Growing up, the closest I ever came to eating kale was watching Popeye guzzle cans of spinach on TV. I don’t even know if it was an edible plant in the ’80s, but it definitely wasn’t a food I encountered until later in life. If you also had a childhood of mostly boxed dinners accompanied by after-school cartoons, then please let me pass on some kale-prep wisdom that a few healthier-than-me friends have shared. I thought consuming all leafy greens was the same —you know, like, chop it up, throw some almonds on, etc., but not so with this fussy guy. If buying it in a bunch, you should cut the leaf from the stalk. And, you should actually massage oil-based dressings into the kale. Like, really. I can’t remember when I last had a good rub, but I sure know how to show a bowl of power greens a good time. And I realize that it doesn’t get any more bougie than having to pamper your food before eating it. But this is 2017, the age of self-care and a treat-yo’self mentality, so really fondle each piece lovingly in the homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing recipe detailed below.
This came third-hand from a friend with no specific measurements included, aside from “use equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar.” I started with a small batch of ½ cup oil and ½ cup vinegar. The rest of the ingredients are estimates of what I think I put into the dressing:
● 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
● 2 tsp. honey (or in general, more honey than mustard)
● garlic powder or a few cloves of chopped garlic
● freshly ground pepper
Pour all of the ingredients into a mason jar and shake them up before adding to the kale. This will yield a fairly vinegary dressing, so adjust according to your taste. You likely won’t use all of it in one sitting, so I suggest drizzling some onto the greens and then getting those limber fingers wet and to work. Add in more dressing as needed and top with your favorite salad fixings.
Kelly Andrews is a poet who plans to stick around Pittsburgh indefinitely. You can find more sad, healthy (and funny) meals on her blog sadhealthymeals.wordpress.com.