More Yummy

March 20, 2017
This is about...
The Garden Cafe's WINTER KALE SALAD---YUM!
       HAPPY SPRING?! Well, it may be the first day of spring where you are. But in Woodstock? It’s FREEZING!! and I’m surrounded by two feet of snow! So here’s one more—-maybe the last-- winter recipe with a slight nod to spring. HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!

        I"M SICK OF KALE. It’s been around for way too long, touted as one of those healthiest of vegetables. YOU SEE IT EVERYWHERE- in salads, sautes, soups, those YUCKY chips, and my LEAST FAVORITE, in green drinks. I’ve made all sorts of kale recipes, some good, some bad. The Most successful ones SLATHER IT IN BACON FAT or RUB IT IN OIL, COOK IT TO DEATH, or boil it with ham hocks and basically mask it’s taste, all in the hopes of getting you to say “I ATE KALE!” And don’t tell me you love raw kale, I wouldn’t believe you. You’re just pretending to be healthier than the rest of us.
        So, for a kale recipe to take A SPOT OF HONOR IN MY RECIPE BOX, it’s gotta be REALY GOOD.And frankly, THERE'S ONLY ONE KALE CREATION that has ever landed there—THE GARDEN CAFE'S WINTER KALE SALAD. This adorable little vegan restaurant, smack dab in the center of Woodstock, had some cooking classes a few years back. And lucky me, I learned how to make their iconic kale salad.
        Now SHOCKING as it may seem—-THIS RECIPE IS MADE WITH RAW KALE, and I could literally eat bowls of it. HOW COULD RAW KALE SALAD EVER TASTE GOOD? I MEAN IT'S RAW KALE, but it truly and UNBELIEVABLY is ADDICTIVE. The KEY is in the yummy dressing, made with toasted dark sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, fresh grated ginger and maple syrup. The sweet, the tang, the bite and the smoky all come together making the kale taste really delicious. TOASTED SESAME SEEDS ARE THE proverbial, REQUIRED CHERRY ON THE TOP.

        IF YOU HATE KALE, you’re PREACHING TO THE CHOIR here. But I IMPLORE YOU to GIVE KALE ONE LAST CHANCE. With this recipe, I have a hunch you’ll finally be a convert. And, I NEVER would have believed it!    RAW KALE even BECAME MY FOOD SAVIOR when my power went out in the middle of a blizzard!

Click on WYUM at the top of the page for THE REST of the BLIZZARD STORY!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You can easily stem the kale, by grabbing the bottom of the stem with one hand and with the other, pulling the leafy part away from the thick stem.
2. The longer this sits, the better it will taste.
3. Be generous with those sesame seeds. They really do elevate the salad.


1 bunch of kale, thick center ribs removed, thinly sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch wide. You’ll have about 8 cups.
1 large red bell pepper, cored, ribs and seeds removed and cut into small dice
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks or grated on the large holes of a box grater.
4 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons roasted dark sesame oil
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste

1/4 cup toasted unhulled sesame seeds (recipe follows)

Make the salad:
        Add all of the vegetables to a medium size bowl. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, ginger and salt. Combine well and pour over the vegetables. With tongs or a large spoon, toss to coat.
        Let sit at room temperature and toss every once in awhile for a few hours. Chill in a covered container. Serve with toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

To make toasted sesame seeds:
       In a fine mesh strainer, rinse and drsin well ¼ cup unhulled sesame seeds, and add them to a dry medium-sized skillet. Over medium heat stir constantly until they start to pop and become fragrant. You can rub a few seeds between you thumb and pinky finger, and if they break up, they’re done. Immediately remove them from the hot pan to a bowl, so they don’t burn.

Makes 3-4 servings.      YUM!
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