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.
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!
I ATE KALE!!!!
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).
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.