Going in Reverse

Thursdays are the days when the Farmer’s Market booths line Nicollet Mall between 5th and 9th Streets. It was shoulder-to-shoulder shopping that day during the lunch hour in downtown Minneapolis. Excited shoppers rush along carrying beautiful bundles of brightly colored flowers. Others look as if they are being weighed down by their many packages.  Most everyone seemed to be in a big hurry to find their favorite vegetable, fruit, or jar of honey.  The smell of nuts being roasted in cinnamon filled the air.

 Photo Courtesy of Minneapolis Farmer’s Market

Since my refrigerator was plumb full of fruit, but needed lettuce, I scanned the booths for that leafy vegetable. My friend thought that all the lettuce would be gone by the time we got there. We found Swiss chard and kale at the first booth we visited, but no lettuce. I never ate kale before, and I am pretty sure I never heard of it.  I held it up and found that it looked thick and course and as if it would involve a lot of chewing.  The saleslady said that kale is good to eat if you crunch up the leaves and make it like a Caesar salad. I still wasn’t sure about it, but the thing was that shoppers could buy three bunches of greens for $5.00. We got two bunches of kale and a bunch of Swiss chard and decided to split up our shares later. We wandered farther down and found tomatoes to share too.  After carrying around all these veggies, we found the fresh lettuce that I had been searching for. I bought some to add to the load, and worried if we could possibly eat all these greens.  After finding and tasting a sample of the cinnamon nuts, I realized the roasting always smells better than the tasting.  No nuts were purchased that day.

After we divided up the kale and Swiss chard, I found a recipe on-line for an Apple-Walnut Kale Salad which just so happens to call for Swiss chard! The ingredients sounded great, and since the whole family was going to be home that coming weekend, the next day I ventured out to get the rest of the ingredients.  On Saturday night, I put the salad together to go with our Saturday night meal. It quickly disappeared.  Everyone liked the blend of flavors and didn’t even complain about all the chewing! You can find the recipe here.

Apple-Walnut Kale Salad Recipe
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

I enjoy visiting the Farmer’s Market and wish that I would more often. The merchants are so welcoming, and it’s nice to buy fresh, local produce. Kale led me to Apple-Walnut Kale Salad.  When I shop at the grocery store, I only buy something different after I find a new recipe. For once, I found the recipe after I bought the kale which is totally out of my routine.  Doing things in reverse can get a person out of a rut!  Plus, not one morsel of greenness was left to waste.

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18 thoughts on “Going in Reverse

  1. I love buying local! Everything just tastes better somehow, as if you can feel the hard work that went into bringing forth “the fruits of labour.”

    Try the kale chopped fine in a potato bacon soup, or in a smoothie with blueberries – it’s surprisingly low-flavour, and won’t overpower those things. 🙂

  2. I love going to the farmers market. We go to the one in St. Paul on Saturdays. It’s fun to see all the colors, the flowers and vegetables, and all those things we’ve never tried before.

  3. loved it. Ron has decided he doesn’t like kale but since I do and I cook, he does get it once in a while. I have a nice kale soup recipe!

    • Laura used kale to make Caesar salad tonight, and she said it was good! (I went out for dinner!) I’d love the kale soup recipe! Tell Ron that kale is a super food!!! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. That is great! I often think I should branch out and try more veggies, especially the green leafy ones like swiss chard and kale but I get rather stressed out when it comes to trying different recipes. We are not very good veggie eaters in general and the boys will only eat broccoli and the occasional carrot. I should try this.

    • If you do try it, I hope you and your family like it. The apples, walnuts and cheese help, and the dressing makes the leaves soften up a bit. I added in more cheese, of course!

  5. I haven’t made it to the local farmer’s market yet this year. I am always looking for recipes with healthy greens in them but can’t say I’ve ever tried either of the two mentioned here. I’m off to check out the recipe. 🙂

    • It seems like the summer goes by so fast, and I don’t make it to the Farmer’s Market as much as I like to. Before I know it, it will be gone, and I will be missing it. Hope you get a chance to go soon!

  6. On Sunday there’s a place down the street that hosts a farmer’s market. I can never remember to go. Maybe I will before they stop for the season. Thanks for your reminder. You can also make Kale chips that I hear are wonderful. I have never tried Kale, but it is supposed to be one of the best foods you can eat for good health. I’ll check out your recipe. I’ve never eaten Swiss chard either. I’m in for a surprise!

  7. Oh yum, fresh,local greens are #1! Kale is so nutritious that I love finding good recipes in which to use it. I make a quinoa, kale, cranberry, pepper salad that I make which is terrific. The hot quinoa, softens the kale when they are mixed,making it easier to chew. Plus, it releases the nutrients in the Kale just enough to make it easier for our tummies to digest.

      • Kale, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad (Recipe)
        from Balance Point Health Centre Inc.
        Ingredients
        • 1 cup quinoa
        • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (rinsed if not using organic)
        • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
        • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
        • 1/2 tsp sea salt
        • 5 cups chopped kale, about 1/2 small bunch (I used 3/4 of the bunch, about 6.5 cups)
        • 1/2 cup diced red onion
        • 1 yellow pepper, diced
        Directions
        1. Rinse quinoa. Combine with 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to medium-high. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to sit for a few minutes after fluffing the quinoa with a fork.
        2. Whisk oil with vinegar and sea salt in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Stir in quinoa mixture, kale, onion and pepper. Serve immediately. Keeps well, refrigerated, up to 1 day.

        Then a few more:
        1. Kale Chips

        Making Kale Chips is easy. Tear the leaves into pieces and toss with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F until crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure to monitor your chips while they are cooking so as not to burn them.

        My son and I are happy to snack on these throughout the day. You can combine them with some raw nuts and they’ll really help you get that snacking “crunch” you may be missing in your eating plan.

        2. Chicken Vegetable Soup with Kale

        Ingredients:
        • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
        • 1/2 cup chopped onion
        • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
        • 1 teaspoon thyme
        • 2 cloves garlic, minced
        • 2 cups chicken broth or water
        • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
        • 1 cup cooked chicken, skinned and cubed
        • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (optional)
        • 1 cup chopped kale, stem removed (about one large leaf)

        Directions:

        1. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onion and carrot. Sauté until vegetables are tender, 5-8 minutes.
        2. Add thyme and garlic. Sauté for one more minute.
        3. Add chicken broth or water, tomatoes, cooked rice, chicken and kale.
        4. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

        I love to eat this soup just as it is described. My son, on the other hand, loves for me to put the soup in the blender and make a “creamy” soup instead. My hubby will eat this soup but will almost always eat around the kale. I figure he is still getting a lot of the benefits of the kale in the broth (you just can’t win them all, can you?), but he also enjoys the creamed version I make for my son.

        3. Morning Green Drink

        Ingredients

        • 1/2 pear
        • 4-5 green grapes
        • 1/4 banana
        • 1/2 cup kale
        • 1/2 – 1 cup water
        • 1 cup ice cubes
        • Stevia or Raw Honey to taste

        Directions:

        Place all ingredients in a blender on High. Enjoy immediately.

        You can vary the ingredients (adding more or less of each fruit or kale) to suit your taste. I am very good at making sure to eat breakfast each morning, but my husband tends to jump out of bed and want to race out the door, so this is a fast breakfast option you can take with you. This is a great way to start your morning along with a good serving of protein to go along with it (raw nuts, cottage cheese or some hard boiled eggs).

        If veggies are still really not “your thing”, you may want to look into one of my favorite “greens drinks” to ensure you’re getting all of your recommended vitamins and nutrients each and every day. Not only do I love the taste, but the ingredients are all organic and minimally processed. This is the only greens drink I trust to take myself and give to my entire family.

      • Thank you for taking the time to put all of these recipes on here. They look delicious. I will definitely try them soon. I am mostly curious about the kale chips! Who knew there was so much to learn about kale?

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