Normally I would attempt to justify my long hiatus with a barrage of excuses somewhere along the lines of a demanding job and an overflowing social calendar (thank you, wedding season), but this time I will do no such thing. Instead I will offer a rationale so simple and convincing that it will be impossible to argue.
Before you cast me off as a drama queen, hear me out. The last 3 months have marked an undeniably tough time for me. While I don’t feel comfortable sharing the specifics, what it boiled down to was a sizable amount of stress and pressure that resulted from several aspects of my personal life. It became a challenge to function normally without completely breaking down some days. I decided to take things one day at a time and stop sweating the small stuff.
My fridge was consistently emptier than it had been in a very long time, the staff at the gym missed me greatly, and my Instagram account (and admittedly, this blog) started collecting dust – but none of that mattered. I learned the hard way that tending to your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
In any case, I am happy to report that I am well and nothing drastically terrible has happened. As a valued mentor once told me, “this too, shall pass.”
On to the recipe at hand. I first concocted this salad as an accompaniment to my Sweet Potato and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie last Eid, but truth be told it is a star in its own right. Supplemented with some quinoa, chickpeas or white beans for protein, this can be a meal sized salad for sure.
- 3 cups of kale, de-stemmed, washed and chopped
- ½ a red gala apple, finely sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbsp raisins or sultanas
- 1 medium cucumber, sliced into ribbons
- ½ small red onion, finely sliced
- For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Start by massaging your kale with the olive oil, lemon and salt. The fat from the oil as well as acid from the lemon will help break down its tough texture.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and mix, before adding the remaining seasonings to toss.
Incredibly simple and easy to throw together, this salad marries the green goodness of a traditional kale salad with crisp apple slices, sweet bell peppers topped off with raisins, pine nuts and an “umami”esque dressing that is only slightly reminiscent of a creamy ranch.
Hope your 2016 is shaping up well – I cant believe it’s February already!