I love to eat, but I’ve never been very good in the kitchen. At house parties, I was only helpful at simple tasks that a 5 year old could do, like placing something on top of something else. Or mixing stuff. I have an obsession with (eating) baked goods but can’t bake a cookie to save my life. However, as someone who has become very interested in healthy good eats and customizing things to my particular liking, I’ve developed a few shortcuts for anyone who wants to whip up a yummy and wholesome meal in 10 minutes.
I’m all about balance and variety, so I like to have 1) veggies, 2) some kind of meat/fish/protein, and 3) something else whether it be carbs or soup. I also like versatile ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes; I blame it on the fact that I’m always hangry and a hangry mind can only remember so many things at once. I also call it resourcefulness. For example, after making kale salad with the leaves, I dice up the less-yummy kale stems and put it in my soup or dips where they make it into your tummy without you even knowing it. Onto Le Menu…
Main Course: Avocado Kale Salad
First, wash and cut up your kale (I used the darker dinosaur kale here). Take just the leafy parts, pour on extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), salt and pepper, and massage the kale with both your hands for a few minutes. This feels really therapeutic, as you can crunch and crush the kale in your hands as hard as you want and the only consequence is better-tasting kale. I always start with the kale to let it relax after its massage. No, seriously, it helps it absorb all the EVOO. Slice avocado over it, black lava sea salt (much tastier than regular salt), lemon juice, done.
Appetizer: Bell Peppers w/ Tzatziki Dip
As for the tough and bitter stems on the kale that you’d rather not eat in your salad, dice them into tiny pieces and throw them into a bowl of greek yogurt. Dice some cucumber (which you can also cut up as veggies for dip), and throw into the greek yogurt. For extra flavor that takes just an extra minute, dice up some garlic and dill and throw it in. Lemon juice, mix, done.
Wash and cut the bell peppers and cucumbers in whatever shape you like as “chips” for the dip. The more colors, the better! Did you know that Red peppers have 11x more beta carotene and 1.5x more vitamin C than Green peppers? They taste very different too. Just like gummy bears; some obviously-wrong people insist they taste the same, but the red, green, and yellow bears totally have distinct flavors. (Source: Little Amy and Little Ellen’s hundreds of blind taste tests).
Soup: Salmon Head Soup with Daikon
I’ll save this for another post, but it didn’t take very long in the kitchen beforehand, so all I had to do for this meal was reheat it while I prepared the salad and dip. This meal is so simple you don’t even have to measure ingredients, and you can easily build on it and change things up to your liking (ie. a little ricotta or goat cheese on the salad if you’re feeling cheezy). All it takes is a little inspiration. And in only 10 minutes, nobody gets hangry. Bon Appétit, my little dumplings.