Last week I put out a challenge to you to stop relying on mass produced, microwavable foods and tried to inspire you to reach for something better by making your own meals using “real foods”. I said your life would improve in many ways, most notably, the intimacy gained by the shared experience of preparing food well and enjoying it together, as well as by eliminating processed and artificial foods from your diet.
In yesterday’s New York Times, appeared an opinion piece by science writer Catherine Price, in which she plainly states we have been complicit in our own deception by food manufacturers that fortify junk as well as otherwise healthy foods with synthetic vitamins. Initially, the vitamins were added to these products because the processes were necessary to achieve a long shelf life, but at the same time, they destroyed any benefit we might have gotten from the organic nutrients in the foods in the first place. Ironic, isn’t it?
This ignores the natural synergy of other ingredients inherent in real foods that possibly ensure our ingestion of them, by supplanting them with synthetic vitamins. In other words, we think we’re eating healthy, vitamin fortified foods, when in fact we are fighting a losing battle. If you’d like to read Ms.Price’s own words you can find her article at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/opinion/sunday/vitamins-hide-the-low-quality-of-our-food.html?_r=0
So here I am offering you a very nutritious, delicious and healthy salad made from all real ingredients. It was kindly given to me by a young cook at Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s “Animal”, the extremely popular lots o’ meat restaurant on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. I’ve loved it in their restaurant and now I love it at home.
Baby Kale Salad
For the vinaigrette:
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup good olive oil
3/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
To build the salad:
Cleaned baby kale leaves, cut across the rib into 1/2 inch wide slices
Grate pecorino cheese
pinch of kosher or sea salt
homemade bread crumbs*
Toss the kale leaves with the vinaigrette, sprinkle with cheese & salt, and scatter breadcrumbs on top. Deliciously invigorating and good for ya!
*To make bread crumbs at home, toast some whole grain bread in the oven, then whirl in a food processor. Alternately, process stale bread until it is crumbs, stir in some melted butter and toast lightly in a saute pan until crunchy.
And here is a recipe for a healthy and satisfying kale snack from your’s truly!
Smokey Kale Chips
1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into long strips
1 T good olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika (feel free to swap out chili powders, garlic or onion powder, or za’atar)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Toss the prepared kale leaves with the next 3 ingredients and spread in a single layer on parchment paper lined sheet pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, until crispy.