Cheezy Kale Salad & Clutter Busting

Good morning! I’m sorry I missed blogging this weekend, but I did something I have not done for as long as I can remember and I took a complete day off from working on the computer yesterday. Maybe some of you aren’t as tied to the computer as I am, but between my online masters program, blogging, writing projects and general internet putzing around, I thought it might be an interesting experience to just let it go for one day. And, guess what? It was liberating. It was tough, for sure, but I found myself more perceptive of things around me and more spontaneous in my activities. I’m starting to think that the practice of using Sundays for a rest day or a spiritual focus is a good one. For me, that meant meditating for 30 minutes (the longest I have ever done), taking time to read a book, finishing random house projects that were pending and in general re-connecting with my loved ones and myself.

It all started because of the emotional work I’m doing with the Emotional Brain Training program I wrote about last week combined with a book I just started reading called Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer. The more reading I do on emotional health, the more I am convinced of the ties between that and my struggles with overeating. Wow, our brains sure are complex, complicated things. The good news is that change is possible and that’s what I’m working to achieve. It takes commitment and an openness to giving up things that we once held sacred but may be holding us back. In fact, one of the best lines I’ve ever heard in a yoga class (thanks Kelly of Harmony House) is “let go of those things that no longer serve you.” I’m realizing now that those things can include food, material objects, people, relationships, routines, ideas, etc.

Do any of these thoughts make sense to you? I’d love to hear your comments.

I made a kale salad this weekend that I loved. The dressing is made with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, onion, garlic, dates, ginger and coconut vinegar, and it only took a few hours to marinate. I started with two bunches of kale that I washed, de-stemmed and put in a big bowl:

I then made the dressing in the Vitamix and poured it over the kale leaves:

I used scissors to chop the leaves with the dressing (most people recommend using your hands but I personally don’t like to do it that way). The scissors help break apart the toughness of the leaves and tenderize them. I cooked a sweet potato in the oven and served it with a generous serving of the salad and that was dinner:

Here’s the recipe:

I don’t have any other fun pictures to show you, except of this one using a green smoothie (such as my Broccoli Sprout Smoothie) topped with dehydrated buckwheat groats as a cereal. I know I got this idea from a fellow food blogger, but I can’t remember who it was. So, I can’t take credit for this one, but it sure was yummy:

Have a great Monday!


  1. Glenda says

    Good on you for taking the weekend off blogging. My daughter has a writer’s blog and she had to take Sat and Sun off from blogging and it’s made a huge difference for her. I have to say I found myself looking for the email and missing the blog, but now that I know why, I’m glad you had the rest….

    • says

      Thanks for the support, Glenda. I’m thinking I might evolve my blogging schedule to be every day during the week but take the weekends off. I love blogging but it’s nice to have a few days off. :)

  2. Angela says

    I think taking a rest day (or two) a week would be a healthy habit. Don’t want to burn yourself out and it’s not the quantity of your posts that matter, but the quality 😉
    I earned my undergraduate degree in neuroscience, so I certainly agree that the brain is a complex, but amazing thing. Meditation and yoga are great ways to help let go of thoughts that are cluttering your mind…I definitely need to do this more often. Thanks for another great post and recipe, Carrie!

      • Angela says

        I actually double majored and earned my B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology. I did my undergrad thesis on oligodendrocytes -very cool. Now I’m in grad school earning my Master in Public Health :)
        Thanks for asking…

        • says

          Hmmmm, oligodendrocytes…had to look that one up. Well, geez, you sure should picked an easy topic for your thesis. Ha! I didn’t realize you’re also getting an MPH…what is your area of focus?

          • Angela says

            Yeah, I didn’t really get to pick that topic. There was an opening in a lab and the professor was studying oligodendrocytes, so I did too! Heh.
            My MPH program doesn’t have areas of focus; however, I am taking a food policy class next semester and I’m planning on concentrating on food insecurity for my Master’s thesis. I’ve been inspired by the organization A Well Fed World and I hope to look at food insecurity from the perspective of using plant-based diets to combat hunger (you can feed a lot more people with plants!) and chronic disease in poor populations. That’s the plan anyways, we’ll see where God brings me in this chapter of my life. Thanks for your interest!

          • says

            Hey Angela! I have heard of this organization, wasn’t someone from that program interviewed on the Our Hen House podcast in recent months? I LOVE your plan, it makes so much sense to address food insecurity with a plant-based diet. I’m picking a topic for my thesis right now, but I’m leaning toward social media since I have a background in marketing. I’m interested in inspiring people to cook more at home and increasing fruit/vegetable intake. I’d like to look more at how to get more people to consider plant-based diets, but the problem is that there isn’t much research on that topic. You have made me think about it a little bit more though so I’ll keep you updated on which direction I go. :)

          • Angela says

            Yes, I believe so Carrie! Leave it to the Our Hen House ladies to interview an awesome organizations like A Well Fed World. Their podcasts are phenomenal 😉

            I believe I might have some ideas/literature for your potential thesis topic on social media. We can continue this conversation via email. I’ll be in touch soon. Take care.

          • says

            Thanks Angela! I would love to see any references on the topic of social media. I’ve done a fair amount of research on PubMed, but you know how that goes, it can be overwhelming and I often don’t find exactly what I’m looking for.

  3. Diane says

    I bought a whole bag of kale at the grocery store but it is so tough and the taste is horrible. Are there different kinds of kale or something? I’ve been throwing it in my smoothies because its the only way I can handle it. Even then I can still taste it over my berries in my smoothie. It just seems to be what I would consider the equivalent of eating a leaf off a tree in my front yard. Maybe it’s just me.

    • says

      Hi Diane! Yes, there are definitely different types of kale, although overall kale does have a thick texture. Most people massage it with a dressing to make it more tender when eaten raw, or steam it gently to eat it cooked. My husband dislikes it, too, so I most often put it in smoothies. The lacinato or Dino kale variety is less bitter an the curly variety is ideal for kale chips.

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