A few weeks ago, as I was savouring lunch, I mused over the food I was eating. My lunch consisted of a curried carrot & turnip soup with a dollop of yogurt, along with a slice of wholegrain bread. Both the soup and yogurt were homemade using organic ingredients. The produce (onions, carrots, turnips) came from our weekly vegetable box, and the yogurt was made from organic milk. As for the wholegrain bread, it was purchased at a local artisan bakery and it was also organic.
In that moment, I felt grateful and fortunate to be able to eat so well every day. I thought of the farmers and the hard work that went into growing the vegetables. I thought of the sun, the rain and the soil without which this life would not have flourished. I thought of the transportation from the farm to the food box facility and then to us. I thought of the time I spent in the kitchen, prepping and cooking this precious harvest. I thought of our jobs which give us the means to purchase nutritious whole foods. One by one, I continued this meditation, reflecting on all the elements of my meal.
Regretfully, life moves at such a fast pace that I don’t do this kind of contemplation often enough. But that particular lunch mindfulness was so uplifting that I decided to bring it into my daily meals. Not much of an innovation, you might say, as meal blessings have been part of religions for thousands of years. But I welcomed it into my life as something new and refreshing. Being grateful is a humbling experience.
Today’s recipe for Kale Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette is sweet, tangy, crunchy and hearty. Enjoy your meditation.
Kale Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 large bunch of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup alfalfa sprouts or other sprouts
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2-3 green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup shaved almonds
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice (agave, maple syrup, honey)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, drizzle 1 tsp each of olive oil and lemon juice over the kale. With clean hands, massage the kale for 2 minutes, working the oil and the lemon juice into the leaves until they turn bright green.
Add the sprouts, avocado, green onions, cilantro, dried cranberries and shaved almonds. Set aside.
For the dijon vinaigrette: In a mason jar, measure the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and sweetener of choice. Seal the jar and shake until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Taste and season with salt & pepper. Shake again.
Pour dressing over salad. Toss well to combine.