Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vegan Mofo Day 10: Raw Kale Salad with Mac & Cheese

I summoned up the courage and I did it. I ate raw kale. 

Yes, you may laugh! But for someone who's hated veggies growing up (they've always tasted bitter to me) and rarely ate raw salads, this was a big step. I've been slowly absorbing information online about the benefits of eating raw and I must have absorbed enough because I woke up this morning and decided to have a raw kale salad. Yes, sirree!

Following some online instructions, I rubbed extra virgin olive oil and salt into the kale leaves to soften it and added a bit of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar for flavoring. While that was marinating, I made mac and cheese. Instead of the usual VeganDad recipe which used tofu and cashew as the base, I tried Eating Consciously's Avocado Mac and "Cheese" which used avocado and white beans instead. This recipe had less ingredients and no oil; a quick spin in the food processor and we're done. For an added touch, I baked it with some Panko bread crumbs before serving.

I served the kale with apple, tomato, and sunflower seeds just to make it more colorful and less daunting.

Verdict: I loved the raw kale salad! So much so that I had second helpings. While I enjoyed the new mac and cheese recipe, hubby said he preferred VeganDad's. He also had to rinse the kale because he said it was too salty (he has a lower salt tolerance than I do).

I'm also trying to be more mindful of how I eat, mostly that I chew my food better and have better posture (I'm a chronic sloucher). I will also try to make a habit of focusing solely on eating at mealtime instead of being distracted by the TV or computer. My brain is always racing and demanding new info (I guess that's why I'm addicted to Twitter) so I've got to learn to slow down and be in the moment.

Just like Bert...



  1. What a great post, VW! And good for you for girding your loins and giving raw kale a try! :-) I just had this conversation the other daywith my mother, who was listing all the good-for-you foods she'd been eating lately...
    Mom: I eat kale. I don't like it, but I eat it.
    Me (who thinks kale is the bomb): How are you preparing it? Are you steaming it?
    Mom: No, I'm eating it raw.
    Me: Are you marinating or massaging it with some citrus juice first?
    Mom: No, I'm just eating it raw.

    That mac and cheese recipe sounds interesting, I've snagged it to try, though I eat a very low-fat diet and have to be really careful around avocados because I am no match for their captivating and creamy alllure! :-)

    In case you might be interested, here's my favorite vegan Mac-n-Cheeze recipe (made with cooked butternut squash it's very healthy and SO YUMMY!), and a recipe for a wilted kale and mustard greens salad that I got from Rose, who in turn got it from Manifest Vegan. The links to both of their posts are in mine, so you can check out all three variations on the recipe.

    Your effort to practice mindful eating is so admirable! I forget to do that way more frequently than I remember. I don't watch TV, and rarely eat at the computer (it's too messy anyway!), but I too have a very busy monkey-mind and often realize after I've finished that I didn't even taste my food. Oh, and I often find myself slouching as well. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration, I'll be working on this too! :-) Bert is a great be-here-now, mindfulness role model. He's very Zen. :-)

  2. Bert & Bunbun look like they could chill together peacefully!

  3. Bert is very cute.

    Raw Kale is good for you, I prefer to cook it myself, but raw is healthier, so god on you!



  4. Laloo: Your mom is too cute! Good on her for eating it plain raw! And thanks for sharing your favorite mac 'n cheese recipe. I bought a butternut squash when we went shopping yesterday just to try it out! It'll be the first time I cook butternut squash (maybe the first time eating it for all I know) so it'll be quite the adventure! Let me know if you have any tips on cooking it.

    Izzy: Hallo Izzy! How are you and Mr. Bun Bun doing? Bert could chill with anyone so long as he has a place to hide, LOL! Give Mr. Bun Bun a head scratch me for. xoxoxo

    Alessandra: I usually prefer cooked veggies too but I've found marinated raw kale to be quite addictive! I had it again for dinner and can't wait to make another batch. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  5. VW - the only way we've ever cooked butternut squash is to peel it, cut it into large chunks, and cook it in the pressure cooker. My mom has always cooked hers in the pressure cooker too. The pressure cooker is fantastic for cooking squash (and other veggies). But if you don't have a pressure cooker, here are some other tips for preparing butternut and other winter squashes.

    I love squash, and butternut is my favorite. I hope you enjoy it! You've been on quite the "new food adventure" lately -- yay, you! :-)