Thursday, April 24, 2014

You're Vegan, What Do You Eat: Kale Edition

I liked kale way, way, way before it was cool to like kale.  It was my all time favorite food back in 2008, and it fueled me to my marathon PR of 3:37, which at the time qualified me for Boston.

Then I almost died of hyperemesis.  

Kale was the very first thing to trigger the gut-punching nausea that rendered me mostly non-functional for 9 months (and beyond).  My aversion to it did not noticeably lessen in more than 5 years afterwards.  I have tried to eat kale a couple of times since then, and the results were disastrous to say the least.

Recently, I’ve had some success with juicing kale—combining it with other fruits and vegetables (so that I couldn’t taste it) and consuming it in liquid form (none of that horrific texture), made it not only palatable but delicious (kale, mint, apple, orange, and grapefruit is divine).  I wondered if there was hope yet.

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Try it in a mason jar!!

Yesterday, I undertook the ultimate challenge.  We went out to lunch at my favorite St. Louis restaurant, Frida’s Vegetarian Deli, because we had a house showing at noon.  Completely out of the blue, I decided that Frida’s Signature Raw Kale Salad sounded good.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know if I could do it.  The few other times I have worked up the nerve to try kale in the last 5 years, I’ve either gagged or puked.  Bu this time, the meal arrived, and… it was fantastic!

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It was the last remaining food aversion that I haven’t conquered from Hyperemesis Days. Well, except for dairy products, but I suppose that is a moot point since I am vegan.  But in the last few months, I’ve regained the ability to eat marinara sauce, red onions, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes.  I had serious doubts that kale would ever rejoin the ranks of edible food for me, but after all this time, I can finally say that it has!

I ate kale for 5 consecutive meals after initiating kale consumption at Frida’s (yes, this includes breakfast).  And at the moment, I am currently craving kale.

I even tried to recreate the kale salad I had at Frida's, with resounding success.  The secret is in the sauce.  Oh, and also, the avocados.  Don’t skimp on the avocados.  Here is how I made it:



  • Chopped kale 
  • Green onions and sweet onions
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Grated carrots
  • Diced avocado
  • Sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds

Toss the salad with the marinade.  It would probably help if you have some time to wait, like an hour or two.  I made this for dinner last night and had the leftovers for lunch today.  It was even better today, so I think letting it marinate as long as possible improves the flavor.  Additional marinating time also makes the kale leaves a bit more “wilty,” which is helpful to me at this point (I still have a bit of difficulty with the texture).   


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I offered some of the salad to Will, and he refused, but Rob ate it and said, “This might be the best thing I have ever tasted.”   Isn’t that the truth. You should probably stop what you are doing right now and go marinate some kale.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yummmmmm!! Looks very good!!! Glad it is back on your menu!! Luv ya, mama