Saturday, July 07, 2012

Another Great Kale Salad

One great thing about visiting my in laws is that they eat pretty healthy.  In the past when I've come, I'd open the cupboards or the refrigerator, and although they were bursting with food, I couldn't see anything to eat.  Because it was all whole foods.  Simple, nutritious, essential foods.  Yet, without having a bunch of pre-prepared, pre-packaged foods, I just couldn't see the potential.  This trip I sent myself a bunch of recipes on email to have on hand so I could share them with the family.  I had carefully made my shopping list, and then opened the cupboards to find a raw foodist's dream - she had just about everything from raw cashews (essential) to apple cider vinegar, dried coconut, dates, almonds, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  I was in heaven.  We then went to shop at Sprouts for the few remaining items I couldn't find in her stores.  I Love Sprouts.  Please come to Chicago!

For a quick and easy lunch, I whipped up a kale salad that is such a synch and it very satisfying.  I found this from Jinjee over at the garden diet.  One of her extremely cute kids makes it and serves it to the family.  Watch to the end - I nearly fell off my chair when her daughter yells, "Kale Salad" and then a bunch of kids run to the table to fight over the food.  I think if I yell that, my kids would make a bee-line for McDonalds.  We're working on that.

If you can't sit through the five minutes of Jinjee's kids' cuteness, here it is in a nutshell.

Kale Salad
- 1 Bunch Kale
- Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Nutritional Yeast

Wash kale, remove stems and break into pieces.  Set aside the stems for juicing - they are packed with nutrients.  Sprinkle nutritional yeast on to taste.  Toss, eat and enjoy.  I added sliced avocado and tomatoes to make it a full meal.

On a side note, I just had some blood work completed and found that my iron levels are way up - a surprise to me after struggling with anemia most of my life, and surprise that I haven't been eating red meat nor taking supplements.  It's from all those great dark, leafy greens.  My vitamin D levels are outstanding as well.  About a year ago, those levels were critically low.  If you live in the north, or seldom go out in the sun without tons of sunscreen, it's worth it to get yourself tested - low D levels are associated with low energy levels.  Yuck.  My doctor's advice is expose yourself to at least 15 minutes a day of midday sun with no sunscreen.  Good news - get away from that desk and take a walk around lunch time.  You'll gain so much more than just elevated vitamin D levels. 

Now for the bad news, my B12 was super low.  I had wondered about how vegans get this nutrient as it's typically found in meat and dairy products.  I'll go for the supplements in the short term to normalize it, but for the long term, a tablespoon a day of nutritional yeast would give you all the B12 necessary.  No problem!  Lots of good recipes include nutritional yeast and its such a rich, yummy flavor.  Almost like cheddar cheese.

So toss in that nutritional yeast liberally in that Kale Salad.  It makes a hearty, healthy and delicious lunch. 


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