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Eat Your Greens - All The Single Girlfriends

Eat Your Greens

Foodie Friday

Jan 27, 2012 by

I’m sitting at my desk in Seattle, cat on my lap, watching the snow pile up outside and feeling the old childlike pleasure of a ‘Snow Day.’ We don’t get this kind of weather very often – every few years to be honest – so it feels good to have a day when I can do what I choose and not have to leave the premises for any reason except pleasure.

I taught the first session of the second quarter of the food-related class I teach at the Lifetime Learning Center, a school that has a wide variety of classes for older adults. The class description reads:

A Matter of Taste – Getting to Know Ingredients

This semester we will continue to explore the fascinations of food and the gifts of our Seattle food scene  We will have guest speakers,  discussions, tastings, and begin to construct and deconstruct our own ‘flavor profile.’  We will surf the internet to use the vast resources available to us. As we did in the fall, class participants will help determine the direction and focus of some of the sessions.

Rebecca Crichton was a caterer, recipe developer and food writer. She blogs about food (among other things) and qualifies as a serious “Foodie.” She really does think about food ‘all the time!’

I decided it was time to focus on healthy foods that people know they should eat but tend to not know how to cook. Kale is the newest darling food in magazines and restaurants these days so I brought a variety of kale preparations to the class.

I have yet to achieve the kind of perfect Baked Kale Chip I long for, but am determined to persevere. I think the key is really dry kale and not that much oil when you bake them. I’ll keep trying. Google kale chips and see what you can do with them.

The Kale and Lentil soupy/stew was a hit with its vibrant mixture of orange and tomato and the Massaged Kale salad disappeared before I could get my own taste.

Kale is especially sweet in the winter so, no complaining about it being bitter. Eat your Greens!

Massaged Kale Salad

This salad can be made with lots of ingredients or just a few.


1 bunch kale – I used a bag from Trader Joe’s

½ – 1 cup dried cranberries

1 red or yellow pepper, diced

‘Tamed’ onion dressing


Pour dressing over salad and whatever other ingredients you have added and reach in with both hands and massage the greens and dressing until everything is nicely coated and the kale has begun to soften.  It can be served right away or chilled up to 4 hours.

‘Tamed’ Onion Dressing

1 large red onion diced

3 T balsamic or other kind of vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard – I used Trader Joe’s wasabi aioli mustard but you can use Dijon or honey mustard or anything except yellow mustard

1 T honey

Juice of one lemon

1 T pomegranate ‘molasses’

¼ – ½ cup good olive oil – I used some nice orange flavored olive oil

  1. ‘Tame’ the onions by putting them in a roomy microwaveable container (I use a 4 C. glass measuring cup) with 3 Tablespoons balsamic or other vinegar and microwave for 3 minutes.
  2. Take it out and let it cool a bit. Add other ingredients (the heat will blend them nicely)

Other things to add to the salad: shredded carrots, diced apples, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh or dried mango, sunflower seed or pepitas, pine nuts

And you can substitute lime or orange for the lemon juice and use different vinegars: sherry instead of balsamic, seasoned rice vinegar, cider, champagne

Make notes about what you do and what you like and then you can build on them or just have them as something you rely on.

 Kale and Lentil Soup


1 large onion – chopped

1 cup small carrots or 3 medium – chopped

5 cloves garlic

1-2 T. olive oil

1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into 2 inch strips

2/3 packaged cooked lentils (from Trader Joes) or 1 cup uncooked green or black lentils

1 large can of diced tomatoes (28 oz.)

1 cup orange juice

1 cup wine – red or white

1-2 cups vegetable broth

Salt and pepper


Chop onion, carrots and garlic together in processor until chunky.

Sauté in olive oil until soft.

If using uncooked lentils, add them next and sauté them a bit until they get coated with oil and vegetables. If using cooked lentils, add them with other ingredients.

Add rest of ingredients and cook for 45 minutes to blend flavors and cook lentils or simmer for up to several hours.

Taste for seasonings and adjust to taste.

Play around with other seasonings: fennel seeds, thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary would all be good, either alone or a mixture. I usually start with

1-2 teaspoon dried or fresh.* If you want a bit more of a Moroccan feel, you can use 1 t. cumin and ½ t. cinnamon.

*I checked the internet for proportions of dried vs. fresh herbs and discovered that cooks are using equal amounts and it depends on how old your dried herbs are.  To be honest, with the availability of fresh herbs in most of our grocery stores, I usually opt for fresh.

Graphic credit: Emily Saltzberg, emsaves blog

About the Author

Rebecca Crichton Has Written 40 Articles For Us!

I try to stay aware of one main concept: We see things through different lenses. We get caught in our own belief systems and most of us are pretty attached to being right. I am one of those inveterate Life Long Learners. I like new ideas, new experiences, new people, new challenges.
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1 Comment

  1. Mary

    Mmm… the dressing was easy and delicious … definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

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