The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: eat more kale

The Wheels on The Bus Go Sob Sob Sob {Sniffle}

I have been waiting for this moment for exactly 2,226 days…

 

…ever since that fateful day in July of 2006 when I peed on a stick and discovered the light at the end of the tunnel was not as close as I had previously thought.

 

 

And now, instead of dancing a jig and wailing “FREEEEEEDOM” a la William Wallace over Mimosas with my girlfriends, I am rocking in the fetal position and smelling the tags of Bucket Head’s comfort turtle, wondering where the past 5 and 1/2 years went and if I can talk The Gatekeeper into reversing his vasectomy.

So really, please look away. There is nothing to see here today.

 

 

But if you need a good hearty belly laugh, please go visit my beloved blogging sister Kim at Let Me Start by Saying. She has chronicled in brilliantly graphic detail one of my least favorite moments from BlogHer ’12. It is an absolute must read.

Yours truly, and missing my baby,
Leslie

Roasted Kale Chips

When your loyal canine companion is in the hoosegow for the crime of protecting his family from a stick-wielding intruder, chances are you may want to take the edge off with a cocktail. Or two.

But if that’s not an option, you’ll need something else to squelch your sadness.

And indignation.

And rage.

You could choose something sweet and satisfying like several pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Or perhaps you would prefer to tie a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos to your face and go to town. Either of these options would work nicely in the short run.

As for me, I am choosing the high road. I need to be in tip top physical and mental shape when I go to Night Court to defend my sweet dog later this month and reduce his sentence. I am training for battle.

And thus, when I get that urge to snack until I burst, I will be snacking on Roasted Kale Chips.

They are super easy to make, very satisfying to munch on, and pretty healthy too. Here’s my recipe if you’d like to try these yourself…

You will need:

  • one bunch of fresh kale
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Here’s what you do:

1.) Preheat your oven to 400° F.

2.) Wash your kale. Or don’t, if you don’t mind some bugs, and/or pesticides, and/or E. coli with your kale chips. Totally up to you.

3.) Strip the leaves off the kale stems by holding the stem in one hand and grasping the leaves in the other hand, then pulling the stem away from the leaves like so:

And no, I’m not doing that with my feet. Did you think I was kidding when I told you about my hands? Not kidding. Hands like feet. Man feet. I can type really fast though and open jars like a mofo.

4.) Dry your kale leaves thoroughly. You know I am a big fan of the Spin n’ Stor for this part.

5.) Rip your kale into bite sized pieces.

6.) Spread the torn kale on a cookie sheet, preferably one with sides. I’m using the Pampered Chef large stoneware bar pan. I use it for everything. Look how beautifully seasoned mine is!

If you want one, come to my Pampered Chef party on Saturday or email me and I’ll order one for you.

7.) Drizzle the kale with extra virgin olive oil. Probably about a tablespoon.

8.) Salt and pepper to taste… but not too much! If you are feeling frisky, you could even put a little sprinkle of chili powder or garlic powder on at this point. That would be goo-ooo-oood!

9.) Use your hands and really mix it up so the oil and seasonings coat every single piece.

10) Place in the oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll want to stir it up once or twice while it is roasting.

The edges will brown up. That’s okay! It adds a great crispy texture and smokey taste that totally melts in your mouth.

11.) Serve and enjoy!

Iris's Roasted Kale Chips

By the way, I do this same technique with several other veggies like cauliflower and brussels sprouts (cut into fourths). It is delicious!! Try it and let me know what you think.

your friend,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

I’m sure I’ll regret this…

Yesterday I published my favorite raw kale salad recipe and casually mentioned my preferred method for drying freshly washed kale.

What happened next is this:

I had to Google the Spin n’ Stor thing…. it even had a video…. If that’s not the most redneck thing I’ve ever seen….. I totally have to look for one now….  -Sue

Which led to me saying this:

I actually had my techno-son, Nature Boy, video me using the Spin n’ Stor yesterday and then I decided not to include it in the post. But now that I’ve seen their corporate marketing video, I’m going to have to put mine out there. First of all, her technique is all wrong… -Iris

(You can see the full conversation in yesterday’s comments.)

And so here I am, publishing my first YouTube video. I’m sure I’ll regret this, but what the hell. It won’t be the first time I’ve said “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

This is not a paid endorsement. I just happen to love my Spin n’ Stor® and wanted to show you how much fun I have drying my green leafy vegetables.

Don’t hate me because I’m so glamorous, okay?  Hate me because of my awesome dance moves.

Enthusiastically yours,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Sexy Raw Kale Salad Recipe

I was in the checkout line at the grocery store the other day, trying to de-crinkle my coupons and keep Bucket Head from tearing into an eye-level packet of M&Ms, when my weary eyes landed on THIS:

And I said to myself, “Damn. Bitch stole my look!” Because seriously, Eva and I could be twins. Especially in the kitchen.  Just try to tell me I’m wrong.

The only diff I can see is that Eva’s gently stirring a fattening batter of some kind and I’m working up a sweat making a raw kale salad.

Silly Eva. Nobody believes you, darlin’. I could floss my teeth with one of your skinny arms. There is no way in hell you are eating anything that starts with a batter.

And since swimsuit season approacheth faster than a speeding Epilady, I thought this week would be as good a time as any to share with you one of my favorite healthy salads, made with the hottest green-leafy thang on the market. Oh yes my friends, haven’t you heard? “Kale is the new spinach,” according to Mitch on Modern Family.

I am cuckoo for kale. It is absolutely packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. Sadly, most people think that you have to cook the hell out of kale in order to enjoy it. Not true. If you cook any veggie too much, you will cook out most of its nutrients. So don’t do that! Instead, try this raw recipe. It’s a winner.

I tasted a version of it for the first time at the Whole Foods salad bar and it was love at first bite. Then I came home and googled it and have been experimenting with my own version for a few months. It’s very simple, healthy, and satisfying.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bunch of fresh kale
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ripe avocado (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder

 

Wash your kale, then pull the leaves off the woody stems. If you make juices or soups, save the stems in your freezer. If not, just feed them to the worms or let your kids sword fight with them outside until someone gets poked in the eye.

Dry the kale leaves. I use a “Spin n’ Stor” produce spinning bag that I bought for $3 in the produce section of my grocery store, but you could use a salad spinner or even tea towels. Whatever.

Now it’s time to cut up the kale. This is the hardest part of this recipe. It is critical for the kale to be chopped into pretty small pieces. I like to stack a bunch of leaves on top of each other and then roll them up into a big kale doobie. Then you run your sharpest knife through the roll to make what le Francais call a “chiffonade”:

Run your knife through the pile a few times in the opposite direction just to make sure you don’t miss anything. I would say you don’t want any pieces bigger than a nickel.

Put all your finely chopped kale into a very big bowl.

Next, we add the dressing ingredients, right onto the kale. You need equal measures of fresh lemon juice and good quality extra virgin olive oil. For one bunch of kale, I would start with 2 tablespoons of each. You can always add more if you feel like the salad is too dry.

Add a nice hearty pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste). I swear by pink Himalayan sea salt from Trader Joe’s.

Now the fun part. It is time to massage the kale. Yes, you heard me. Go wash your hands again and take off your grandmother’s wedding ring.

Raw kale is pretty tough. But we don’t want to cook all the good nutrients out, right? So what we’ll do is let the lemon juice and salt “cook” the kale for us. It’s just like making a ceviche with fresh fish and lime juice.

Put your hands into the salad and squeeze that kale, honey! Squeeze it, rub it, run your hands back and forth with a big dollop of kale in between. It. Feels. So. Good! And the kale likes it too. Believe me, this is the money shot.

Unlike heavy petting in the back of your daddy’s Oldsmobile, you can’t massage your kale too much. I say, do it for at least 5 minutes. You’ll know when to stop… the kale will tell you. It shrinks down to about half its original size when you’ve squeezed all the toughness out of it. Yeah, I said it.

Now chop up that red pepper into a small dice and toss it in. Half of a red pepper is plenty. The kale is the star of this show, not the pepper.

Next, I want you to toast your pine nuts in a dry skillet. Watch them closely. Those expensive little suckers will burn faster than you can shout “STOP HITTING YOUR SISTER, GOD DAMMIT!” (Hypothetically speaking, of course!)

Once your nuts have cooled off (wink wink), add them to the salad.

If you like avocado, chop one up and add it last. I always do. The creaminess of the avocado is magical with the crisp texture of the kale.

Now sprinkle on some garlic powder (about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp.) and give the whole thing a gentle stir. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or lemon juice & olive oil if needed.

The Bearded Iris’s Raw Kale Salad

Eat immediately! This salad does not keep very well. The kale soaks up all the dressing and it will taste a little dry the next day. I learned this the hard way when I brought it for a pot luck once and it sat around for 5 hours before dinner was finally served. Don’t you hate that?! So embarrassing. Everyone still seemed to like it, but it was not nearly as good as it is when you eat it right away. Oh well, live and learn.

So give this baby a try and let me know how you like it. Full disclosure, my kids do not care for this dish, yet. But I’m not giving up that easily. Also, you should know, if you have a great big serving of this bad boy, I can guaran-damn-tee you that you will have the best poop of your life the next day. My gift to you. Enjoy!

your friend,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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