Kid-Approved Kale Salad

avocadoAfter Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law gave me a bunch of kale. Well, bunch is a little too mild — more like a crapload. She got it from her friend’s garden. I wish mine was that productive. The kale, already wilted, filled a paper grocery bag. It took me three days to revive it all, soaking it in cold water, then it expanded and I had enough to fill a tall kitchen garbage bag. Seriously.

I had to do something with the kale. As luck would have it, I’d read about some creative, healthy holiday sides on a friend-of-a-friend’s blog (radish*rose) just before Thanksgiving. One that intrigued me even before I had the kale was really simple and it promised to transform the kale into something amazing. Plus the recipe was so easy I had almost memorized it. It wouldn’t use all of the kale by any stretch – I froze most of it — but I was able to take advantage of the garden-freshness.

I am happy to say that the recipe did transform the kale. Here it is: Addictive Avocado-Lemon-Kale Salad. It’s basically kale with avocado massaged into it and a bit of lemon juice. I didn’t even add the crunchy-sliced-almond garnish and my kids went gaga over it.(Gaga? Oh my God, I’m dating myself.) The kids who wouldn’t eat cooked kale had seconds and thirds. My husband loved it too. And it’s healthy — kale’s a superfood; avocado has good fats; what’s not to love? Try it, try it, try it! I promise you’ll enjoy.

Special thanks to radish*rose.

A Bedtime Story

 

BedOnce upon a time, I thought I knew what I wanted. I wanted to put my kids to bed, tuck them in and go to sleep, serene and satisfied because my little darlings would fall asleep on their own. I wanted it but what I have is nowhere close to it.

For almost a year, we’ve been coddling the kids to sleep. It all started when we moved cross-country and the kids said they were scared at night in their new rooms. Okay, that made sense, so we stayed with them until they fell asleep. Temporarily, we told ourselves. Temporarily my ass. read more

Edible Insanity: Spicy Beef Enchiladas

This week I made spicy beef enchiladas with kale sauce. I was trying to recreate a dish I had at our favorite Mexican restaurant – chorizo enchiladas with spinach sauce. The spinach sauce was amazing;. it was bright green, rich and silky; so it inspired me to do it at home.

10448508_10204352131957807_3476426342996592596_oI’d bought a whole bunch of kale at the produce stand before it closed for the winter. It was wilted when I bought it, but I soaked it in cold water and I had a crapload of fresh kale. So I attempted to make the sauce with the kale instead of spinach. I sautéed the kale with onions and garlic and put it in the blender, adding some sour cream, olive oil and half and half. Well, kale is a bit sturdier than spinach, so my silky green sauce turned out looking more like creamed spinach.

That’s where I went wrong.

The enchiladas were fantastic, but the appearance of the sauce turned the kids off. My daughter tried a piece of enchilada to placate me, and she said it was good but she didn’t eat another bite of it. And then she got mad when she learned the sauce was kale, even though she loved sauteed kale two weeks ago. My son wouldn’t try the enchilada, but later, when we made him eat some dinner in order to get some popcorn, he just ate the sauce. So, not a total success but not a total failure either. I will try the recipe again with spinach and I’ll let you know what happens.

Kids and Food: Edible Insanity

VegsI’m introducing something new to this space. I’m writing a cookbook, and I’m starting here. I’ll still be posting the family stuff, but I’d like to add posts about food — specifically adventures in food with my kids. I’ll post experiments with new foods, their results, and for the best outcomes, I’ll post some recipes. The recipes will be corn-free and dye-free, to accommodate our allergies. I do have some recipes with corn pre-allergy and I may post one now and then. I hope you’ll enjoy the new posts. Please be vocal in the comments and let me know what you think, and if you like what you see, please tell your friends.

This week I’m experimenting with kale. My daughter likes sauteed kale, but this week I’m using it in an enchilada sauce to see if I can sell it to my son too. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

A Halloween Homecoming

jack o lanternHalloween’s always been my favorite holiday. I love the costumes, the candy and the camaraderie. Halloween memories burn bright in my mind.

I grew up in a New York City suburb – exurb at the time – where Halloween went something like this: From toddlerhood to the time I got too cool for it, I’d go to school in costume, come home and head out to the neighborhood parade and costume contest. I’d parade around for the contest and whenever I had a homemade costume — my mom was a great seamstress and designer — I’d place. I never won, but the attention, the cider and cookies all combined to produce some serious joy.

The contest took place before trick-or-treating. When we were small children, the adults would rush home from the costume contest to man their doors for us. We’d all hit the houses, trick-or-treating on our way home. And it was good. We got lots of candy and we were done by dinner. After dinner we’d help Mom and Dad hand out candy, admiring the big kids’ costumes. read more