This weekend I had what I like to call a house cat Saturday and it was marvellous.
You see, on most weekends, I’m all about being outside, seeing friends, relaxing and going on adventures. Having been in Vancouver a year (where does time go!?) I’ve definitely found some favourite spots, but there are still tons to be discovered and I like playing tourist on a regular basis. But on Saturday I was feeling a little off.
Backing up to earlier in the week, the quality of my sleep had been total crap and it was catching up with me. I’m 100% a summer girl and LOVE hot sunny days, but the only problem is that my little ~475 square foot apartment heats up and becomes a sweat box when the sun shines in – even if it’s only about 18-20C.
When it comes to ideal sleeping environments, I like cold rooms, medium-firm pillows and the weight of fluffy duvets over my entire body, except for my right foot which prefers to hang off the side of the bed. My current scenario makes achieving these conditions challenging, and compounding the problem is the fact that I appear to have developed some seasonal allergies. I’m going through Kleenex like it’s my job!
Last year I bought a portable air conditioning unit (which I assembled myself – HURRAHHHH!) but I’ve been stubborn about breaking it out because it’s only April, it’s not even that hot outside, and it just feels too early. Well, stubbornness + laziness + sinus congestion = rubbish sleeping conditions and by Friday night I was feeling pretty drained.
Fitness-wise, I knew my body was asking for a rest so I made the executive decision to make Saturday a day for stretchy pants, a top knot, a naked face and 100% me time. It was rainy so there was zero temptation to be outside, and, well, my house cat day was fabulous.
There was a glorious long shower, a facial using every Sibu product I own, and a self-mani/pedi. There was the lovely minty scent of Refresh diffuser blend from Saje wafting through the air. There was shameless indulgence in singing along to way too much Taylor Swift while I cleaned my condo and re-organized my closet. (You may be thinking “she’s totally nuts”, but I’m a strange breed that finds cleaning relaxing.)
Best of all, there was a nap. I’m not a frequent napper, but what was intended to be a 1-hour snooze turned into a 2-hour totally-K-O’d siesta that was clearly needed and long overdue. I woke up feeling like a rockstar, and then (because napping can work up a fierce appetite ?) I made a huge kale salad.
Roasted chickpeas are a go-to snack for me at the moment, as well as a very convenient crouton-like salad ingredient. The ones in this salad are perfectly crisp and tossed in a mix of chili and curry powder, so they add a bit of a spicy kick that plays well with the sweet bits of mango.
The big secret here to ensuring you don’t feel like you’re gnawing on greens forever is to cut the kale into tiny pieces, then massage the dressing into them with your hands. DON’T skip this step – this is where the magic happens! Massaging will help to break down some of the fibre, softening the leaves and making them super flavourful. And about those dressing-covered fingers? I’m pretty sure you’ll want to lick em clean. ?
The Glowing Green Kale Salad
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Ingredients (2 meal-sized servings)
For the chickpeas:
- 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, patted dry
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each curry powder and chili powder
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tahini
For the rest:
- 6 cups curly red kale, thick stems removed and finely shredded
- 1/2 English cucumber, diced
- 1 large carrot, julienne cut
- 1/2 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 small avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup minced loosely packed fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.
In a bowl, drizzle the chickpeas in olive oil and toss them in the spices, coating as evenly as possible. Scatter them out in an even layer on the lined baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally
As the chickpeas cook, whirl up the dressing in a food processor or blender and store it in a sealed jar.
Chop the kale into small pieces and put it in a large bowl. Measure out about 1/3 cup of the dressing and pour it over the kale, massaging the leaves with your hands to help break down the fibre.
Prepare the remaining ingredients as directed above and toss them in with the kale. Add more dressing as needed and toss to coat.
When the chickpeas are ready, mix them into the salad and distribute evenly between bowls.
If you happen to have the good fortune of finding mountains of kale on sale at the grocery store (hey, that rhymes!) or if you just want some more healthy recipe inspiration, I’ve created a Pinterest board dedicated to kale salads here.
And lastly, if you live in the Vancouver area or plan to visit soon, you’ll want to pop over to my Facebook page and Instagram account to enter yourself in a few giveaways. I’ve talked recently about one of my favourite new salad spots downtown, Field & Social, and I want you to be able to give them a try too. Their salads are so unique and thoughtfully put together, and they’ve just launched online ordering at fieldandsocial.com.
The team there have graciously given me two pairs of free salad cards to give away. Check out the Facebook and Instagram posts for all the details (just look for the salad pics!), and feel free to enter on both channels. I’ll pick a winner on Friday night (April 29th) at 7pm PT. Good luck!
Now tell me…
- Have you taken a day to recharge your batteries lately? How did you spend it?
- Want to link up your favourite kale recipe? Feel free to leave it in the comments below.