veggie-packed massaged kale salad_

veggie-packed-massaged-kale-salad

People frequently ask me what I miss from America. Aside from the obvious – missing our family and friends, I typically respond that we’ve only lived here for 6 months so maybe we haven’t had enough time away from USA to feel nostalgic about what we left behind. That being said, every now and then I get a craving for something that I would normally have in Boston (for example, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale, everything at Whole Foods, a quality bloody mary and brunch).

When I lived in the South End of Boston, before a giant Whole Foods set up shop, I bought my groceries at a family-owned, neighborhood market called Foodies. They have a small prepared foods departments offering healthy choices for meals and side dishes. Arguably the star of the prepared foods department is the Foodies Kale Salad. The tang of fresh lemon juice paired with garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil gives the kale a fresh and sweet flavor. I would order by the pint and the best part was that it was super cheap!

foodies_markets_kalesalad

Foodies Prepared Foods Department – Courtesy of foodiesmarkets.com

For some reason I’ve been craving this super-simple salad and have bought kale a few times at the local market to try to recreate. Maybe I’m a kale-rookie, but the first few times I tried to make my own kale salad, I skipped an essential step. It may sound silly, and may be obvious to kale-enthusiasts, but I’ve discovered it’s really all about the kale massage!  Yes, massage.

Raw kale can be tough and bitter, but a quick hand massage with lemon juice, oil, and salt helps break down the cell walls of the kale to make it more tender, sweeter and brighter. Yes, it’s a little messy to get down and dirty with your hands massaging kale. It also feels a bit silly, but man, it’s worth it. So here’s my attempt at re-creating the Foodies Kale Salad. On its own, this simple salad can be paired with any main dish. Though I’ve decided to turn it into a meal salad by adding fresh chopped veggies and chicken. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE_

This simple recipe is fool-proof and so healthy. Chances are you already have some of the ingredients lying around your kitchen. I choose to throw the salad ingredients (kale, lemon juice, salt, garlic, Parmesan cheese) all together in a bowl, making it super easy to assemble. I do prefer to use a microplane to finely grate the garlic and Parmesan. I also prefer to use olive oil spray as its ideal for salads and healthy, low-calorie cooking.

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Lastly, there’s something weirdly therapeutic about massaging kale. The technique doesn’t matter so much as long as you use both hands and you’re not afraid of getting a bit messy with it. As you start to rub the kale, it will decrease in size, become softer and a more vibrant green. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes, tasting along the way until you’ve reached your desired tenderness.

{makes 1 serving}

veggie-packed-massaged-kale-salad-recipe

If you try out this recipe, make sure to take a picture, post and tag #drinksndreams!

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