I am somewhat of a Valentine’s Day Scrooge. It’s not because Valentine’s Day is coming up and I don’t have a date. In fact, I’m currently in an awesome relationship with someone that makes my heart squeeze with so much affection that sometimes I feel like it may burst. I think the concept of designating a day to express to your loved ones how much you love them is, well, lovely. But I hate the commercialization that also surrounds the day. So much emphasis is placed on spending money on the ones you love on this single day. Why not concentrate instead on being more present for your significant other EVERYDAY? A dozen roses one day out of the year can’t compare with an honest, warm hug every day of the year.
As a recipe blogger, I’ve been feeling the pressure to post a Valentine’s Day related recipe. But I’m not giving in. Go ahead, make the best batch of chocolate chip cookies ever for your loved one. Why not do it today? TODAY is the best day to shower the ones you love with your hugs, kisses and words of affection. Today and everyday. Today is also a good day to show how much you value your partner’s health and happiness by sharing a bowl of this tasty salad. Everything about this salad screams nutritional powerhouse, yet it still manages to be delicious. I love eating kale raw – it’s the best way to maximize the many nutritional benefits of this “queen of greens”. If you’ve never tried kale, this is one of the best ways to introduce it into your repertoire.
Kale, Avocado, Apple and Toasted Almond and Nori Salad
Adapted from Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia
Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main
Massaging the kale with the olive oil, avocado and salt as described below “cooks” the kale, transforming it into a tender, more digestible food that still retains all its natural antioxidants because no nutrient-diminishing heat has been applied.
Nori is seaweed that is often used to roll sushi. It can be found in the Asian food aisle of well-stocked grocery stores. Toasting it brings out its rich, savory flavor and adds an interesting taste element to this salad.
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 ripe avocado, diced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked ground pepper
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into half moons
1 small sweet, crisp apple, unpeeled and sliced thin
1 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced
1 large handful toasted almonds
1/2 sheet nori
- Combine the kale, avocado, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. Add a sprinkling of salt. Using your hands, gently massage the oil and avocado into the kale for about 3 minutes. The kale will soften and shrink.
- Put aside a small handful of the carrot and apple slices. Gently fold in the remaining carrots and apples into the salad. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Plate the salads, garnishing the top of each serving with the reserved carrots, apples, scallions and almonds.
- Using a pair of tongs, pick up the nori and pass it over the flame of an open burner 3 or 4 times. Alternatively, if you have an electric stove, heat a dry, nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Toast the nori sheet in the pan for a minute, watching carefully to prevent burning. Allow the nori to cool, fold the sheet in half, and cut thin ribbons of nori with scissors over each plate.