It may seem that I am failing to make good on my intention to post more frequently and at lesser length, but from my perspective this is only half true. I have a few half-written posts on my desktop, whereas before those posts would have existed only in my head. So I’ve improved my getting-started rate, which is something, but not my finishing-up rate, which...I hope comes with time and persistence.
Instead of central air, we have window units in our bedrooms only. On the very hottest days last summer we repaired to Bee’s room to play. Most of the toys are downstairs, though, where we usually play, so we invented some new games for cooling off. The most popular one was “house of cards.” At first I could barely construct a single-level structure with a roof, but after a couple of days of practice, I had a few tricks up my sleeve. It’s an old lesson but one I can’t learn too many times.
I had some thoughts on persistence and poetry and dieting (beauty is truth!) that I will spare you (for now, at least), but I do need to jot these recipes down before I lose track of them. In January I (mostly) did the Whole Living Magazine detox-cleanse-thingie, which means that I ate kale much more frequently than is my habit (and my habit was already to eat kale approximately once every other week, switching off with chard or mustard greens or whatnot for the in between weeks, so it isn’t as if I had been ignoring my leafy greens before). Anyway, I discovered that I love smoothies that incorporate kale, and that no one can convince me that kale is a salad green. I like slivered kale with lemon juice, olive oil, and ricotta salata, a la Dinner a Love Story, but don’t just tear kale up into bite-size pieces, toss it with two teaspoons of vinaigrette, and tell me that’s salad. I have discovered one exception: bite-size kale pieces tossed with Caesar dressing are mighty fine, although even then I think it’s best to use lacinato kale and give it a few hours to soften up.
I invented this before the cleanse, when I was just beginning to investigate the idea of kale juice. Two cups apple cider, two cups lightly packed baby kale (this comes in a clamshell at my Whole Foods), blend until the kale is almost completely broken down. Andrew liked it; Bee said she wanted her own glass after having a taste but then refused to drink it. Maybe not so healthy because of the cider? Serves 2.
CREAMY KALE SMOOTHY
This one was inspired by a Whole Living smoothie: 1 cup kale (again, the baby kind is best), 1 banana, 1 cup unsweetened pear nectar. Blend until smooth. This one is creamy and delicious, a great breakfast. Even Bee drank up a cup. Serves 1 generously or 2-3 as part of breakfast.
CAESAR DRESSING FOR KALE, adapted from Tartine Bread
The Tartine Bread recipe includes a raw yolk and more oil than I cared to use, so I did this instead, for about 8 ounces of torn lacinato kale (no stalks): In a mortar and pestle, pound together one anchovy (I use oil-packed), one chopped clove garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Pound until smooth and then scrape into a bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Toss with kale, top with grated Parmesan to your taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary. Even better with warm croutons, but also good without. I also tried whisking some plain yogurt into the dressing to make it creamier when I had not Parmesan and liked it that way, too. Serves 2-3.
P.S. I loved a lot of the Whole Living recipes and hope to post about them! Go poke around if you need healthy meal ideas. For instance, raw sweet potato slaw...who knew? This has become something I actually crave. The first issue of Whole Living I ever picked up turned me off because it had a box about simplifying your life by, for instance, slowing the rate at which you acquire yoga pants. To be clear: sometimes I still wear my high school gym clothes for exercise, and I am sad that we live in a society where some people are helpless in the face of Lululemon. But outside of the realm of fitness fashion, they have my number, and now I am a devoted subscriber.