Taking advantage of winter’s kale bounty makes for some very hearty, yummy salads. I’m always one to choose a mild cos or butter lettuce come the spring and summer and put the kale in my smoothies and green juice but when the out of season lettuce is less than desirable at the market I turn to finely chopped kale for the greens in my salad bowl to energize and alkalize.
January always brings the arrival of the gorgeous pomelo in the grocer that is apparently a tradition of good luck for the Chinese when enjoyed at the new year. My kids could eat pomelo endlessly especially when their mom peels them right out of the membrane for them, what a good mom, right? It’s a bit fussy but sooo worth it for the firm yet tender morsels of juicy flavour that are very low sugar, high water content, low acidic and full of vitamin C, potassium and other antioxidants to nourish and protect the body.
Pecans also seem to be abundant now too with their flavourful tender halves that enhance everything from salads to nut crumbles and even desserts with their caramel undertones. They are one of my favourite nuts. Soaking them makes it easier to cream the dressing which helps to tenderize the kale somewhat. Even a short soak of 30-60 mins is better than not at all but ideally over night will make them easier on your digestion. This helps to minimize anti-nutrients and promote a sprouting process that wakes up the living enzymes within to improve the nutritional value and energetic level of this delicious nut.
I don’t know about you but I do find it trickier to really dive into a cold salad in the mid of winter versus a warm meal but if it’s a salad that catches my interest and has flavours to tantalize the taste buds then I’m all for it. This I think is the way to ensure continued salad consumption in winter–innovative salad ideas, don’t you agree? I’m hoping this recipe will inspire you to look and dig deeper at the grocers for some of the in season items that you might not usually toss in your cart. Look for in season citrus with Meyer lemons, sweet limes, yellow or pink pomelo, kumquats as well as pomegranate, jicama, physalis –also called golden berries, and of course a variety of wonderful kale to choose from.
As tempting as it is to only eat warmed foods in the winter it’s truly the time that we need to most pay attention to a good balance of raw and cooked foods alongside our balance of alkaline versus acidic foods. We can control whether we are sick, or not. You don’t catch a cold, you create a cold. If we strengthen our inner terrain (our blood, and tissues) with enough alkaline foods that support a strong immune system the germs that find their way into our bodies will not find a cozy acidic environment in which to set up camp and wreak havoc. An alkaline inner terrain will not be conducive to a germ party and you will not become ill. On the other hand if you have not cleaned out the trash after the holidays in time for these germs or for that matter have not flushed the build up of acids in your own body from indulgent treats, you WILL be or perhaps you currently ARE one of the sickies at work, school or home. We’ve all been there before, no sense in wallowing in your acidic body. Just dig in and go green for a few days or even a week. Skip all sugar (including that from fruit), dairy, starches and all processed foods and EAT GREEN, wholesome and drink water til you can no more. Flush, flush, flush! I spoke a lot about how to thin mucous in my last post here, it’s worth reading again as it really is your best measuring stick for your health on a day to day basis.
So here’s a salad that will bring goodness and vitality to your mid winters day or if you are down under, to your mid summers day.
Ginger Creamed Pecans & Chopped Kale w/ Pomelo
Yield: 1 nice big salad
1/2 cup pecans, soaked overnight preferably or min 30-60 mins at the very least
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup filtered water
1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp green onion, use the white parts mostly
pinch of Himalayan or celtic salt
8 drops stevia or optionally 4 drops os stevia plus 1 tsp coconut nectar
3 cups kale, well chopped into small bite sized pcs
1 cup red cabbage, thinly shaved
1/4 of one pomelo, peeled & membranes removed
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
Lets start with the dressing so it can rest and build it’s flavours. Place soaked pecans, olive oil, lemon juice, water, fresh ginger, green onion, salt, and stevia / coconut nectar into blender. Process mixture, scraping down sides until a creamy mixture is reached. Pour into a serving dish and set aside.
Next, chop the kale and place in your serving bowl. Add in the finely sliced cabbage and toss gently. Top with pomelo, pecans, radish and avocado. Pour dressing over salad generously and toss well. Dig in or alternatively allow it to rest 5 mins or more to soften the kale somewhat. Enjoy. Double up on this recipe if you are not alone or you could share:)
Keep in mind this salad is considered alkaline balanced, not purely alkaline as it has the pomelo and the pecans that are on the low acidic side rounding out this salad to about 85% alkaline to 15% acidic. If you are currently not well maybe skip the pomelo and it’s sugar content (sugar exasperates an acidic body) this time and go for it with just the kale business and conquer the alkaline terrain so you can be well again. If you are on the mend go ahead and incorporate a small amount of vitamin C rich pomelo to strengthen and build your immunity again. It’s no fun feeling under the weather so if you can stick to the highest ratio of alkaline foods you possibly can and you’ll be back to your healthy vibrant self in no time. If you have resorted to a prescription keep in mind that you will need to detox the aftermath of chemicals from your system so once again a clean alkaline diet will serve you well. A probiotic supplement may be in order as well if you had an anti-biotic as a prescription to assist in re-establishing a balanced gut flora (digestive track) that will help circumvent potential yeast/candida issues.
If you can’t find pomelo in your local grocer try the Asian market, for sure they will have it for you. If not don’t fret, grapefruit would be a good substitution if you can’t find a pomelo, The white has less sugar and the pink is sweeter with a higher sugar content. If I can actually find organic grapefruits then I will buy them as I prefer the flavour but don’t fuss too much over choosing organic or not as grapefruit is listed in the clean fifteen. I would assume pomelo is the same. I rarely find organic pomelo so I usually settle for conventionally grown ones.
If you need a little cheer in the midst of this winter darkness be sure to splurge a little on a small bouquet of flowers. I find it always brings a smile to my face and brightens my rooms. Even just the process of trimming them and sprinkling them around the house in pretty containers brings me joy. It’s my way of surviving the winter blues that sometimes catch us off guard at this time of year. While you’re at it, take a daily dose of vitamin D that is also a surefire way to keep the blues at bay. We don’t receive enough sunlight to generate the necessary vitamin D that we need in the Pacific Northwest so bear that in mind if you are feeling rather down.
The count down is on, only about 55 more days of winter left, yahoo! Spring is on its way. I even saw snow drops the other day, popping their heads up! So it won’t be long til my favourite season is upon us. I can’t help but get excited since I am a spring baby:)
I hope you manage to beat the winter bugs and blues this season or at least survive them with the amount of least suffering. If you are still struggling, give this detox blender drink a shot.
Until next time, keep the kale a comin’ to energize and alkalize.
Your alkaline sister,
ps. I’d love to hear your favourite way to enjoy winter kale AND how you beat the winter blues!