There are very few foods that I do not like. But when I don't like a food, I really, properly do not like it. At all.
I can count on one hand the foods that fall into this category (that I know of so far):
(there's a small evil fishy theme here)
- and weirdly, cream cakes (not strictly 'food' as such in the cleanest terms but can be eaten nonethless!) or anything involving starchy white things alongside sweet red things, ergo jam sandwiches. I know, I did say it was weird but I can handle not liking this manky stuff. It just gives me an instant headache and makes me go all woozy and whatnot.
I've also just noticed that either I can't count or I have a deformed hand with rather more fingers than it should have.
The point is, I like most things apart from the above.
Or so I thought.
Turns out my taste buds, my attitude, my sense of adventure or my willingness to challenge convention and the stories I've made about myself based on previous experience, has changed.
I now regularly use parsley in dishes, in fact it's now my herb of choice for freshening things up. I've eaten crab twice in the last week...I just fancied it, and it didn't kill me (although the smell nearly knocked Alex out, he's not budging on his absolute distaste for any form of seafood).
And I now absolutely love, adore and worship the ground kale, um, grows in. For something that looks just so green and vegetabley, it's so so tasty. It has its own natural saltiness somehow. And it is unbelievably and ridiculously good for you in so many reasons it's almost impossible to list them. It's basically a very super, superfood.
I think the thing with kale, and parsley actually, and broccoli before them, is that my opinion of them had been formed by 1970s and 1980s style cooking of them - ie boil them to within an inch of their life (and beyond).
I remember a particularly harrowing kale experience where a giant, curly, spiky lump of the stuff got stuck in my throat and threatened to kill me. Ish. It wasn't nice anyway and I've never forgiven it. Until now, armed with the proper knowledge and skills as to how to actually cook and use it properly.
Tonight's dinner was a case in point.
I'd saved a recipe for warm quinoa and kale salad to my pinterest board a while ago from MindBodyGreen that I wanted to try and having been out all day and eaten a fairly large lunch quite late on, I realised I had all the ingredients so decided to give it a go.
The full recipe is here and to avoid any kind of copyright I won't re-post.
I fully intended to stick to the recipe religiously for once but alas, my tahini had seen better days (mostly prehistoric days judging by the use by date and the state of it) so I adapted a little and used some houmous I had in the fridge in the dressing instead. Not ideal as it was shop bought rather than home made but life is too short sometimes...anyway I couldn't make my own due to aforementioned tahini sitch.
Another thing that appealed about this salad was the quinoa, of which I am a huge fan. For any quinoa virgins, it's keen-wa, not kwinowa, and is a sort of peruvian protein packed grain thing that is super easy to cook, yummy to eat and general all round fab and versatile meal base. It's also gluten free and doesn't seem to bloat me out like couscous etc.
If you're interested, check out my Quinoa Queen post for some tips on cooking the perfect quinoa.
So, the verdict. It was delicious. It really packed a punch on the flavour side of things. The houmous and tamari (a kind of wheat free soy sauce) dressing was really rich, musky and tangy, it reminded me a little of miso. The kale had a lovely nutty flavour from the coconut oil and the avocado on top added a light freshness to it all. I was careful to only cook the kale until it was wilted to retain the crispness and bright green-ness of it which also helped. The recipe said to season with salt and pepper but I didn't bother as I didn't think it needed it at all.
So, we've decided to add this to our staples and might experiment with a few different varieties or toppings.