Kale-ing It!

Just a little play on words for you today ūüôā So, if you remember from my last post about kale, I was never a fan & my Pescatarian buddy badgered me into giving it another chance & VOILA, whattaya know, it was really really good!

So I gave it another whirl & messed around with the dressing, and I have to say, it is really scrumptious & just feels so healthy going down my gullet. I literally feel like I’m zinging around after I eat this salad. And the other cool thing is that it is a great make-ahead dish, (and leftover dish,) because the dressing won’t wilt the kale. ¬†Bonus!
Kale Salad | The Fairly Good Mother

What did I put in there?
Dino / Lacinto Kale
Red Onion, chopped
Avocado, diced
Persian Cucumber, sliced or diced
Baby Bottle Yellow & Red Tomatoes (I’ve also used grape tomatoes, too) cut in half
Red Pepper, chopped
Roasted Pepitas
Golden Raisins

How did I make the dressing?
I got out my mini food processor &
squeezed 1.5 – 2 lemons
1/4 cup or so of Tahini
1 – 2 cloves of pressed garlic
Fresh ground black pepper
a little olive oil, like 1 – 2 tbsp
and a little bit of water to thin it out

I massaged the dressing into the kale, (I told this to my bestie & she chuckled at the image of me giving produce a massage.) ¬†It really is just working the dressing into the kale by gently pressing/ rubbing it into the leaves. ¬†Also, I think it’s worth it to note that about 95% of my ingredients are organic, (the raisins were not organic, nor was the tahini – at least it didn’t say so on the bottle.)

Consider me converted!  I now really like Kale & I love this salad.

Veggie Tales … Conquering New Culinary Frontiers

Yesterday was my organic Christmas morning, (that now comes bi-monthy!) ¬†I recently signed up to have a box of fresh, organic fruits & veggies delivered to my house, all from local farms. (The company is called Farm Fresh To You, in case you’re interested.)

The Bounty | The Fairly Good Mother
The Bounty | The Fairly Good Mother

I guess I forgot to specify that I don’t like sweet potatoes & I only wanted to try the lacinto kale,¬†¬†not the curly kind. ¬†Oh well. ¬†The cool thing about this service is that it forces me out of my comfort zone & into new culinary territory.

I actually promised a friend of mine that I would give kale a chance, since I’ve only ever thought of kale as a garnish. ¬† My friend is a really cool pescatarian, by the way, and actually has the life that many people envy! ¬†She and her husband both work from home, so “home” can be anywhere & her home happens to be an Airstream¬†trailer. ¬†Several years ago they sold everything, bought an airstream & went on the road with their dog, Curtis. ¬†They’ve got a blog where you can follow them along on their adventures as they tour the country in their custom Airstream.

Anyway, back to my veggie tales … I have always turned up my nose at kale, but promised to give it a try & even though it was the curly kind of kale, I still went ahead and, (per my Pescatarian pal’s suggestion,) made this salad from Oh She Glows, with a few minor substitutions. ¬†I used golden raisins instead of goji berries, yellow tear drop tomatoes, added some yellow pepper & used¬†pepitas instead of the hemp seeds. ¬†As far as the Tahini-Lemon dressing goes it was amazing – so creamy & delicious, (if yours is too thick, just add more water,) but I omitted the nutritional yeast (mainly because I didn’t feel like buying a huge jug of that for $15 when I only needing a smidge,) and it didn’t seem to make a difference in either the consistency or the taste. ¬†Perhaps the nutritional yeast is just for extra nutrients. ¬†I don’t know, but this salad is a meal in and of itself.

Kale Salad
Kale Salad

Next up, the sweet potatoes. ¬†I have always hated sweet potatoes ever since I was a kid & my aunt would try to make them appealing to us kids at Thanksgiving by putting marshmallows on top of them. ¬†What to do with those? ¬†Well, I found a scrumptious¬†recipe for a Gingered Sweet Potato & Carrot¬†soup¬†from Women’s Health Magazine, (<—that link there has a ton of sweet potato recipes!)¬† I want to make the soup again immediately. ¬†It was so yummy & super easy to whip together!

Gingered Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup | The Fairly Good Mother

Finally, I made a healthy Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherry Mushrooms on top. ¬†That’s my own recipe that I am constantly tinkering with but here’s a gander at what it entails:

Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherry Mushrooms

Ingredients: 
1 lb ground turkey meat (white) *Sometimes I only use 3/4 lb & throw in some grass-fed ground beef for additional flavor
1 medium brown onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
half a small can of tomato sauce (reserve the other for the topping)
1 cup of breadcrumbs (panko or italian)
couple dashes of Wortsteshire sauce
1 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
dash of nutmeg
dash of white pepper
dash of garlic powder
Loaf Topping:
2 strips of bacon (optional)
2 tbsp of brown sugar
rest of the can of tomato sauce

Mushroom Topping:
10-12 white button mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
1-2 large shallots
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 swirl of olive oil
1/4 cup sherry or red wine

METHOD:
Mix together loaf ingredients (use your hands, be sure to scrub them good afterward.) Form into a loaf shape & put into a greased loaf pan (if you don’t have a loaf pan, then shape into a loaf & put on a cookie sheet covered with foil.) ¬†*If it seems too dry, add a little more tomato sauce; likewise, if it seems too wet, add some more bread crumbs. ¬†Mix the brown sugar & the tomato sauce together and spread on top, then place bacon on top. ¬†Bake for an hour at 375. ¬†Drain & let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into it.

About 15 minutes before the meatloaf is done cooking, melt the butter & heat the oil in a saute pan on medium heat.  Add shallots & mushrooms.  Cook until they are nice and then add the sherry & lower heat until liquid it cooks off.

Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherried Mushrooms | The Fairly Good Mother
Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherried Mushrooms | The Fairly Good Mother

The Husband loved this meal … Well, of course he did, it was “light & healthy” with pretty much no dairy, (both The Husband & I are lactose intolerant, but take dairy pills to indulge.) ¬†And then tonight he gets leftovers, (that kale salad is good for up to 3 days in the fridge apparently.) ¬†Bon Appetite mon ami! ¬†(and yes, that’s about all the french I know aside from a few cuss words.)