Russell James’s Creamy Kale Salad

P1070516We’re in Santa Monica! Beautiful sunny, Santa Monica with blazingly brilliant blue skies, gorgeous tree-lined streets, startling coastlines and diverse and daring restaurants! No wonder all the beautiful people are here ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m here for the month, studying at The Matthew Kenney Raw Cuisine Institute, honing my previous 3 years of experience. Of course, one of the most exciting things about being here, aside from studying at the institute, was the thought of shopping at organic farmers’ markets and whole foods. Sourcing food items in Taipei that are so common here in the US and in South Africa, is always a challenge and requires a certain amount of detective work and a strong community of fellow food enthusiasts. Here, one need only walk down an aisle of Whole Foods to be blown away by the variety of fresh, organic produce available.

Which brings me to the recipe above – I’ve always wanted to try Russell James’s creamy kale salad but sadly this kale was unfindable in Taipei. The moment I saw it at Whole Foods, I knew I would try it.


3 bunches of curly kale

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

2 avocado

2 tbls lemon juice

2 tbls chipotle powder (I like it spicy)

1/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste

water to blend

Cut the kale into smaller pieces and remove the harder stemmy parts. Place it in a bowl and massage the salt into it until it looks cooked. You can see in my pics that I didn’t massage too much as I wanted some body and texture. Mix in the cherry tomatoes, which you have sliced into halves.


I couldn’t resist these tomatoes on the vine, so I used these instead!

In a blender, add the meat of two ripe, Haas avos, the chipotle, lemon juice, salt to taste, olive oil and water.


Haas have outstanding creaminess and are dirt cheap in California!



Blend with chipotle, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water

Taste. If you prefer more salt, less lemon, more chipotle, maybe some garam masala, play around. Here’s the thing: the original recipe did not ask for salt in the dressing so I added that in here. Also, I found that it needed some extra kind of creaminess so the next time I make it, I will try to add some coconut butter as well.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this salad and will definitely be making it again!

The Lymph System Cleanse

Papaya, Kiwi, Purple Cabbage Salad As we approach Spring, lots of us will be cleansing, renewing and rejuvenating. Because we are bombarded with information about cleanses and detoxes, we have lost the sense of intuition and also applied study into how to go about doing a cleanse with responsibility to the body’s natural functions, its pathways and its rythmns.

Many of us, unknowingly hurt our bodies in our mad quests to be healthy. I do believe that cleanses like the Master Cleanse and a few days of juice fasting does wonders for the body as I have had first-hand experience. But, what matters more than the actual cleanse is how you prepare the body to receive the cleanse and how you assist your body in continuing a sustained healthy environment.

I’ve seen and heard people either preparing for, coming off or giving up halfway through a cleanse in the most disturbing ways, like stuffing a massive cheese burger the night before fasting for a week, or having bits of candy and chocolate just “once or twice” whilst ON a cleanse to having a huge steak as a celebration for “surviving” a cleanse.

At best, those are stupid decisions and at worst, it puts your body into a state of shock. I was one of those stupid people. The very first time I did the master cleanse five years ago, I made these mistakes:

  • I went into it in state of fear
  • I thought I was sacrificing something
  • I felt I was in suffering
  • I did it in Winter (big no-no)
  • I cheated
  • I got the shakes, dizzyness and fatigue from not preparing my body
  • I gave up

Horrible experience. Now I know that when I go into a cleanse, I should:

  • do a cleanse only in Spring, Summer or Autumn
  • look forward to it
  • thank myself for allowing me to rejuvenate and elevate my health
  • clean out the plumbing before I push toxins on a marathon through my blood vessels and pipes

P1000742What is cleaning the plumbing all about? It is the cleansing of the lymph system which drains and detoxifies all the nasties that we ingest. The lymph system is also a circulatory system. If your lymph system is stagnant through blockages, what happens to all those toxins you are trying to push through this stagnant system while you’re doing a cleanse?? It creates even more blockages and thus stresses the lymph system out even more, causing more longterm damage.

Clean the pipes before you wash the engine so the dirty water can flow unobstructed down and out. I have been following DR. John Douillard for about 4 years now. Every year, I do Short Home Cleanse (4 days only) for my lymph system and about two years ago, I followed the lymph cleanse directly into the master cleanse for a further 8 days and felt absolute peace, calm and groundedness for those proceeding 8 days. No sense of loss, sacrifice, fear or anything. Just a sense of happiness. When I had enough, the decision to stop was a happy one.

I don’t remember how I found Dr. John Doulliard, but the thing that struck me about him was his balanced Eastern/ Western approach to medicine, as he was the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team and is presently, the director of LifeSpa Ayurvedic Retreat Center in Boulder, CO. His videos are inspiring and his articles are knowledgable. I trust his Ayuverdic approach and have witnessed it work in my life.

If you are thinking of doing a cleanse this Spring, I highly recommend preparing your body first with the short home cleanse before you get deeper into a different cleanse. Also, read up about how to come off a cleanse.Dr. Doiullard recommends a fresh juice, a few hours later a small salad and finally a light meal perhaps the next day.

Take good care of your body. It can do magical things if you assist it well. P1000185





Dull Day, Bright Salad

P1040985William pears have a lovely tartness to them which marry well with the heavy creaminess of Haas avocados. Try this salad for breakfast or lunch.


1 William Pear, sliced into thin slices

1 firm Haas avocado sliced into thin slices

a few mint leaves

a few fresh fennel fronds

a few spoons of dried pomegranate seeds (or whichever dried fruit you have that could pair well)

a few squeezes of fresh lime/ lemon juice

French or Himalayan Pink salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Slice the avocado, drizzle in lime then place around the plate as in the picture. Slice William pear and add to the plate, bearing in mind, that the more red skin shows, the better the contrast.

Place mint leaves and fennel fronds around the empty spaces then add pomegranate seeds. Squeeze just a little more lime on the plate, add your salt and pepper.

Note: Use an interesting and textured salt so that your palate receives bursts of different flavours in one bite. Don’t place it evenly on the plate. Same with the lime and herbs. If everything is evenly flavoured, it becomes lacklustre.