Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kale, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Every now and then, I have to re-evaluate the little kitchen and get back to its roots...embracing the veg. The Thing That Started it All. The Big Boom.
Of course this is so much easier in Spring when there are so many compelling ingredients to explore. It all starts in earnest, obsessive though it may be, tagging cookbooks and trolling the web for the next best veg recipes, tripping down to the produce market, pedaling over to the farmers market, roasting, saut√©ing grilling, shaving, dicing, slicing, shredding...then some where down the road I'm consuming pastas, cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
A visit to the doctor last week hit me with the news that I have high blood pressure. Crikey! (tooo much Downton Abbey) Tension and anxiety aside, I flipped into denial for a bit, justifying a few slip ups with a pound of bacon and a bag of barbequed Lay's.
Then I got real and took note of the dearth of fruits and vegetables in the little kitchen for woe these many months. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm old. I usually don't feel old, but sometimes I feel old. The doc said "90 percent of health problems are caused by what we eat". Those words were still echoing in my ears when I saw this post on Amateur Gourmet the other day...I mean what is the deal with all the Gwyneth Paltrow haters trashing her new cookbook?  It reminded me of that Guy Fieri brouhaha a few months back.
GP's new cookbook, which I have not yet seen, but have on library hold, was her reaction to some severe health issues that caused  her to re-evaluate her kitchen and the way she fed her family. I'm sure it's not for everybody, but it is for some body. I'm gonna check it out and I suspect it will meet my criteria to find 10 recipes I'll want to make and out of those 10 recipes if I deem only one a keeper then it's a success in my book.
I had many great successes with recipes from her last book (borrowed from the library several times), her vegetarian chili being one of my favorites. But of course, I couldn't help but go a-googling to see what the big dust up was all about. Mostly she's being written off as neurotic and out of touch. Probably. If memory serves, she's always been a little nutty when it came to her diet, so are a lot of people. Eliteist. Possibly, but she does have resources most of us don't have, why shouldn't she use them? Preachy. I suspect so, but so are most people I come across who explore food and cooking. Foodies are a passionate bunch.
Say what you will about her, but GP did what no other could do in 50 years of trying: convince me to eat Brussels sprouts! and not just eat them but like them.
Sooooo in my mission to embrace the veg, I'm starting with Kale.
I saw this recipe on bonappetit.com and it looked so pretty. Lacinato kale, pink grapefruit and avocado. Simple and it was surprisingly tasty. I like the peppery bite to the kale and I found the lacinato (dino) kale to be more tender than the green curly kale. It helps to massage the kale a little as well. I learned that little tip when I went to the SF Cooking School open house a few months ago. I sliced the kale into thin strips and poured a little of the dressing over and rubbed it in with my fingers for about 30 seconds.
This one's a keeper.

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