This might actually make you look forward to eating greens…
I’m back! After some much needed time off for the holidays, I am feeling rejuvenated and so inspired with plenty of new ideas for this space. Sometimes all it takes is a little time away to get the creative juices flowing and then inspiration starts to seep in from everywhere. We had the best adventure on our trip up the California coast, truly one of my all time favorite vacations to date! (Stay tuned for an updated Cali travel guide with plenty of recommendations and pictures coming to the blog soon).
In the meantime, I figured I would kick things off with a healthy little “recipe” as I know many of us like to use January as a chance to reset for the year. The original concept came from one of my favorite cookbooks as of late, and it is the tahini kale. I have now taken to making this multiple times per week as I find the flavors so scrumptious and the perfect base layer for any lunch – topped with black beans, tempeh, tofu, roasted chickpeas, etc. I struggle to even consider this one a recipe as it is ultimately so simple and adaptable that it would be nearly impossible to go wrong. A great one to have in your back pocket for the week and the perfect option to meal prep a huge batch on Sunday as the kale is certainly sturdy enough to hold up in the fridge. The only real secret, the “magic sauce,” of the concoction if you will, is the ume plum vinegar. An ingredient that I had never previously utilized, but now cannot be without. It provides the best savory bite to cut through the bitterness of the kale and pairs perfectly with the tahini.
Finally, one other tip – pair this salad with high quality sea salt. As a little aside, I absolutely adore salt. It is the one ingredient that can truly alter the flavor profile of a dish and take a meal from average to perfection, leaving you wholly satisfied. Not to mention, there are numerous health benefits. Bear in mind that I am not talking about your average table salt, but rather those artisanal options that you might happen upon at a farmers market or specialty grocer. I know they can be pricey, but trust me – a little goes a long way and can provide a dish with that wow factor. If you are looking to cook more from home in the new year, I suggest adding a few quality sea salts to your pantry cupboards as that is often the difference between homemade and restaurant quality food. We simply underutilize this amazing mineral when left to our own devices. I have linked below a few quality options that I love mixing in. Also, for those of you who are wary of overdoing your salt/sodium intake, remember that cooking for yourself allows you to totally control the amount you consume. Anything from a sprinkle to a healthy shake is recommended. 🙂 Often we maximize our sodium intake when eating out frequently or munching on lots of packaged/processed goods as these foods tend to have high quantities of salt in order to preserve them. Finally, if you need further convincing – apparently Gwyneth keeps a selection of salts on her desk at Goop for sprucing up any lunch. I have to admit, I do the same, it makes all the difference.
I hope your 2018 is off to a terrific start and let me know what you think of this little salad if you give it a try, in the comments below.
- 7 oz chopped kale
- 1 Tbs tahini
- 1 tsp ume plum vinegar
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
- fine sea salt to taste
- Place kale in a large bowl and pour over tahini and vinegar
- Use hands to really mix and massage the kale until it is soft
- Add the nutritional yeast and salt and mix well
**Feel free to top this to your heart's content. Roasted cashews, almonds, a dash of hot sauce, dried cranberries, or even crisp grapes/apples would all be welcome additions.