Kale Yeah! Part 1

Without further delay I reintroduce to you, KALE! Since moving back to Arizona and in a life transition, I have been frequenting more restaurants. Restaurants can be tricky in that you really don’t know the nutritional content of your food. Not wanting to sacrifice all of this hard work I’ve put into transforming my body to its current state, I chose kale. Just about every lunch outing at work I choose kale. Eating at a brew pub, I choose kale. Salad bar at Whole Foods, I choose kale. Choosing kale wasn’t always easy. I didn’t even know of its existence before going raw vegan overnight and I certainly wasn’t excited about this green stuff in my life. I remember when I first started out buying this weird leafy green vegetable and drinking it for breakfast. It wasn’t bad if you threw just a few leaves in…and added fresh lemon juice…and some strawberries. Let’s fast forward to today, 5 years after going raw vegan overnight which I maintained for nearly half a year, transitioning through veganism, ovo-vegetarian and finally…my own educated understanding of food. Now I am blending a liter of smoothies every other day that contains 1.5 large bunches of kale. I limit my processed foods to as few as possible, I am conscious of my sugar intake, I don’t crave or eat meat very often and I cram as many leafy greens into my day as possible. I didn’t believe it when the raw vegan/green smoothie proponents said you’d get used to the taste of all the greens, yet here we are, talking about KALE. I’ll save the ridiculous list of health benefits for future posts, but here’s the hizzap for the readers:

  • What’s Happening? I’m going to start sharing my Kale Salad experiences in the Phoenix area until I find the absolute best one ever. I’m not talking about kale doused in Caesar dressing, I’m talking fresh, cool, unique, healthy and insanely delicious. Something even non-kale eaters will love.
  • Why? Why not? I’m not quite in the groove with my own kitchen and recipes, yet I’d love to get this blog back to the interwebs. I married my quirkiness with kale salad and Kale Yeah was born.
  • Seriously, why? Kale is an insane superfood, we all know that. We’ve all been exposed to boxes of kale chips, Costco kale salad in a bag, kale at McDonald’s, etc. The Valley is an amazing food mecca and if kale is going to be on the menu, then I’m going to order the crap out of it and tell you all about it.
  • Inception. After nearly a dozen unique kale salads I decided to start this journey with the one that I thought was the best so far. I’ll revisit all of the old places – but I wanted to start with a bang! I’ll go over the good and the ‘iffy’ of the salad and in due time the clear winner will emerge.

FOUR PEAKS BREWING COMPANY | Tempe, AZ

  • The Good
    • Their Kale Salad is fantastic! It has bacon, sweet corn, bing cherries, gorgonzola and balsamic dressing. The crunchiness of the kale and corn marries the chewy cherries and bacon so nicely. The tangy sweetness of the balsamic and the saltiness of the cheese tops off this bad boy and leaves your mouth so happy. It’s huge to boot! If I can enjoy a nice pint of Odelay AND get some greens in, I call this a major win.
  • The Iffy
    • There’s a lot of dressing, cheese and cherries. While delicious, it does add a potentially large amount of fat and sugar.
  • Score
    • 9/10 – the ratio of kale to fat/sugar in this salad could be better while maintaining fabulous flavor. So far though, it’s my top choice.

I’d really like to thank Bad Pickle Tees for my new ‘uniform.’ I saw this shirt and knew it had to go on this journey with me. I hope dear reader you stick around too!

Orange Julius Creamsicle

Holy cow holy cow holy cow.

I have had a long love affair with Orange Julius’s. It all started when my Grandma would take my sister and me school clothes shopping at THE MALL. We lived 2 hours from the nearest mall and it felt like magic every time we went. I don’t remember my first one but I remember the frothy orange drink and its delicious power over me. I moved on and grew up – sadly without my beloved Julius. Even before my diet makeover I had a hard time ingesting that much sugar in a drink (I could eat like 2 packs of M&Ms instead!). The problem was I knew what went into making that glorious flavor – and it wasn’t liquid sunshine (which is calorie-free you know).

Now? Problem solved! Oh, is it ever. Looking around the web for days trying to find a vegan/paleo orange creamsicle recipe yielded too many variations. Lots of the recipes used orange juice (too much sugar) and bananas (which are actually very hard frozen and I didn’t think would give me that soft sorbet fruit popsicle texture). So I decided to wing it with the recipe using the leftover coconut milk I had had in the freezer. Lucky you, this tastes so close to the real thing you have to taste for yourself. I wanted to drink it, but I abstained and made the popsicles. Good thing I have more coconut milk…

Orange Julius Creamsicle (2)

Orange Julius Creamsicle (makes ~10 pushpops)

  • 10 oz. (1 1/4 cups) full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 8 oz. crushed pineapple in juice (I don’t think the way it’s cut will matter, rings/crushed/cubed)
  • 1 med-lg orange, peeled
  • 1″ piece of orange peel or 1/2+ tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of pink salt

Orange Julius Creamsicle (1)

 

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. If you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix then the chunk of orange peel will puree, no need to zest.
  2. Pour the mixture over ice or blend with ice. For popsicles, pour into your popsicle molds. (I use a push-pop mold that is fantastic). You could also use toothpicks and an ice tray for old time’s sake.
  3. Freeze for at least 4+ hours. Enjoy!

These babies come in under 100 calories, 10 g of sugar and 13 g of carbs a pop. Compare that to a small Orange Julius with 210 calories, 50 g sugar and 52 g carbs!

Hello Again!

Oh my faithful followers! I’m so sorry it has been so long since I have posted anything, but some health issues have kept me from living my life as I would like. The good news is after so much hardship I am cured of my ailment and on the road to recovery. The first thing I’m investing time and energy into is the RAW Seattle showcase which I have been selected to participate in! RAW is an awesome organization and I hope to share this opportunity with any artists out there.

Stay tuned and thanks for your patience, yummy treats are on their way!

SarahFlyer

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