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 😉

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.

P1070497Recipe:

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.

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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.

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Haas have outstanding creaminess and are dirt cheap in California!

 

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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!

Carrot Chocolate Squares (yes, of course it’s raw)

P1070317Up to my eyeballs in carrot pulp. I love what carrots do for my skin – bright glow almost instantly. I made this raw carrot curry soup with lots of fresh tumeric and miso. It’s from “Everyday Raw Detox” by Matthew Kenney and Meredith Baird:

P1070304I cannot reproduce the recipe here but will say that this recipe is outstanding if you appreciate the full and beautiful violence of flavours as is contained when fresh tumeric and ginger root are used. When I use these roots it is because I am defending my body against potential ill health, not because of the flavour – well, this applies to tumeric. I love the taste of ginger as well as its burn. With tumeric, I just thank it without a smile on my face. Heart full of gratitude.

So…that left me with buckets of carrot pulp, out of which I made an exceptional “fish” dish as well as these carrot chocolate squares.

P1070326Enough babbling, here’s the recipe:

2 cups of carrot pulp

4 cups of oats

(or 3 cups of oats and 1 cup of flaked almond/ chopped almonds/ almond powder)

2 cups of date paste (soak dates in hot water then blend till pastey)

1 cup of raisins

1 cup of cacao nibs

1/2 cup of honey/ maple (taste after you add, you may like it sweeter)

2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of clove powder

2 tsp of ginger powder

I suggest doing the mixing by hand as it gives you more differentiated texture. Chuck your date paste and honey in with the pulp, oats, almonds, cacao nibs and raisins as well as spices and plough that mother down until you have a dough. Press it into a lined over tray then refrigerate. A few hours should do the trick.

Make a quick raw ganache:

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (GOOD fat!)

1/4 cup honey

1/2 – 1 cup of raw cacao powder (this is available in Taiwan and please don’t cut corners, get this. Hershey’s is NOT raw!)

Whisk all three together, pour the ganache over then set in the fridge once again. The cut, remove from the oven tray onto a board and slice into squares.

Enjoy!

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