To avoid another afternoon of spinach or cucumbers, I decided to give kale a try. There was a great kale salad I made right before I started the program (what, you thought I didn't eat healthy before I started? No, I ate healthy. I also ate fried foods and sauces and cheeses. I ate EVERYTHING!). The salad I had made before was inspired by one my vegetarian friend and chef had suggested and another I had enjoyed from the deli of Whole Foods.
It was simple. I kept the kale raw and marinated it in some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and tossed it with some fresh chopped *apples and a small bag of tropical dried fruit. Because kale is such a sturdy leaf, it doesn't wilt like lettuce, which typically doesn't keep beyond its initial serving once it's been tossed. But with Kale, I tossed it and stuck it in a large zip lock bag, which after about 2 days was perfect and only got better FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK. So once you find yourself reunited with olive oil and dried fruit, I suggest giving that one a try. The sweet from the fruit cuts the slight bitterness of the kale and you'll feel good knowing you are getting its full nutrients (which they say is one of the best leafy greens for you).
That being said, I decided to come up with something kale related while on BTL and I'm ready to share my first experience.
For starters, I steamed the kale this time (although I am thinking next time I may try the marinated version. Just like with spinach, I think I prefer the raw crunch to the soggy steamed). While the kale was steaming, I got out my Cooks 5-in-1 (the more common version is the Magic Bullet and I will say magic is right, this thing has saved me on this program) and threw in the ingredients from Teri's BTL Salad Dressing:
The juice of one lemon
A splash of red wine vinegar
A splash of water
and then because I had it, I threw in some fresh basil leaves and 2 stevia packets (similar in size to a Sweet N Low packet). Then I whipped it till it was frothy. Drained the leaves (even though they were steamed and not boiled, the leaves collected a lot of water). Once drained, I tossed it in the dressing.
This is one incredibly hardy vegetable! For those still looking to satisfy your oral cravings, imagine being lead out to the field and spending the afternoon chewing grass. That might not sound quite as appealing as I had intended, but imagine for a moment you're a horse. Now doesn't that grass thing seem appealing?
The stems remind me of chewing on a broccoli spear, the texture has a crisp chewiness (not in a bad way, but more of a really put your mouth to work way, which that first week of BTL would've been great!) and refreshingly fragrant thanks to all of the basil.
I will say, you won't need that much, but if you are still breaking through the psychology of "I only get this one meal, so I am going to stuff it with as much as possible", then make a whole pot. But believe me, you will find it quite satisfying. And because of the many flavor sensations (the tart lemon, the sweetness, the nuttiness of the "broccoli") and the chewing, I'd be surprised if you didn't agree, that this is one "satisfying" vegetable.
*if you are wondering, the apple keeps from browning thanks to the lemon juice!