This weekend, my fabulous sister-in-law, Amanda, came up from Santa Cruz to visit Reese and me. The two of them were thrilled to see each other, of course:
But I was pretty amped to see Amanda, too. I’m stoked I got her as part of the deal with Reese – talk about a twofer! We had a lovely weekend that included hiking up the steps to Coit tower, visiting Dolores Park on Easter Sunday, and lots catching up.
Not surprisingly, our time together began and ended with the three of us sharing and enjoying food. Dinner on Saturday night consisted of a veggie burger recipe we tried from the newspaper, sweet potato oven fries, and a generous kale salad.
While we were cooking dinner together, Amanda taught me a new way to prepare one of my favorite dishes: kale salad. I love raw kale, and I always like to massage it with a little fat and acid in order to increase both its deliciousness and its compatibility with my digestive tract. I usually top my kale salads with a few slices of ripe avocado, but it had never occurred to me to use avocado as the fat in the dressing and skip the oil. Luckily for me, I had a kale spirit guide to show me the way.
In addition to being delicious and nutritious in its own right, this recipe gives me an excellent opportunity to put in a plug to you to cook with your friends and family members. I believe that preparing and eating meals can, and sometimes should, be deeply meaningful ways to connect with the people around you. Food is a powerful emotional and social locus, and this is never more personally palpable to me than when I am privileged to learn a new way to prepare ingredients I know from a person I love. Of course, we all find ourselves eating lunch at our desks or dinner in front of our crossword puzzles from time to time, but cooking with Amanda was a reminder of why it’s important to remember that dinner isn’t just physical fuel, it’s also soul food.
Amanda’s Avocado and Kale Salad
Serves 3 kale lovers
- 1 bunch kale (we used the curly purple kind)
- 1 medium avocado (or cut it down to 1/2 id you prefer)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Wash your hands; it’s especially important for this salad.
- Wash, dry, de-stem, and chop or tear your kale into bite-size pieces. The best way to de-stem kale is to hold the stem in your dominant hand, firmly grasp the leaf with your other hand, and them quickly pull your hands apart. The leaf will remain in your nondominant hand. Compost the stems or save them for juice.
- Sprinkle the vinegar over the kale and toss with your hands to combine.
- Halve, pit, and cube the avocado, then spoon the flesh out on top of the kale. Massage the avocado into the kale until each leaf is coated and the avocado looks like dressing (no cubes should remain).
- Salt to taste and then garnish with cherry tomatoes.
Thanks again for the visit, Amanda!