Guest Columnist Jamie Smith of C.R.A.F.T. Dishes on Raw Kale Salad

DIY trend-spotter and taste-maker Jamie Smith and I both sprang-up in small-town Texas (what you Europeans would call a village). Now, she lives and works in the state’s liberal, bohemian enclave–Austin, one of my favorite sweet-spots in the U.S. For her popular blog–C.R.A.F.T.–Jamie creates really awesome (mostly) free things for home, wardrobe, kids, and kitchen. She’s a crafty, foxy beauty and–I’ll be honest–a bit obsess-able. For such an au naturale gal, she at the same time exudes a cosmopolitan vibe–a killer combination that leaves you wanting more! For Eating with Abs, the brunette bombshell whipped-up a wicked-good 100-percent raw kale salad. You know how much I love cruciferous-family vegetables (kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and the like), and it’s super-swell to have her as a contributor. Take it away, babe!
Ok, so I’m no kale expert–in fact, this super-yummy, super-healthy dish is my one and only kale specialty, which I learned originally from a friend who was at the time into a raw-foods diet. There are some essential ingredients for the dish: 1) Kale, 2) Avocado, 3) Sea Salt, 4) Nuts. The rest can be a radical improvisation, and you can include just about any veggies or mix-ins you find in your fridge, from cheese to cabbage to carrots to apples…you get the idea. It’s a pseudo-recipe that is lots of fun, hands-on, and even a little messy to prepare. Here’s what you do:
  1. Wash and dry your kale. Using your fingers, separate the kale leaves from the stalk, tearing the leaves into tiny little bits. Don’t be lazy in this stage–the itsy-bitsy pieces are part of the breaking down process that results in the final dish!
  2. Add sea salt and massage–by hand–into the kale. I don’t measure, just add it little by little, to taste.
  3. As you add the salt and massage it, the kale breaks down and gets smaller and smaller…
  4. Spoon avocado into your bowl and continue to massage–this is a messy process!
  5. Toast a nut mixture of your choosing–anything you have on hand like walnuts, pecans, whatever. I toast mine in a skillet on low heat with some agave nectar for about 6-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and then putting them on a plate and popping them in the freezer to cool quickly.
  6. Voila! Your salad is delicious and ready to eat. You can also add some oil and vinegar, feta cheese, chopped celery, grated carrot. Really, anything you like. Stamp it with your own signature! I hope you give this a try, everybody, because kale is yummy and good for you!
PS: ‘Like’ Jamie at Craft. You can also ‘like’ me at Eating with Abs!
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