Dec 22, 2014

KALE AND RICE SALAD

feb 26 KALE SALAD 008_500

Remember when I shared the amazing recipe found for Massaged Kale Salad? Oh my. That recipe has become one of our all time favorites.  In the spirit of getting fresh with our food storage, I’ve fully incorporated this recipe into our monthly rotation. Adding rice and a couple of extra vegetables to the salad makes for a totally satisfying main course. In addition to the wonderful flavor and terrific nutritional benefits, this kale salad can be fully prepared a day ahead of time. It’s the perfect choice for entertaining and has saved me many times. The mongoes do not turn the slightest bit brown and the kale keeps its curl even after marinating in the dressing overnight. The red pepper and purple onion also hold their own and stay happy. The only ingredients I added right before serving were the scoop of warm rice and a generous sprinkle of roasted pumpkin seeds. I’m sure that  a  little grilled chicken or teriyaki steak strips would taste great but we’re trying to do less of that.

The new kitchen cupboards have enough space to use these recycled orange boxes as meal bins. For this recipe you can see a three month supply of pumpkin seeds, honey, and olive oil. (Sesame oil substituted for 50% of total oil was an experiment suggested online. Interesting…but not necessarily better.)

feb 26 KALE SALAD 009_500

In a very healthy way, this type of food storage helps me to USE and ROTATE as in EAT my supply of rice. Even three or four ingredients stashed in a box, or simply grouped together on the shelf, improves my ability to EFFICIENTLY prepare enjoyable meals for my family. That’s the emergency I’m dealing with on a daily basis.

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7 Responses to “KALE AND RICE SALAD”

  1. Laura at TenThingsFarm Says:

    That looks like untoasted sesame oil. If you’re boosting the flavor of the dressing, dry the dark sesame oil – it is a very dark brown and has a great flavor. :)

    I wanted to ask – when you make up these boxes for various meals, does that mean that if there are three different meals that use, say, olive oil, that you have three different bottles of olive oil, one for each meal box? Further, does that mean you have the possibility of several bottles of an oil being open at the same time?

    Just trying to figure out if/how this would work for us. Thanks! :)

  2. Liesa Says:

    Great question, Laura. I usually leave one open bottle of olive oil in my cupboard and just use that, until empty. Those bottles of oil shown in this particular meal box/bin are just examples, you know, to represent. Normally my meal boxes are filled with dried, canned, or bottled ingredients, and not oil. This system, which I loving term “idiot-proofing my kitchen” turns out to be the way restaurants organize their cupboards and they HAVE TO be efficient. And so do I!

  3. Kris Says:

    Kale sure is becoming popular in the cooking world, I see it being used in all kinds of recipes. Not sure that I am ready to cross that bridge yet with my family they already think I am crazy for trying the natural yeast that I have growing in my fridge. xo

  4. Laura at TenThingsFarm Says:

    Thank you, Liesa – I am trying to wrap my head around the concept, that’s what. It’s never really occurred to me to organize a pantry by meal. I’ve always done it ‘grocery store’ style – all the different beans here, all the different sauces there, etc. It makes a lot of sense to put together meals – at least upstairs where I’m going to cook them.

    I planted kale a couple years ago and it was a major fail around here, I think because I had no clue as to what I should do with it. I’m planting it again this year, and I have a list, partly thanks to you! If we still don’t like it, which I doubt, the rabbits will eat it just fine (we have a buck and two does). Thanks for all you do!

    Kris, I’m very intrigued by the idea of growing your own yeasts! Did you gather wild yeast for the start? How cool!

  5. Liesa Says:

    Kris I know exactly what I need to serve your family when we finally get together for dinner. Think of it this way, surely there was a time when spinach salads were unusual and look how that turned out:)
    Your adventures in natural yeast sound very interesting. Considering my baking track record, I should probably pass. Safety first!

    Laura, I know what you mean about the grocery store style. That was always the way I organized my cupboards, in the past. Setting up our top 30 meals, with all the dried, canned, or bottled ingredients grouped together, totally overcomes the common problem of cupboards full of food and still no idea what we should have for dinner. Believe me, when it comes to getting meals on the table I need all the help I can get. There was even a Better Homes and Garden article from a few years ago that suggested this very same thing, organizing your supplies, or at least most of them, according to how you cook promising, “quicker meals, easier prep, and smoother shopping.” And guess what? It really works!
    Good luck with your kale. I would like to try growing some. The last bunch I bought was about the size of a typical clump of parsley and cost something like $2.89. Not cool.

  6. Laura at TenThingsFarm Says:

    It’s easy to grow. It even grows here, where it’s very dry, cool at night, all that. I didn’t have any trouble at all growing it, just didn’t know what to do with it when I picked it, so I cooked it and it was very, very bitter. (I think I let it get too big because I was not sure what to do with it, so I kept putting off picking it – kinda like that first year we raised our own turkey and kept putting off the *ahem* “harvest”, and ended up with a 43 pound dressed out bird.)

    Anyway…I wanted to say that just a few Kale seeds in the ground will give you a lot of Kale to eat. It’s pretty cold-hardy too, and will last longer than a lot of other grow-able stuff. It’s also pretty enough to tuck into a flower bed. Big green leafy is always nice in the flowers, don’t you think?

    I’m even trying collards this year. I sorta have to, because I joined a black church and when I said that I garden, everyone asked, ‘Do you raise collards?’, so now, yes, yes, I do. :) I want to make sure I have some to share!

  7. Liesa Says:

    Very encouraging information, Laura! So glad to know that kale is easy to grow, and that it’s better to harvest early rather than late. I hope to give it a try this summer. It’s snowing again:(

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