At 6pm daily like clockwork during the summer, I hear a chyming blissful melody that rings through my ears. Who needs dinner when you can have ice cream on a hundred degree day delivered fresh from Mister Softee?! Almost simultaneously, an image of a woman 30 years my senior is strictly pointing her finger at me to eat vegetables first or I’ll get sick. All of those leafy greens (kale, spinach, broccoli) typically need to be roasted or steamed to eliminate the bitter components. The thought of consuming anything warmer than 37 degrees is simply repulsing. Thankfully, about a month ago while in NYC at a wine luncheon, I had a revelation. See kale salad below. Acidic ingredients help break down the vegetables oh so nasty component. An Italian bistro I visited recognized that raw kale can become surprisingly digestible and enjoyable… combine the nutty richness of olive oil and zest of a lemon to create a magical dominance over the greens. Read on for more experiments and recipes for eating vegetables raw.
My recommendations for refreshing ways to eat the necessities all summer long:
Green Machine Smoothie
-2 cups organic spinach
-1 apple chopped (Fuji or pink lady)
-1 cup frozen pineapple
-1 cup frozen mango
- roughly 1 cup coconut water (regular water optional)
- optional: 1 scoop Greek yogurt, kiwi, additional ice
Pulse on smoothie setting and purée to blend well.
NYC Inspired Lemon Kale Salad with Parmesan
-4 to 6 cups chopped organic kale
-1 to 2 lemons squeezed
-1/4 cup rich olive oil
-1 tbsp honey
The key to preparing this salad is marinating the kale with the squeezed lemon and olive oil for hours in the refrigerator ahead of time. Garnish with honey drizzle and Parmesan right before serving.
Broccoli Mango Salad
-4 to 6 cups organic broccoli florets
-1 tbsp Dijon
-1 1/2 tbsp Agave
-1/3 cup rich extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
-1 cup chopped mango
-sliced almonds to garnish
Whisk Dijon, agave, vinegar, and oil in large bowl. Add broccoli and mix thoroughly. Let sit in refrigerator for hours. Add mango and garnish with almonds.
Note: I recommend organic for all leafy greens as those tend to store the highest percentage of pesticides.
Wine Pairing: Mayr Gruner Veltliner from Austria. This recent claim to fame white varietal often is described as having zesty fruit salad components. Medium acidity with a balance of stone fruits and lime… perfect complement to the flavors in the salads above.