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!

Stay Calm and Balance Heat with Bitterness :-)

“Bitter taste is a powerful detoxifying agent, and has antibiotic, anti-parasitic ans antiseptic qualities. It is also helpful in reducing weight, water retention, skin rashes, fever, burning sensations and nausea.”

                            (Eat. Taste. Heal.)

During this really hot summer, bear in mind how to balance the accumulated heat in your body. Don’t aggravate it by eating “hot” foods like mango, guava or litchi. Cool it down by reaching for bitter, drier foods like kale, spinach, bitter melon, green cabbage, zucchini, eggplant, tumeric, fenugreek, coffee and olives (examples referenced from Eat. Taste. Heal.) Bitter food stimulate the appetite while keep you feeling lighter and more energized than heavy hot foods.

If you find yourself steaming up and feeling heavy and lethargic, try this simple salad to stimulate you and keep you energized.

Bitter Gourd and Pomegranate Salad

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The flavour is bitter but balanced with sweet, tart dried pomegranates and sesame, lemon dressing.

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Step1: Wash the gourd then slice in half, lengthways. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the white flesh and seeds. Rinse once more, then pat dry.

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Next, finely slice the gourd like in the picture.

Wash your salad greens. I chose to use these bitter purple leaves in addition to my bitter gourd. I guess my body needed it:-)

Wash your salad greens. I chose to use these bitter purple leaves in addition to my bitter gourd. I guess my body needed it:-)

Rinse and dry greens then add the sliced gourd to it.

Rinse and dry greens then add the sliced gourd to it.

P1030183  P1030181P1030184The dressing is simple. Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and a few gratings of Himalayan rock salt.

Finally, add some dried pomegranate or any small, sweet, tart fruit of your choice to off-set the bitterness of the salad.

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This is an internal air conditioner salad 🙂 Try it, it’s great!