hearty salad. I had no chicken or meat to add to it though, so I figured a nice hearty lettuce would be perfect, and I did have the first of the winter kale from the farmers market! I’ve spoken about kale before, but let’s get into it in detail now.
While I’m not going to go into every little detail of Kale (you can look it up yourselves, you lazy bastards on this website I found by googling kale: http://www.truthaboutabs.com/superfood-garnish-kale.html) I will say that it’s on almost every “super food” list I’ve seen. The super foods are the top foods that are best for your health. Things like wild salmon, walnuts (both for their high amount of Omega-3 fat you always hear me preaching about), and dark green leafy veggies like kale! It’s LOADED with antioxidants, and vitamins, and although a little harsh to eat raw, because it’s so thick and rigid, if you cook it a little it’s quite delicious! Mostly I use them as a potato chip substitute in the form of Kale Chips (see recipes page), but I’ve also eaten them in my friend Eva’s soup (sorry, don’t have that recipe converted to caveman yet), and sauteed them in olive oil and garlic (all ingredients, all organic, all the time), and it’s great that way too (“Hey Caveman Genius, what isn’t great in olive oil and garlic?! Yabba-Dabba-Duh!”). No need to get nasty, I’m just trying to help. Well, based on that ridicule, I’m going to show you a new way to eat kale, RAW, but not harsh. Don’t believe it? Come on, I’ll show you.
I saw this prep technique on the new show from the new winner of “The Next Food Network Star, ” an Indian chick named Aarti, and her show “Aarti Parti” (see, I’m not the only schmuck out there rhyming my titles). I’m not that into the show because she uses all these Indian spices that I don’t own, and let’s face it, this organic crap can get expensive. I’m not about to plunk down a week’s paycheck for an organic spice rack that I’ll use once in a blue moon (assuming I ever have another paycheck, that is). But I still like it to see her recipes that I can potentially recreate as a caveman dish, using food I already have in the cave, um I mean home. She made a kale salad, and to soften the really thick hearty leaves, she poured on the dressing, and massaged the kale! It’s been a while since I had my kale massaged, so I gave it a try (Caveman like double entendre, ugga-bugga).
First, I was about to make my dressing, but then I realized my dressing was already made from lunch! That’s right, my steamers meal (see last blog entitled “Steamers!" for recipe) had a lot of leftover "mock butter" that I made to dip the clams into. Well, when warm, it tastes like butter, but when cold, it tastes like salad dressing. All it consisted of was olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and cilantro (yep, you guessed it, all organic, all blah, all blah blah). I took it out of the fridge and the dressing was made! Just a word on salad dressing though that I picked up on all the cooking shows I watch (it’s becoming a little crazy, I’m beginning to watch more cooking shows than sports). They all say that for every one part of acid, you should add two to three parts fat (depending on taste). In other words, for one part lemon juice (acid), you should add two to three parts olive oil (fat). Again, don’t be freaked out about the word "fat," you’ve been tricked by Madison Ave into thinking it’s bad for you, it’s the best thing for you, if it’s the right fat. I’m sick of talking about it, so go look it up yourself in my past blogs. Do I have to do EVERYTHING for you, you lazy bastards?!
Now the kale. Strip the leaves off the stems, and, although Aarti and the other TV chefs say discard the stems, DON’T THROW THEM AWAY! Save them for my “healthy rice" recipe (see recipes page). Any thick stem from a green leafy veggie will work as healthy rice, so throw them into a green bag and save them for a rice meal. Did we talk about green bags? I forget. Debbie Meyer’s Green Bags are from the "As Seen On TV" brand, and they keep produce fresh for weeks longer than plain old plastic containers and bags. They have saved my life on this diet, because without them, I’d have to just buy enough food for a day or two, considering everything’s organic and would spoil fast, and then go to the grocery store again for another day or two of food. I don’t know about you, but even with all this unemployed free time on my hands, I don’t want to go grocery shopping every two days!
Back to the kale. Slice or pull apart the leaves into bite sized pieces, and throw them into a big salad bowl. Pour half the dressing on top, wash your hands (if you haven’t already, you filthy bastards), and start massaging! Just keep giving it all a good squeeze for about 2-3 minutes. You’ll see that in no time, the thick hearty leaves will start to soften in your hands (like some of your husbands in bed, am I right ladies, huh? Who’s with me? You’re a great crowd!). They’ll also become fragrant, and the dark green color will brighten up as well. What seemed like am impossible salad to chew a minute ago, now looks delicious! Once it’s massaged enough, put it aside, wash your hands, and start throwing in your other ingredients. I always use whatever I have in the house for my salads, so you do the same, based on what you have and what you like. In this case, I had some beautiful red bell pepper (which looked great against the green of the kale), some white onion I sliced VERY thin, some walnuts I crushed up in my hands, and some gala apples! I find that when you’re making a bitter salad (in this case the bitter coming from the kale, and the lemon juice from the dressing), a nice sweet ingredient makes the whole salad come together beautifully! I sliced the apple into little chunks, threw it all into the kale salad bowl, threw in the remainder of the dressing, and tossed it together. Take a look:
Gorgeous! Even though the kale is nice and soft after its massage, it’s still hearty and filling! The apples make the whole thing come alive, and they go perfectly with the walnuts! It’s so yummy. After this massage, I guarantee a happy ending! Enjoy.