Boy, do I need a salad every day for the next few weeks.
As you may have noticed, I've been away for the past couple of weeks. Shortly after the New Year, Michael and I took off and traveled half way around the world to Thailand for a friend's wedding. Thailand has been top on my list of places to go for as long as I can remember, and now I can happily cross that off the list. The moment I put my feet in the sand and was handed a freshly cracked open Thai coconut with ice cold coconut water inside, the two days of travel it took to get there melted away. I was in pure heaven.
Whenever I travel, especially very very long distances, there is not much choice but to eat pick at whatever is being served in-flight, so as soon as I get home I crave big bowls of homemade goodness. I have been without my staples of kale, quinoa and green smoothies for longer than I like, and I was starting to go through withdrawal. I pleasantly pushed the limit on my Thai food intake while I was there, I ate enough sticky rice and coconut curry to last me a very long time.
I landed back in NY yesterday, so I am in a bit of a jet lagged haze. Thailand still seems like a dream. I am sure it is going to take me a few days to process memories, tastes, photographs, and opinions, but my initial reaction is that Thailand was so wonderful and just different enough to make you feel like you are far far away, but not too far from your comfort zone.
I am a routine person, so I am always happy to come home after being away awhile, just to get back into my routine.
Within my daily routine I have a food routine, and as you may have guesses my food routine includes a lot of salad. Eating salads is not a chore for me, I love it. Although, I almost always prefer the homemade variety over the ones you would takeout or eat at a restaurant. I like throw anything and everything into my salads without wondering if it is going to taste good .... it usually does.
I always prefer to make my own dressings too. You will never find a store-bought dressing in my fridge. It is one of those things that is so easy to make and keep around, and I can whisk together combos like honey and ginger. There is never an excuse to buy salad dressing.
Before my trip, I was experimenting a lot with chopped salads. I love a good chopped salad, because it is the best kind of salad for getting that perfect bite. You know, when you dive in and you end up with all of the ingredients on your fork every single time. Chopped salad is sure bet for a super satisfying salad experience.
chopped kale salad + honey ginger dressing
about 4 cups of chopped kale
1 ½ cup of cooked or canned organic chickpeas, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
½ cup of almonds, chopped
½ cup of sesame seeds
(optional) 1 avocado, chopped
for the dressing:
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
½” piece of ginger, peeled and minced
a pinch of salt + some fresh cracked black pepper
- Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking vigorously until everything is emulsified. Taste and adjust any seasoning as necessary and set aside until you’re ready to dress the salad.
- Then, toast the almonds and sesame seeds together in a small frying pan over low heat with a splash of olive oil. This should only take about five minutes, but be sure to watch because you want the almonds to be lightly brown but not burned. Allow them to cool slightly before incorporating into the salad.
- Place all the kale in a large bowl with a drizzle of the dressing and massage the dressing into the leaves. Then, toss in the rest of the ingredients and add in more of the dressing little by little. Keep tossing and dressing until you feel that the salad is sufficiently dressed. I like it to be moist, but not too wet with dressing so that it weighs it down. You can always serve extra dressing on the side if you or whoever you are serving it to would like to add some more. Enjoy immediately after the salad is dressed.