I'm really enjoying being back in the rhythm of sending a weekly recipe to you. Although this week's recipe is quite simple - some may not even consider this salad to need a recipe - it feels good to be sharing my vision of food, health & wellness with you more often.
This week, I've been enjoying a child-free existence. My daughter went away on a very rustic canoe & camping trip to Florida with her school, a nice getaway into a different type of classroom environment! While she was using her outdoor skills to pitch a tent, travel by canoe, and immerse herself in untouched wildlife, I also used the week as an opportunity to get away. Ironically, I also traveled to Florida, but to a different area of the state, to visit a dear friend. Spending time in nature is therapeutic for some; for others, spending quality time with a close friend can be healing. I truly enjoy my family time, but I also recognize the importance of a change of scenery as it relates to overall health & wellness.
Speaking of health & wellness, to be well goes far beyond what we choose to eat. To be well means to have clear thoughts & visions, positive associations & interactions, adequate rest, stimulating conversations, taking the time to move your body often, listening to your heart & your soul. When I'm away from home, I'm able to bring health & wellness along with me. Sure, I don't have the same daily routines as when I'm in my own house, but I also keep in mind what makes me feel good every day. My meditation practice, 20 minutes each morning, can't be compromised; without it, I don't feel well. Similarly, I need to get adequate rest, which oftentimes means going to bed earlier than everyone else, in order to feel my best the next day.
Choosing to eat the foods that make my body thrive is something that I've really had to focus on when away from home. We all know what vacation mentality feels like - the desire to eat dessert more often, or larger portions, or more glasses of wine, or less vegetables - just because we're eating our meals in restaurants instead of at home. While vacation eating may feel good in the moment, the result later on does not feel well for my body. Fatigue, bloating, even irritability kick-in when I haven't eaten the foods that my body enjoys. Can you relate?
Share your experiences with me and tell me how you feel your best when you're away from home.
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of fun moment, delicious food, health & wellness.
Wintertime Crunch Salad
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
3/4 C raw walnut halves
1 bunch lacinato kale (also called dino kale or Tuscan kale)
2 stalks celery
1 1/2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast, shaking the pan often, until golden brown and fragrant. This should take approximately 5 minutes. Remove the walnuts from the pan to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Set aside.
Wash the kale under cool water. Dry, using a cloth towel, to remove as much of the water as possible. Stack the leaves on top of each other in a pile; slice the leaves into 1/2”-thick ribbons. Place kale in a large salad bowl.
Wash celery. Cut into very thin slices and add to the salad bowl.
In a small bowl, gently whisk the extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar together. Season with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing over the kale and celery, toss to coat. Test a piece of kale for seasoning - adjust if needed.
Add the toasted chopped walnuts to the top of the salad and serve immediately.
recipe yields 3-4 servings
prepare the individual components a few hours ahead of serving, if needed; toss the salad with the vinaigrette and top with walnuts just prior to serving
substitute walnut oil for the extra-virgin olive oil, if desired, or use a white wine vinegar in place of the balsamic vinegar for a different flavor