It’s almost Summer. Over the weekend, I finally had a Saturday morning to myself. I couldn’t wait to spend it at one of my favorite places on the planet – the farmer’s market. I was so excited to go, I didn’t even snooze my alarm!
The farmer’s market, any farmer’s market, is like a treasure hunt. You never really know what you’re going to find. And it always leaves me with warm fuzzies. Everything is local, most items are organic, and you get a chance to actually talk face-to-face with the people who are growing your food. Sure, maybe stuff is a little more expensive here than at the grocery store, but it’s fresher and more nutritious. It usually tastes way better. You’re supporting your local growers. And is there anything more satisfying than cooking with locally grown, super delicious produce? I say, with the exception of a few things unrelated to food, no. Absolutely not.
The greens at this place were gorgeous, so I was inspired to make a salad with kale. I used a combo of regular green curly kale and dinosaur, mostly because I just like saying “dinosaur kale”. You can use whatever type you like. The trick to making a good salad with kale is massaging it before tossing everything together. By massaging, I mean just working the kale with your hands for a few minutes. This makes it easier to chew and digest.
Killer Kale Salad with Peaches, Pears, Beets & Blue Cheese
Makes 3 Large Meal-Sized Servings
2 bunches of kale, rinsed, roughly chopped, and massaged
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1 pear, sliced
- 2 small beats, roasted, cooled, and sliced (directions to follow)
- 1/3 c. blue cheese
- sprinkling of toasted & spiced almonds (directions to follow)
- lemon vinaigrette dressing (directions to follow)
- Start with the kale in a large mixing bowl. Throw all ingredients together, including dressing. Toss and enjoy!
Note on the beets: To roast, simply wash and wrap in foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour until soft to the touch. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel and slice. This is best to do a few hours before, so the beets have time to cool in the fridge.
Note on the almonds: To toast and season, toss 1 cup of nuts in mixture of 1 egg white, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla. Bake on cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10. Keep an eye on these. If your oven is too hot, they can burn fast! I like to chop these when they’re cool and keep them on hand to top everything from salads to ice cream.
Note on the dressing: This dressing is simple, clean, and crisp. It allows the fresh flavors of the salad to really come through. All you need is the juice of 2 lemons, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, 1/4 c. of plain white vinegar, 2 tsp. of garlic, and salt, pepper, and a little stevia all to taste. Combine all ingredients in a reusable container. Add whatever you’d like to your salad. Save the rest in the fridge.
Note on the fruit: For an unexpected touch, try grilling or sautéing the pears and the peaches. Add them to the bowl while they’re still hot for an altogether awesome salad experience.
Oh, and one final thing… check it out! While I was shopping at the farmer’s market, I did my first shot of wheatgrass! It was sweeter than I expected, and not totally terrible. I mean, I couldn’t have taken down a whole glass, but ya know… it wasn’t bad. Sort of like taking medicine. I did have a crap ton of energy that day. Maybe it was the wheatgrass! I also bought a bunch of fresh mint. You’re going to have to wait until Thursday to find out what I did with it. Here’s a hint – it was delicious and it got me a little drunk! How’s that for a tease?!