There is something about the winter that invites us to look within.
To retreat, find a warm, safe space and reflect on life. To look closely at what is working, what isn’t. See where change is needed and if we are courageous enough to face those changes.
I have had opportunities recently to think deeply about who I am and how I want to be in relationship to the situations I find myself in. The answer is always the same: Calm. Confident. Kind. I’m not always successful but I keep trying. And trying.
Getting clear about who I am, what’s important to me and what I want my life to look like has been challenging and sometimes, uncomfortable. But I’m sure you’re probably wondering, what does all of this have to do with food?
For me, quite a lot.
Because for me, food is really about connection. Creating opportunities to come together and share something of ourselves is what I love and feel passionate about.
I want to show people that preparing meals for your family or friends or even for yourself can be about so much more than filling our tummies. It can be about love and ritual, and celebrating simplicity. Engaging our senses and trusting our intuition. About cooking one thing well. Buying local, real, seasonal ingredients and how that makes us feel.
I think that food itself or the myriad restrictions and labels we create around it, is not as important as we have been led to believe. It is our attitude towards it that benefits our well being. The more we value what we eat and who we share our tables with, the healthier our choices will naturally become.
So there you go, cooking as a spiritual practice. Who would have thought!
And if you are still not feeling virtuous, make this kale salad. It really is delicious, especially when served around a small table with too many people and too much noise, candles burning, children reaching, heads thrown back in laughter, music playing, wine flowing…Connection.
Winter Kale Salad
Massaging your kale may feel like taking your love of seasonal vegetables a step too far, but trust me, this is a simple but delicious method of preparation that you will come back to again and again. Adding crisp slices of apple, crunchy toasted almonds and chewy, soft sultanas makes this salad interesting and satisfying. If you’re extra hungry you could even add some goat cheese, cooked brown rice or legumes, leftover roast chicken or some good quality tuna.
- 2 big handfuls of fresh, curly kale
- 1 fresh, crisp apple, cut into match sticks
- 1 handful of almonds, lightly toasted in the oven (150C for 8 minutes) and chopped
- 1 small handful of juicy sultanas, soaked briefly in some warm water then drained.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- A pinch of sea salt flakes
- Place all dressage ingredients in a small jar, secure the lid and shake well to combine.
- Put your kale in a medium sized bowl and add the dressing.
- Massage kale with clean hands until the dressing is well mixed through and the kale begins to wilt slightly.
- Top with your apple match sticks, crunch toasted almonds and sweet sultanas.
- Combine and eat with our delay!
If you prefer your greens warm, try my Green Beans with Feta, Lemon + Almonds