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Hearty Winter Salad

The following recipe has become my go-to winter salad. The final step of “kneading” the salad serves two purposes:  First it creates a creamy dressing. Second, it pre-digests the raw greens and along with the lemon juice helps “cook” the greens ceviche style. Any variety of kale will work. My favorite variety for this salad is lacinato kale, sometimes called dinosaur kale. This salad is a satisfying powerhouse of dense nutrition. Plus it has all the basic tastes and textures, satisfying both taste buds and pleasure centers. Try to forget just how good it is for you. Think of it more as a delicious indulgence for the senses. Nature’s original body and soul food.

Hearty Winter Salad

•    2 to 6 (depending on size of leaf) tender deep green organic Kale leaves washed with the spine removed. (bitter, to some)
•    1 small or 1/2 large organic Carrot cleaned and shredded. (sweet)
•    1/4 ripe Avocado, seed and skin removed. (creamy)
•    1/4 cup raw hulled Sunflower seeds. (crunchy)
•    1/4 cup organic Thompson seedless Raisins. (sweet)
•    1/2 fresh Lemon juiced. (sour)
•    1 tablespoon extra virgin Olive Oil. (rich)
•    Sea Salt to taste. (salty)

Chop the Kale into bite size pieces. Add all of the other ingredients and knead as you would bread dough. Mush it around for a moment or two. Allow it to rest for five to ten minutes. This recipe serves one large meal salad or two as a  lighter side salad, multiply accordingly. Enjoy!

Tip:  The easiest method for removing the spine from a kale leaf is to hold the bottom of the stem in one hand, position the other hand underneath leaf side and firmly grip the stem and slide down separating the leaf from the spine. I save the stem to use in soup or to juice.

If you want to save time most grocery stores sell shredded carrots by the bag. I use a hand held Zyliss Julienne Peeler for fresh moist carrot pieces anytime. You can find them online for under $10.00.

When a recipe calls for a piece of an avocado, keeping the unused half of the avocado fresh can be a challenge. The following method can keep the other half of the fruit fresh for up to a few days. Cut into the flesh longways just until you hit the seed. Following the seed go all the way around the seed until the fruit is cut in half. Holding each half twist until one half separates from the other. Leave the seed stuck to the half you will not be using. With a spoon remove the desired amount of meat from the seedless half. Place the used half back on the seeded portion. Refrigerate until you wish to use the remaining half. The skin and the seed help keep the avocado meat from turning brown.

Once refrigerated an avocado will stop ripening. Hard green avocadoes should be kept out of the refrigerator until you can feel the flesh give a little when gently pressing with a finger. An over ripe avocado will feel mushy and should not be used.