Creamy Mediterranean-style dressing
Kale has a problem
The big problem with kale is it’s just too good-for-you to be truly loved, except by a few die-hard health nuts.
Some of you may think I’m one of those crazy people who will eat any vile substance as long as somebody says it will banish love handles… or wrinkles… or some life-threatening disease.
Well, yes and no. If there really was a magic potion that would do those things for me safely, I’d be at the head of the table. Sadly, such an amazing elixir is still to be discovered.
In the meantime, there’s kale. And walnuts. And lemon. And avocado. And coconut oil. And chia seeds. And berries. And beets. And yogurt……. well, that’s the thing.
There are all kinds of foods nature has provided that offer us some small part of the good-health miracle. Some of these nutritional powerhouses taste bitter. Or sour. Or sulfurous. Or tasteless. Or just plain different from the foods we were brought up with and learned to love.
I’ve made it my mission to try them out, anyway. Some, like watermelon, or red currents, or blueberries are easy to love. Others need TLC. A new cooking method, or a certain food combination, has made many of these less-familiar foods tasty enough to become a part of my usual fare.
My little secret
Like the little engine that could, you have to keep trying. That way, you’ll find ways to enjoy a whole range of fruits, veggies, healthy oils and wholesome grains. A good variety is what’s going to keep you satisfied, active, sharp, and in top form from babyhood, well into your golden years.
Back to kale. Without doubt it’s a powerhouse of nutrients. But it can also be horrifyingly bitter. Its texture can also be, well, stringy… like chewing on a cereal box.
But you can make Kale taste great. A good massage is the answer. Yes. What you need to do is rub the dressing into the leaves. Make sure you have spotlessly clean fingers before you do this. And use a thick dressing that will hug the leaves and make them sparkle with flavor. The rubbing somehow softens the texture and lessens the bitterness, and the clingy dressing hides the evil taste.
My Mediterranean-style dressing does wonders, without resorting to foods like mayo and sour cream, which have too much saturated fats for the good health of your heart.
Make lots. Try it out on kale. But use it also in a cabbage slaw, on a potato salad, or with any veggie where you want a big flavor punch and a creamy texture. It’s the little dressing that could!
Black kale gussied up with creamy Mediterranean-style dressing
- Wash some kale leaves in lots of cool water and spin dry.
- Cut out the thickest part of the central rib, then chop the leaves into mouth-sized pieces.
- Prepare my creamy Mediterranean-style dressing and rub a little of it into the kale leaves. Then add enough to coat generously.
- Taste, and add add a little more freshly ground pepper and a dash of sea salt, if desired.
To make the dressing, blend these ingredients together in a food processor until creamy. I like to leave the nuts a little crunchy but you see how you like it best.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon basil, dill and/or cilantro (optional)
- a few shakes Tabasco sauce (optional)
Serve the dressed kale, as a side.
Or turn it into a main-course salad like I did, here. I added some cooked chicken breast, mango and pistachio nuts. Why? because that’s what I had on hand.
You can build your own salad, Lego-style, like I explained in my last post. Choose foods from the various food groups I listed there and you’ll never eat a tasteless salad ever again.
With this dressing recipe, I had some chick peas left over. So I made up a batch of beet hummus, as well.
Or you can make as much as four times this quantity in a single batch, using the whole can of chick peas. This recipe makes a great base – just add other spices/flavors as you want!
Once you’ve perfected this recipe, kale will have nowhere to hide. You’ll find it and eat it all up before you can say: Vinny Grette!
- Building your salad in jars, Lego style Lego instructions for building perfect salads every time. Plus a recipe for spinach strawberry salad with variations… many variations (with links to lots of great salad ideas).