How Not To Bail On Kale

How Not To Bail On Kale

If spring is the season of new beginnings, I’m beginning to work on mine. That mostly means getting into shape for summer, and that mostly means losing the extra bits of me that winter left behind when I wasn’t looking.

In my kitchen these days its hello kale and bye-bye Ben and Jerry. (Ours was a sweet affair, but our spooning days are done.)

I know kale is almost a food cliché these days, but it’s still a freak-of-nature food that feeds our bodies all kinds of good without extending them in any new directions. They don’t call it a superfood for nothing. But they also don’t call it a superfood because it does all that while tasting like pecan pie. It’s a little bitter, a little earthy, a little chewy, a little challenging.

No such thing as a free lunch, right? But how to make it a part of my new beginning without making me wince?

I tried kale chips. But I ate a whole pan and only got hungrier. I cooked some with tomatoes, a little onion, garlic, some beans, that kind of thing. But yuck—too slimey!

So… maybe salad?

I’ve been experimenting. And here’s what works for me: Take a big bunch of kale, remove those fiber-y ribs and rub it between your hands for a minute or two. Squeeze it, press it, massage it. Seriously—this is my kale hack! It makes it soft and sweet.

Chop it up and add some thin sliced red onion. Toast some almond slivers in a pan and toss them in. Mix in some shaved carrot (get a vegetable shaver—it’s like a peeler but the blade has tiny teeth!) and some dried cranberries. Then toss the works with olive oil and a little sea salt.

In a word: Amazing. A kale salad I’m psyched about! I actually want to eat it and that’s what gets me where I want to go—the right foods have to taste right, too, or I’ll just eat the wrong ones and turn my new beginning into the same old story.

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