Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Chronic over-scheduling is a habit I learned in college and am still learning to unlearn this habit. Does this sound like you or anyone you know? If so, you can probably list off the annoying consequences of an over-scheduled life. I’m all too familiar with them, which is why I am untraining myself. Over-scheduling has taught me many positive things too, such as how easy it is to say “yes” and how hard it is to follow-through when over-committed. Now, I choose my yes’ more carefully. Over-commitment also taught me how to be nimble and quick in the kitchen. Sometimes though, “nimble” + “quick” = blackened (burned) sandwiches because I decide that I can throw my clothing on while my sandwich is grilling. But for the most part, I’ve learned it wisest not to multi-task while cooking, and if I decide that I must (again, out of compulsive habit), I now mostly choose to multi-task on other kitchen activities so that I am near my cooking foods. Ultimately, I am striving to stop multi-tasking because it is less effective than uni-tasking, but the habit isn’t easily kicked!

This recipe is a way that you can prepare a quick quesadilla in less than ten minutes (if you don’t putz around). You can dress it up with salsa and a salad or just take it plain and naked with you for a little grab and go goodness. If you have the room on your griddle, complete both quesadillas at once. My iron skillet is a little too small for two quesadillas to lay flat side by side, but when I’m hustling, I squeeze them both in together and make it work!

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Enjoy the grub, homies!

Ingredients: Organic corn tortillas, 2 cups chopped kale, ~ 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, ~1/2 cup shredded jack or mozzarella (organic, of course!).

Place corn tortilla on a hot griddle (over medium heat). Pile it with ~ 1 cup of chopped kale. You’ll think this amount of kale is NUTS, but just you wait til you see the shrinkage!

Artistically line your sliced or shredded cheese over the kale and sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped nuts.

Cover pan with lid until kale wilts and cheese melts.

Voila! Melts in just a few quick minutes.

Fold over and press down with your spatula to seal the deal.

Serve with salsa and a sprig of celery florette, salad, or whatev. Or, take it naked as a grab ‘n go snack.

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Parents donned carrot costumes and paraded around with noisemakers and their excited children. It was a spectacular sight.

This past weekend, I volunteered at the Harvest Fair in Seattle. It’s an annual event hosted by the Seattle Tilth. Although I attended “all alone”, I didn’t feel an absence of friendship for a moment! Friendliness and jubilation hummed around the event like honeybees eagerly bouncing around a flower patch, searching for the last drops of nectar before the cool Fall dries each petal into a crisp. The high desert mistress within me was satisfied that the sun presented itself for this festival in a robust radiance with which only the bluest of skies could compete. In seeming sympathy for the shortened summer season Seattle saw this year and last, Autumn took a humble background, only reminding us of her presence with fallen, rotting apples that our dancing feet when we occasionally slipped or squashed one. Children and parents danced around the stage where our ears and bodies delighted with the expert blends of French and Romanian gypsy music, spirited Zimbabwe marimba music, and American folk music reminiscent of days of an era long since passed. Children arrived eager to visit the goats, ducks and hens. I saw babes mesmerized for what seemed like hours at the translucent honeybee hive.

We were all captivated in some form or another, as this festival was a snapshot of the hybrid ideals to which many in the Pacific Northwest aspire: simpler days of community collaboration and food cultivation married to innovative urban sustainability.

Food ranged from grass fed-beef tamales with heaps of rainbow-colored veggies, to fruit smoothies produced by pedaling a bike attached to the blender, to Organic Donuts. I went on a small shopping spree. Personally, I found great fulfillment in the classes, where I learned about water cisterns, mushroom cultivation, seed saving, fermented foods, and making a massaged kale salad. Just imagine. Eating softened kale in its most relaxed state, thanks to the massage. In the recipe that follows, you will celebrate how easy and delicious it is to prepare and eat this salad while your honey-bunny lover face later benefits from your improved massage skills (at least that’s what my honey-bunny is hoping for). Think of this as an efficient way to get healthier, get fed, and get skilled. Involve your kids in the task too, as they will love the tactile experience of working with veggies. It will make them more likely to consume it when they’ve first “played” with their food, too! And please promise me that you’ll scroll past the recipe to view a few of the pictures the Harvest Fest.  You can also see the “official” photos of the Harvest Fest on this Facebook page. Also, if you like this post, please give it a 5-star rating and “like” it. xoxo

Kale is known as a “superfood”, which basically means that it’s so good for you that we should consider ourselves loved just by virtue of it finding its way onto our dinner plates. It is a rich source of iron, calcium, B-vitamins, fiber, and of course, cancer-protective phytochemicals. More on kale later. Serve the massaged kale salad with baked tofu or white fish, and if you like, herbed grains like couscous or quinoa.

Massaged Kale Salad

Spin off of Rachel Duboff’soriginal recipe

Serves 4 people

1 large bunch kale

1 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp olive oil or toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar or lemon juice

1/3 cup sesame seeds or walnuts

1/4 cup diced red onion (or softly shredded carrots, if your kids refuse to accept raw onions)

1/3 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)

1 small or half of a large apple, diced

1/3 cup crumbled feta, blue cheese, or freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. After washing the kale, remove the leaves from the rigid stems by tearing them off from the bottom to top. Add the oil and salt. Using your fingertips, grab small heaps of leaves and rub the leaves by stroking it between your fingers. You’ll know your magic is working when the leaves “melt” in your hands. Remember, this is massage, so rub with love.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Toss with hands.
  3. Add acid. Toss again.
  4. Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Just before consuming, give thanks to the farmers and truckers, the birds and bees, and love for all the energy invested in growing your food.

Rachel & assistant demonstrating how to make the kale salad. They volunteer with Community Kitchen Northwest.

The goodies that I brought home: Tiny heirloom peppers and tomatoes, small purple onions, Kimchee and Salsa Sauerkraut, cinnamon top mushrooms, Vermont maple syrup, purple cauliflower starts (winter harvest), rainbow chard, local honey, & flat (!!) of organic blueberries.

Up to eight ducks or hens are permitted within Seattle's city limits

By pedaling this bike, the girl powers this blender to churn fruit into a smoothie.

Demonstration for inoculating logs and coffee grounds to grow mushrooms

Seed bombs are important for guerrilla gardening. The Just Garden promotes gardening among the poor. http://www.justgarden.org/wordpress/

Organic, Free-Range donuts.The "Nyamuziwa Marimba" was lively and energetic

"Do you know who your farmer is?" This organic milk farmer helps produce Organic Valley's milk for Washington.

Firefly Kitchens teaching us about the benefits of making and eating fermented foods. They teach classes and sell delicious fermented foods.

Mushroom log (shiitake?). This would make a great science project for the kids!

Silverish Oyster Mushrooms from Cascadia Mushrooms

Reishi Mushroom from Cascadia Mushroom

I've never seen so many varieties of peppers . . . a rainbow of colors, shapes, sizes, and flavor!

The selection of sweet and spicy peppers, as well as tomatoes, seemed endless.

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