Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Meat-Eater Likes It!

Coming to the vegan lifestyle after my family's habits have been well-established, my procedure for dinner is usually to plan my own food first, and then to make a meat dish and plenty of starchy food like potatoes or pasta for the others.  Then it all goes on the table and everyone takes what they want.  I normally need to make a simple spinach or caesar salad for the kids too since they are picky, but I want them to eat their veggies.  Fruit is also often featured for this reason.  With all this planning, you can imagine what a thrill it is whenever somebody non-vegan really loves something I have prepared for myself.  I always make a large quantity of my own food anyway since I love the leftovers for lunch the next day.

I want to share a wonderful salad with you I made last night that turned out to be a really big hit with my husband -- the meat eater!  This Mediterranean Kale Salad, from the blog Little House of Veggies (http://littlehouseofveggies.blogspot.com) utilizes raw kale, which at first sounded unappealing to me until I realized the dressing is actually rubbed into the leaves to soften them.  This act creates a really wonderful texture and imparts flavor throughout the greens, and the kale is sturdy enough that the result is not at all soggy.  Since these very dark greens are uncooked, their nutritional value is intact.  I love the way I feel when I get plenty of greens, energetic, light and fresh, and my clothes fit better since nothing hangs around too long in the system, if you know what I mean!  I normally eat dark leafies at least twice a day, preferably three times, so it is wonderful to have another good option in my greens arsenal.  Here's Morgan's recipe from Little House of Veggies:

8 kale leaves, stems removed
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. raw pine nuts
small handful of sliced black olives

Roll the leaves like a cigar and cut crosswise into thin strips.  Place the sliced kale in a large bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Massage the kale with your hands to soften the leaves.  This may take a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.

I love how simple this recipe is.  My salad turned out a little different from Morgan's -- you might notice there are no visible pine nuts in my photo.  My 16 year old son is allergic to tree nuts of every kind (everything but peanuts) So I served the pine nuts on the side for us to add on top -- they are important to the combination of flavors, rounding it out nicely.  Also, I couldn't find the smooth kale, so mine is curly -- no neat little strips, more a jumble of curly pieces.  I used a lot more kale than is called for.  I tend to get into a meditative state when washing and de-stemming greens during the pre-dinner low-biorhythm time of day.  Once I snapped to, I had a whole large bowlful, so I upped the other ingredients until it looked like Morgan's photo.   I also added a small handful of capers because, well, I like them.  They add a tiny pickle tang, but the milder flavor without them is equally wonderful.  My husband never cared for capers or olives, so I got to top off my second helping of salad with his rejects -- yummy!

As you can tell from how loosely I tend to follow recipes, I can really appreciate one that is so simple and yet inventive.  The combination of these flavors and textures is unprecedented.  Give it a try!


  1. Your salad turned out great! I too think it is very important to include raw greens into the diet! I havven't ever thought to add capers to he salad. What a great idea! I love capers too, so Im sure that would be a delicious addition!

  2. Thanks for the inspiration, Morgan -- have a wonderful day!