Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Roundup - A Massage Is Essential Before Any Kale Salad

Kale Avocado Tomato & Poached Egg Salad - It's funny how there always seems to be a an unintentional theme to each of my weekly roundups, with some more pronounced than others. This weeks theme is so very obvious, with three out of the four photos featuring different variations on a kale salad. Kale is one of those dark leafy greens that I hear people say all the time that they know they should be eating, but they don't know what to do with it. With its tough texture and bitter flavour, it's easy to be turned away from kale at first, but all it takes is one delicious kale salad to open up ones eyes and see all of the many delicious possibilities for this dark leafy green. This first kale salad was a very simple homemade one that I threw together as a light second lunch to keep me satisfied and energized before dinner. I always start my kale salads with a not a massage for myself, but for my kale! I always spend about 2 minutes roughly massaging my kale (lightly coated in olive oil and a bit of salt) with my fingertips before I put my salad together. This quick little step is vital in releasing that familiar bitterness found in kale, and also helps to soften the tough rubbery leaves. After a quick massage, all my salad needed was a light toss in some peppery ranch dressing, an egg medium-soft poached in a vinegar-water bath, chopped farm-fresh tomatoes, and some slices of creamy avocado and I had the perfect afternoon healthy treat!

Babbo At Hockley Valley Resort - My mom has been having such a great time this summer visiting all different types of resorts, retreats, and lakes all around Ontario with different friends and family. This week I got to be her lucky partner in crime as we headed to Orangeville to enjoy a lovely spa day at Hockley Valley Resort. After cutting our time short at the very disappointing White Pine Shores in Haliburton (it's certainly a work in progress), it was so refreshing to drive up to the gorgeous facilities at Hockley Valley for some rest and relaxation. With my mom raving about the mouth-watering kale salad at Hockley Valley's Babbo restaurant, I knew what I had to get for lunch. Of course I always begin my kale salads with a massage, but with the restaurant chefs taking care of the lunch prep for me, my mom and I were able to indulge in a little massage of our own. We started off our spa day with massages in Hockley's extremely relaxing spa, and followed that by finding a prime spot on Babbo's comfortable patio to enjoy their kale salad. The tender but still crisp kale was perfect, tossed in a buttermilk dressing with shredded carrots, toasted walnuts, and fresh herbs.

Hockley Valley Resort - After our leisurely lunch on the patio at Babbo, my mom and I spent a few wonderful hours, soaking up the sun by the beautiful pool at Hockley Valley while sipping on cucumber and citrus infused water. Once we were sufficiently freckled, my mom gave me a tour of their incredibly well cared for grounds. My absolute favourite part of the resort was their fantastic and bountiful organic chefs garden. The large garden, which provides 80% of all menu ingredients, was filled with row upon row of just about every type of fruit and vegetable you can imagine. As if I wasn't already in love with the garden, in the centre of it all rests a large stone wood-fired pizza oven, which is utilized every Saturday and Sunday from May through to September for "Pizza in the Garden". I was in my glory! I had such a lovely time at Hockley Valley Resort, this will certainly not be my last visit!

Kale Salad with Grilled Peaches Prosciutto Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette - With kale still on the brain and a basket full of Ontario peaches on the counter that my mom and I had picked up on the way home from our retreat up north, I had been dreaming up my perfect salad to start off my Friday night. Halved peaches are lightly oiled and tossed onto the grill (or grill pan) to enhance the sweet flavours. While the peaches were being grilled, I massaged my kale and whisked together a very simple vinaigrette of pomegranate-infused balsamic vinegar (an unbelievable product I picked up in St. Lawrence Market), olive oil, and pepper. The tender kale is tossed in the vinaigrette and topped with the grilled peaches, salty prosciutto slices, creamy and tangy goat cheese, and a sprinkle of chia seeds. If all salads were that delicious I would never eat anything else! If I had more time to toast some nuts, this salad would have been perfect. The sweet, salty, and tangy combo made my taste buds so very happy, I haven't stopped thinking about this creation all weekend long! Keep your eyes peeled as I will posting the recipe soon!

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Listening To:
Young Empires - Enter Through The Sun

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